Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Mountaineering a Pond of Security Loop

The Pond of Security is positioned within the space of the White Mountains referred to as the Randolph Neighborhood Forest (RCF). Randolph is a small neighborhood positioned simply north of Rt 2 throughout from Mts Madison, Adams, and Jefferson within the Presidential Mountain Vary. The city has a dense and picturesque community of strolling trails that run between the houses and thru the forested areas abutting the Nationwide Forest. The paths are maintained by the Randolph Mountain Membership which additionally maintains trails, a number of cabins, and a campsite on Mt Adams, which can be found for public use for a modest charge.

The mountaineering trails within the RCF are additionally a lot simpler to hike on than a lot of the trails within the White Mountains, partly as a result of many comply with previous logging roads that have been used to reap wooden. They’re well-signed, well-blazed, and well-tended with quite a few signed viewpoints and spur trails to fascinating pure options and historic websites.

The origin of the Pond of Security place identify dates again to the Revolutionary Conflict when 4 Continental Military troopers captured by the British have been paroled on the situation that they return to their households and never combat once more, a typical observe on the time. However, after returning to their houses, they feared that they might be arrested as deserters, so that they fled into the wilderness, settling on the Pond of Security till the top of the struggle once they have been welcomed again into their communities.

Mt Madison, Mt Adams, and King Ravine seen from the Eye of the Needle Viewpoint on the Four Soldiers Path
Mt Madison, Mt Adams, and King Ravine are seen from the Eye of the Needle Viewpoint on the 4 Troopers Path.

Hike Description

  • Issue: Average, however the blazes could also be laborious to comply with in spots. A GPS or GPS App might be useful.
  • Distance: 8.6 miles
  • Elevation Achieve; 2,000 toes
  • Water: Carry a minimum of 2 liters per individual. Pure water sources can be found however filtering is beneficial.
  • Trailhead:  Randolph Neighborhood Forest Trailhead (click on for Google map view), positioned on the finish of Randolph Street in Randolph, NH. Proceed following the highway for about 1/2 mile after it leaves the pavement and continues on grime and gravel till you attain a big parking space and path kiosk. This trailhead gives entry to the Peak Path, Mt. Crescent Path, and Carlton Notch Path.
  • Blazing: All the trails listed below are blazed, however you do want to concentrate whereas mountaineering to comply with them. In case you can’t discover a blaze, flip round and retrace your steps to the final blaze you noticed earlier than resuming.
  • Really useful Maps and Guidebooks:
  • Season: Mid-Might by way of October
  • Tenting: Tenting isn’t permitted within the Randolph Neighborhood Forest Portion of this hike and can also be prohibited on the Pond of Security.

Pond of Safety Loop Map


  • Carlton Notch Path – 1.6 miles
  • Crescent Ridge Path – 0.3 miles
  • Underhill Path – 1.4 miles
  • 4 Troopers Path to Pond – 0.8 miles
  • 4 Troopers Path to Neighborhood Forest Street – 3.5 miles
  • Neighborhood Forest Street (referred to as Jimtown Rod on older maps) – 0.75 miles
  • Carlton Notch Path – 0.3 miles

On the Path

Carlton Notch Trail in the Randolph Comnmunity Forest

Carlton Notch Path

Comply with the grime highway you drove alongside to the trailhead parking space a brief distance to the signed starting of the Carlton Notch Path. This can be a tree-lined path that follows an previous logging highway. The path crosses one other logging highway and resumes on the opposite aspect on a signed path. Trails in Randolph are typically very nicely signed with arrows or blazes.

Comply with the Carlton Notch Path because it climbs, gently at first, after which extra steeply to the Crescent Ridge Path. That is the one vital steady elevation achieve of the day. The Crescent Ridge Path marks the boundary between the Randolph Neighborhood Forest and the White Mountain Nationwide Forest.

Crescent Ridge Trail Junction

Crescent Ridge Path

Flip left (south in direction of Lookout Ledge) on the Crescent Ridge Path for a really transient 0.3 miles and hike to its junction with the Underhill Path.

Underhill Trail

Underhill Path

Flip proper onto the Underhill Path (the one route attainable) which climbs briefly earlier than switchbacking downhill by way of the forest in direction of the 4 Ponds Path over a distance of 1.4 miles. This space is a favourite moose habitat so in the event you’re fortunate you’ll spy one trotting away from you into the woods. Watch your step although so that you don’t step in Moose scat, which appears to be like like piles of brown ball bearings!

Moose Scat

The path winds downhill by way of the forest till it involves a logging highway and merges onto the 4 Troopers Path.

4 Troopers Path

It’s straightforward to overlook the signal for this junction, so search for the yellow blazes that proceed by way of the open forest forward.

Turn left at the second logging road and follow the path signs to Pond of Safety

The woods get thicker and darker as you get nearer to the pond earlier than you arrive at one other logging highway and a well-signed junction. Flip left and comply with the indicators to the Pond of Security, which is on the finish of a gravel highway in your proper. Proceed previous the dead-end on the finish of the highway, passing a path kiosk and comply with a brief gravel path all the way down to the shore of the Pond. It’s an enormous pond, however fairly shallow and muddy, so that you in all probability don’t wish to swim in it.

Sign for pond of safety

After I visited final, the highway out to the pond was nonetheless gated and closed for the winter, however individuals do drive on the market with kayaks often. A high-clearance automobile is suggested as a result of the highway is reportedly fairly tough to drive on.

4 Troopers Path

For the return journey, retrace your steps alongside the 4 Soldier Path to the UnderHill Path path junction on the logging highway and bear proper to proceed alongside the 4 Troopers Path in direction of Randolph Hill.

Return trip on Four Soldiers Path

The trail is fairly apparent, however the yellow blazes are unfold aside each 75 yards or so and might be laborious to find until you’re on the lookout for them.

This can be a good hike within the autumn if you wish to benefit from the foliage and views of the northern Presidential Vary with out encountering lots of different individuals. That may be mentioned of all the paths within the Randolph Neighborhood Forest which is a hidden gem of the White Mountain Nationwide Forest.

Really useful Guidebooks and Maps:

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