Long Pond
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (AMC Books)
Address:Long Pond Access Road, Benton
Hours:No posted hours
Fee: Free

White Mountain National Forest, 603-536-6100, www.fs.usda.gov/whitemountain

Bathrooms: None
Water/Snacks: None

USGS East Haverhill quad; AMC White Mountain National Forest Map & Guide, H2–I2 (AMC)

Nestled in the foothills of the Kinsman Range, this high-country pond offers hours of island exploring, wildlife viewing, and fishing.

A paddle on Long Pond is like a trip deep into the wilderness. The shoreline is completely undeveloped, and its unspoiled islands and the surrounding Kinsman Range make it an exhilarating and special destination. Early morning on the pond is often misty and calm, with the best chances of viewing wildlife like otters, beavers, deer, and moose. Afternoons are warmer, but the wind can pick up and make the water choppier. Early evening is always a pleasant time; the winds usually calm down so you can enjoy a peaceful sunset and maybe even catch a massive brook trout. And it’s hard to beat a sunset picnic on an island.

The northern end of the lake near the put-in is dotted with islands that have the potential for great adventure. For a young child, there are few things more exciting than pretending you’re an intrepid explorer, or you’re making a fort for shelter against unseen forces, or that you’re a castaway and have to survive in this wild place.

Many marshy coves and bays offer interesting exploring and excellent wildlife viewing. Maple, birch, and spruce dominate the forest here. On the southern end of the pond there are a couple of rocky points where you can land your boat. Spend an hour or a day surveying the nooks and crannies of this crystal clear pond.

Dispersed camping is available in the White Mountain National Forest, but no overnight parking is allowed at the pond itself.

Plan B:

Explore the captivating waterfalls and swim in the potholes of Agassiz Basin on NH 112. To get there from Long Pond, head back to the intersection of NH 116 and NH 112. Turn right on NH 112 and proceed 10.1 miles to a small white building on the right with a gravel parking lot (44° 1.733´ N, 71° 43.084´ W). The Lost River Gorge (see Trip 30) is also nearby.

Where to Eat Nearby:

The sister towns of Lincoln and North Woodstock have dozens of restaurants, with enough options to please just about anyone. Several of the eateries in downtown North Woodstock are just steps away from the very pleasant Cascade Park (44° 1.927´ N, 71° 41.192´ W), which features wading pools and rock slides for a pre- or post-dinner swim! Canoe and kayak rentals are available at outfitters in Lincoln.


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