Pondicherry Nature Refuge Trail

EASY 14 reviews

Pondicherry Nature Refuge Trail is a 6.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Jefferson, New Hampshire that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.4 miles
213 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



fly fishing


nature trips


trail running


cross country skiing





wild flowers






Information provided is from the Silvio O. Conte NWR website for the Pondicherry Division: The Division sits in a basin surrounded by the Kilkenny Range to the north; Presidential Range to the east; Dartmouth/Pliny Range to the South; and, the Dalton Hills to the west. Within the bounds of the Refuge is a complex mix of habitats including boreal forests, forested bogs, northern hardwoods/conifers, riparian communities, an abundance of early succession from recent timber harvests, and open water. This concentration of diverse, high quality habitats acts as a magnet to wildlife, especially birds. Over the years volunteers and biologists have documented 234 different bird species on the Refuge with 128 confirmed nesters. Breeding songbirds are especially well represented with 22 warbler species, seven sparrows, and six thrushes, among others. In addition, there are fourteen amphibian species, six reptiles, and a number of mammals including black bear, moose, white-tailed deer, beaver, and northern bog lemmings. Hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education, and interpretation are priority public uses on national wildlife refuges as defined by Executive Order 12996 (March 25, 1996) and the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, as amended by the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-57). Visitors have an opportunity to experience each of these at the Pondicherry Division. Refuge-specific hunting regulations will become effective September 1, 2005. Generally speaking, these mirror New Hampshire Fish and Game Department regulations with minor exceptions. During the open seasons people may hunt moose, white-tailed deer, waterfowl (Note: Cherry and Little Cherry ponds, and the posted area between them are all closed to hunting), and small game. Hunters need to be familiar with Refuge regulations before going out into the field. Motorized and mechanized vehicles are not permitted on the Refuge. Anglers at the Pondicherry Division must comply with the state fishing regulations. Although Pondicherry is not sought out by most anglers, Cherry Pond and the Johns River do offer recreational fishing opportunities, and people may fish on any of the other streams and ponds on the Refuge. Chain pickerel and sunfish are the principal game fish on the Refuge. Most visitors come to the Refuge because it is well known as a place to see moose, bear, a multitude of breeding birds, and spectacular views of the surrounding mountain ranges. People can hike, ski, or snowshoe anywhere on the Refuge to view and photograph wildlife, flowers, and the scenery. At this time there are two primitive trails on the Refuge. Cherry Pond is linked to Little Cherry Pond by a loop trail that winds through a forested bog community. A series of bog bridges were installed by the Friends of Pondicherry to protect the saturated bog soils. The second trail is a section of the Cohos Regional Trail. It enters the Refuge from the east off Whipple Road, leads to Cherry Pond, then exits near Highway 115 in the southeast corner. Pondicherry is an unstaffed division of the Conte Refuge, and as such, programs are not typically offered by Refuge employees. However, there is an active Friends Group that hosts several environmental events during the year, including an annual birding trip on International Migratory Bird Day in May. Other groups are encouraged to use the Refuge for environmental education and interpretation purposes, but need to contact the Refuge Manager ahead of time. Hiking is allowed throughout Pondicherry. Motorized and mechanized vehicles, bicycles, and horses are not permitted on trails within the refuge boundary. All dogs must be accompanied and under control, and not pose a threat or nuisance to Refuge wildlife or visitors. Contact the refuge manager regarding activities not discussed on this page.

15 days ago

great easy going trail! I've got a bum knee so as much as I love steeper hikes, I have to practice moderation. this one is flat, well maintained, and perfect for a light hike with my blind dog. cherry pond is gorgeous and a great place to stop for a snack or just to take in the mountains.

sea kayaking
3 months ago

Nice little spot to kayak and enjoy the wildlife. It's a flat, easy walk, so bring a kayak cart if you've got one!

4 months ago

Flat and relatively easy. Dog friendly, but bring a leash.

8 months ago

9 months ago

10 months ago

11 months ago

Teens thought it too easy, adults enjoyed our time with the kids and the six year old enjoyed it but it was a lot of walking(4.25mi)

Observation deck was great. Very easy walking path. Wish we had seen more wild life.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Great Walk. Level clear and straight,almost like a rail trail. observation deck pretty. The true hidden gem was found beyond the deck on the right. Follow trail to beautiful area with bridge that we relaxed on and soaked our feet!! great bike path too!

mountain biking
Friday, June 05, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Monday, February 17, 2014