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Thread: Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge

  1. #1
    Senior Member dentonfabrics's Avatar
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    Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge

    Hi,

    I was thinking about exploring Pondicherry (Cherry Pond, Little Cherry Pond) Wildlife Refuge this Monday, but I cant find much information about it in the AMC guide. Does anyone have any experience with this place? How do I get there? Is there a place to park? Etc??


    thanks
    bob

  2. #2
    Senior Member Waumbek's Avatar
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    It's a wonderful place. The easiest access from I-93 is Rt 3>Rt.115. After you see the scenic pullout on your left, turn left off 115 onto Airport Road (signed) and follow it a mile or so until you see a small open-gated bridge on your right. You'll have to keep your eyes peeled for it. On the other side of Airport Rd from that bridge is a cut through the woods for the tracks. Turn right into a parking lot with kiosk. If you reach an industrial park or the airport itself on Airport Road, you've gone too far. Turn around and look again on your left for the parking lot.

    There may be a map at the kiosk. Go through the gate there, and you can walk along an old railroad grade to the ponds, Big and Little Cherry. Snowmobiles are allowed on that grade. They'll most likely be out after today's snow. Once you get to the ponds area, they're restricted. When you get to Waumbek Junction near the ponds, where old box cars are parked, you can pick up rail tracks that will take you by Big Cherry on your right. After you pass it, look for a loop trail leaving from the tracks on your left. It leads over to Little Cherry.

    It should be a good place for animal tracking with the new snow, and there are great views of the No. Prezzies from Big Cherry.

    You can also come in off the Coos Trail, which crosses 115 closer to 2, but it's hard to find and little traveled in winter. You can also pick up the rail tracks on 115A and go south to the ponds. But for a first trip, use Airport Rd.

    Last time I was there, with no snow, the ice was deadly on the grade path. It will probably be covered with snow now, but beware what's underneath it.
    If I weren't wearing snowshoes with bearclaws, I'd use creepers on it.
    Last edited by Waumbek; 03-04-2006 at 05:30 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dentonfabrics's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys, I had a helluva nice hike today. Waumbeks directions made the trailhead easy to find and I picked up the Randolph Mountain guide which made all of the trails easy to negotiate. Great day in the woods, cant wait to get back there in the summer or fall.

    Thanks again!


    bob

  4. #4
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    According to the Cohos Trekker which I just got yesterday, both the Cohos Trail from the Cherry Mtn Slide parking lot to Pondicherry and the Cherry Pond Trail in the refuge are temporarily closed for maintenance purposes. But big plans are afoot:

    "PONDICHERRY WILDLIFE REFUGE
    Big plans are afoot regarding trails, access and parking in the 5,274-acre Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge straddling the towns of Jefferson and Whitefield, NH. Over the course of the next two years, several new trails will be built, the Cohos Trail will be upgraded substantially, an observation platform and a wildlife blind will be fabricated, and two new parking lots will be constructed to complement the two already in place.

    The Cohos Trail will be rerouted in the vicinity of low wetlands a quarter mile north of Cherry Pond. It will get a formal pedestrian bridge over a slow stream, as well. According to published information, the trail will be
    reconstructed to eliminate erosion problems, better define the trail, and add directional markers and interpretive signs.

    At the Whipple Road/CT junction, a six-car parking lot will be installed, a
    sign kiosk erected and a barrier gate placed to prevent four-wheeled vehicles from going deep into the refuge.

    Very exciting is the proposal to build an observation platform at a point where visitors will have an unobstructed view of 200-acre Cherry Pond and the Presidential Range. The Cohos Trail swings around this location, so the
    platform will be easily accessible.

    Also of great interest is the proposed Mud Pond Bog Trail, a fully handicapped accessible path what will thread its way from the recently built Route 116 parking lot south and loop around Mud Pond and its extensive bog lands, wetland features that have never been easily accessible. Hikers will be able to continue south from the loop and intersect with the Little Cherry Pond Trail (near that pond), and then trek southeast to meet the Cohos Trail at a railroad pedestrian crossing near Cherry Pond. This development would bring whole new features into the Cohos Trail pantheon."

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    Thumbs up

    though it's not yet time for 'em it will be soon--butterflies that is! and i found a real nice book called "the butterflies of the white mountains of new hampshire" which mainly focuses on pondicherry. beautiful pictures and habitat ranges are included. i got a hardcover one for $5.98 (looks like it was originally 19.95) at the new england book fair in boston (actually newton). looked like they had a few.

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