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Ridge Trail and Gould Pond Road and Mud Pond Trail Loop

Distance:
4.0 Miles / 6.4 km
Type:
Loop
Difficulty:
Easy
Time to Hike:
2 hours
Features:
Surface Type:
Dirt
Park:
Fox Forest
Town:
Hillsboro, New Hampshire
Directions:
43.138317, -71.913382
Added:
July 06, 2019
Updated:
February 22, 2024
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366 '

Total Change
845 '

Ascent
994 '

Descent

The Ridge Trail and Gould Pond Road and Mud Pond Trail Loop at Fox Forest in Hillsborough, New Hampshire is an easy 4-mile loop hike that passes ponds and features a vista point.

Location: Fox Research and Demonstration Forest is located in the town of Hillsborough NH at 309 Center Street at the Henry I. Baldwin Forestry Education Center Headquarters.

Trail name(s): Ridge Trail, Gould Pond Road, Mud Pond Bog Trail

Allowed activities: hiking, hunting, fishing, geocaching, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing. There is limited mountain bike use. Mountain bikers are asked to stay off of any trail that is posted “FOOT TRAFFIC ONLY”. Equestrian use is limited to the trails that are “road width”. From March 1st to May 23rd, equestrian and mountain bike use is prohibited on all trails due to mud.

Prohibited activities: No Camping, No open fires, No picking plants or wildflowers, No littering, No unauthorized motor vehicles allowed, No digging, No metal detecting.

WARNING: Hunting is allowed in Fox Forest. All visitors would do well to heed the warning and wear appropriate clothing to stand out (hunters orange) so as not to be accidentally confused as prey.

Hours: There are no posted hours on the information kiosk, website, brochures or maps. However, the Fox Forest follows the general rule of being open from Dusk to Dawn. During Hunting season, hours may be extended to follow state Hunting regulations.

Parking: There is ample parking near the Headquarter building and trailheads.

Pets: Dogs are allowed on the trails as long as they are leashed and waste is carried out with the hiker.

Accessibility: The trails are not wheelchair accessible. Hikers should have the ability to go up and down some hilly or uneven terrain. Trip hazards, such as roots, rocks, and mud are possible along every trail.

Sanitation: There are no restrooms or trash receptacles. Please carry out all trash. Restrooms are ONLY available if by chance there happens to be staff at the Headquarters to open the Baldwin Center. Otherwise, there are no restrooms available.

Trail information:  There is an information Kiosk near the parking area that has a map posted of the trails and also maps to borrow. Hikers can print a map before heading out by going to the link below.

https://www.nh.gov/nhdfl/documents/fox-trails-2017-color.pdf

The trail blaze on Ridge trail is a white blaze with a red middle. Trail blazes on Mud Pond Trail are white and sometimes seen are yellow blazes.

Length and features:  This hike was an easy 4.0 mile trail that looped. To get to the network of trails, first park and then head toward the sign that says “TO EAST SIDE TRAILS”. Walk down a small hillside along the Forest’s fenced grove of American chestnut trees. At the bottom of the hill, the trail begins off to the left. The trail is wide and footing is easy. The trail runs along a beautiful stream and there are several wooden bridges to assist in crossing over any water ways.

Gearry Cemetery is located along the trail and visitors are welcome to pay their respects to those buried there. Along the trail, hikers will discover several foundations of old buildings. These can be explored, but no digging or metal detecting is allowed.  Some of the sites are posted, such as the site where the R. T. Noyes or Baxter Davis farms used to be.

Hikers who choose to take a small detour off the Ridge trail to visit the Mud Pond Bog will be rewarded with a scenic view of the pond. They will come to a boardwalk dedicated to Brian K. Simm who volunteered at Fox Forest. The boardwalk passes an education board that gives information about the plants found in the area, such as winterberry holly, tamarack, maple and black spruce trees; it then leads out to a small bird and wildlife blind that is screened. Visitors may sit undisturbed by insects and watch for wildlife that visit this tranquil spot.

There is a nice network of trails that connect to each other at the Fox Forest, and several trailheads to choose from, so hikers can hike these trails multiple ways before having to repeat a hike.

Fox Forest info: The forest is roughly 1445 acres and has close to 22 miles of hiking trails. The Fox Forest is made possible thanks to the generous donation of Caroline Fox back in the 1920’s who donated land as well as what is now the Headquarter building: this building was once Caroline Fox’ summer home. Ms. Fox was interested in wildlife and forest conservation, she established a trust fund so that the forest and wildlife she cared so much about could continue to be cared for long after her death.

If there are any downed trees, or other problems along the trail, the stewards of Fox Forest have requested that users either leave a note on the office door, or email them to let them know. The email is: foxforest@dred.nh.gov. The telephone number is 603-646-3453.

For more information about Fox Forest, please visit the following link:

https://www.nh.gov/nhdfl/natural-heritage/state-owned-reservations/fox-forest.htm

Explore 76 trails near Hillsboro, NH
  1. Parking

    43.138317, -71.913382
  2. Main Trailhead

    43.138355, -71.913528
No community routes found. To add your own hike as a Community Route for this Trail guide, leave a Trip Report with an attached GPX file.

Hazards

Ticks - Lyme Disease More Info (CDC)
Poison Ivy/Oak

Seasons

All

Blaze Color

White

Blaze Dot

Red

Photo Albums

1 Trip Report

No Star-Ratings
Write-up by:
2Adamswalking user profile picture
4.0 miles / 6.4 km
Trail added
July 06, 2019
Hiked on
July 06, 2019
Updated on
February 22, 2024

Weather Forecast

In Hillsboro, NH

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