Monday, October 10, 2022

All Trails Lead to Ledge Pond

The Sunapee Conservation Commission invited the town to a walk in the woods to Ledge Pond by way of five trails for access to the pond.  A recently developed trail, Lucien Trail, was showcased on this hike. My wife Catherine and I, joined the Commission leaders and 40 or so residents, on this Commission-directed hike.

Ledge Pond has five defined trails:
  1. Lucien Trail (Yellow Arrow Marker)- recently prepared as a Boy Scout Eagle Scout Project by Lucien Osborn.
  2. Ledge Pond Trail (aka- the snowmobile trail)
  3. Meadowbrook Farm Trail
  4. Daniel Bean Trail (Red Arrow Marker)
  5. Bog Trail (a dead-end trail)

The Lucien Trail is a well-thought-out and very nice hike. The Lucien Trail is a circuit north and south of the existing snowmobile trail leading to the pond. The trail is a moderate effort of about 1 3/4 miles, with some elevation gain. The entrance to the Ledge Pond parking area is reached by taking a left before the Irving station in George’s Mills, onto Springfield Rd., immediately left onto Main Street, and then a right on Prospect Hill Rd. Meadow Brook Rd is on the left. 

During the hike, attending members of the Commission, Barbara, Tim, and Mark, shared the history of this Ledge Pond area and how George's Mills had once relied on the Pond for their water. Tim, Mark, and Lucien shared forest and animal life and the Lucien Trail construction.

Due to frequent stops to ask questions of our hosts, times and distances for the trip varied as not all of the hikers returned on the same trail. Outdoor Steve's trip was roughly two hours using the Lucien Trail up, and returning on the Meadowbrook, Daniel Bean, Ledge Pond, and Lucien Trails, covering 2.1 miles.

As referenced below titled Ledge Pond / Town of Sunapee, "the Town of Sunapee and its Conservation Commission donated a conservation easement protecting 41% of the shore frontage on Ledge Pond to the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust. The property was originally owned by the Town to protect the pond’s water quality; it was formerly used as the drinking water source for Georges Mills. The easement includes a total of 103.32 acres and over 5,100 feet of shore frontage.

The bulk of the property is a town forest, managed for timber as well as water protection, wildlife habitat, and pedestrian and snowmobile access by the public. Common loons nest on the pond, which is ranked among the highest-quality wildlife habitat in New Hampshire. A public parking area, located off of Meadow Brook Road, allows walkers/hikers to park and walk less than half a mile along a woods road to the pond. From there, hikers can take in the views of the pond or continue along trails in either direction which run near the shoreline and provide views of the pond, its shoreline, and sometimes of the loons themselves.

An established snowmobile corridor crosses the pond and enters the easement property making the property accessible to many in the winter also. We are grateful to the Town of Sunapee for ensuring that this pond will maintain much of its undeveloped shoreline."

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