Willard Pond Wildlife Sanctuary - Trail Descriptions
About Willard Pond Wildlife Sanctuary:
At nearly 1700 acres, the dePierrefeu-Willard Pond Wildlife Sanctuary is New Hampshire Audubon's
largest property. Much of the land owned by NHA has come about through the foresight and generosity of
Elsa dePierrefeu Leland and her family. Additional gifts, easements, and adjacent protected lands bring
NHA’s lands in the vicinity to about 3,000 acres, and part of a “supersanctuary” that totals over 10,000
acres of protected land. There are several outstanding features of this sanctuary which make it a particularly
enjoyable visit. Willard Pond, a beautiful and pristine body of water, is about 100 acres in size.
Surrounding the pond are large hills, including Bald Mountain and Goodhue Hill, which have trails to their
summits. Huge boulders deposited by receding glaciers, a diverse mixture of tree and plant species, and an
abundance of wildlife make this sanctuary a unique and attractive area.
Mill Pond Trail:
Yellow blazes, approximately ½ mile loop, easy
The Mill Pond Trail circles the Hatch Mill Pond, which was originally dammed to
provide water power for the Hatch Sawmill. In addition to White Pine and Eastern
Hemlock, a mix of hardwoods typical of the area including White Ash, Paper Birch, Red
Maples, and bog-loving shrubs can be found along this trail. Beavers and otters are often
seen foraging in this pond, and wood ducks, mallards, and geese nest here. Half-way
around the mill pond is the start of the Goodhue Hill Trail (blazed in red).
Take caution in crossing bridges and rock fords when conditions are wet.
Goodhue Hill Trail:
Red blazes, approximately 1 mile, moderate
Goodhue Hill sits above Willard Pond’s southeastern shore and is a prominent feature of
the sanctuary. The Goodhue Hill Trail is reached via the south side of the Mill Pond loop
trail. The trail is a steady, but in some places, steep, climb to a hilltop with great views in
several directions. Recent patch cuts of about 15-acres in size near the summit have been
created to provide early successional habitat, which will provide food and cover for
mammals and birds like deer, turkey, and grouse. Moose sign is often found along the
Goodhue Hill Trail. Typical forest birds of the area such as thrushes, vireos, warblers,
and woodpeckers can be found along this trail during warmer months. At the end of the
one-way trail is the summit of Goodhue Hill and its rocky southeastern face that provides
habitat for numerous animals including the elusive bobcat.
Yellow blazes, approximately 1 mile, easy
The relatively flat Tudor Trail affords several wonderful opportunities to observe to
observe Willard Pond. Look closely for Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks and Common
Loons – which often nest near the pond’s edge. At a left fork is the start of the red-blazed
Bald Mountain Trail; bearing right continues on the Tudor Trail and eventually, the
scenic Pine Point on the northern end of the pond.
Bald Mountain Trail:
Red blazes, approximately ¾ mile, strenuous
The Bald Mountain Trail is the steepest access point to the Bald Mountain ledges, and
can be combined to form a loop with the Tamposi Trail and Tudor Trail. Near the
junction with the Tudor Trail, an impressive ledge of boulders deposited by receding
glaciers can be seen along the left side of the trail. After the boulders, the trail veers
sharply to the left, away from the pond, to begin the steep climb to the summit. The hike
to the ledges is well worthwhile for its spectacular view of Willard Pond and the
Monadnock Region, but this spot can also be accessed via the Tamposi Trail.
Yellow blazes, approximately 1 ¾ miles (including loop of Bald Mountain), strenuous
The Tamposi Trail is the longest and most popular hiking trail at Willard Pond. It climbs
steadily through northern hardwood forest and crosses several stone walls that indicate
former pasture use. Some large boulder formations are visible along the trail, and there is
often porcupine activity noticeable in this area. Upon reaching mixed stands of conifers
after about ¾ mile, the Tamposi Trail splits. Stay right for the quickest route to the Bald
Mountain ledges (best view of Willard Pond), where the trail becomes steep (and can be
slippery!) just prior to arrival there. If you’re feeling ambitious, return to the parking area
via the Bald Mountain Trail and Tudor Trail, or continue to the forested Bald Mountain
summit (great ledge views along this scenic trail). Stay left at the Tamposi Trail loop for
a steady climb through mature Red Spruces to the summit and return via the loop trail.
The Spur Trail begins just a short distance from the left loop.
Blue blazes, approximately 1 ¼ mile (including short summit loop), moderate
The Spur Trail traverses the 376-acre Tamposi parcel, which was protected by NH
Audubon and its partners in 2006. It is the least traveled of the sanctuary’s trails. The
State of NH – Forest Legacy Program holds a conservation easement on this land and
oversees its management. This trail has moderate elevation change and is the most remote
part of the property. Much of the trail is surrounded by early successional forest habitat
due to recent forest management. This habitat protects bird species like prairie and
chestnut-sided warblers, Eastern towhee, and others, many of which are declining. An old
apple orchard is being managed by removing competing overstory trees which are
shading them out and reducing their fruit production. This unique feature attracts much
attention from mammals like bear, deer, and raccoon in late summer and fall. From the
trail’s end, two clearings provide excellent 180-degree views in each direction.
Directions to Willard Pond Wildlife Sanctuary:
From Hancock Village go west 3.7 miles on Route 123 to Davenport Road on right.
Go 1.6 miles, continuing along Willard Pond Road, and bearing left at fork, to parking lot.
84 Silk Farm Road - Concord, NH 03301 (603) 224-9909x334 - www.nhaudubon.org