Dubes Pond
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (AMC Books)
Address:NH 27, Hooksett NH
Hours:No posted hours
Fee: Free

New Hampshire Fish and Game, 603-271-3421, wildnh.com

Bathrooms: None
Water/Snacks: None

This serene pond offers rich wildlife viewing, islands, and coves.

With a double kayak or a full-sized canoe, you can fit the entire family for a paddling adventure. Or split into two or more boats for added independence once the kids are older.

Dubes Pond is one of those special places that begs to be explored. It is a mere ten minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Manchester, yet out in the far reaches and coves of this secluded pond you feel as if you are in the North Country of Maine or Quebec. It is a haven for wildlife, and it would be surprising if you didn’t see herons, snapping turtles, painted turtles, big water snakes, beaver, foxes, or ducks during your visit. This is an absolutely great place to play wildlife bingo, as you are sure to see so many animals. Visit Dubes Pond in early season (April and May) or late season (October and November) to avoid the vegetation and waterlilies that grow so thick you can barely paddle through them. Before or after summer, though, the exploring is phenomenal. There is even a “secret” pond that you can find, complete with a heron rookery.

Starting at the put-in, paddle your way out to the dozens of islands that dot this 111-acre pond. The western shore has a few homes on it, but most are hidden in the trees. The eastern shore is completely undeveloped and makes for interesting shoreline paddling amid the white pines and granite boulders dotting the shoreline. Find an island to explore and have a picnic. Just always be aware and respectful of wildlife, as birds use these islands to lay and hatch their eggs in spring. There are also several beaver dams on the pond, all with secret entrances below the waterline.

Continuing on away from the road and toward the left, the pond begins to close in. Follow a narrow channel northward for up-close wildlife viewing. If you are ambitious, you can follow this small channel all the way to a small natural dam. A short portage over the dam brings you to the secluded Hinman Pond and a heron rookery. The herons nest in these dead trees; their giant nests high up in the air are a sight to see.

Plan B:

Nearby Bear Brook State Park (Trip 46) offers many hikes, rides, and paddles. An excellent swimming hole at Catamount Pond on Deerfield Road in Allenstown offers clear and cool swimming on a hot day.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Elm Street in downtown Manchester has everything from Vietnamese and Ethiopian food to Irish pubs, so take a walk down here for a surprising eclectic dining scene. The nearby Golden Rod Drive-In on Candia Road has great ice cream. Canoe and kayak rentals are available at outfitters in Raymond, Concord, and Manchester.


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