Conditions at NH Audubon Sanctuaries this Winter

Posted on February 15, 2011

Winter undoubtedly has a firm grip on NH this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to wait until spring to take a hike on your favorite NH Audubon wildlife sanctuary. Strap on a pair of snowshoes, grab a trail guide, and you’ll be ready to go! Breaking trail – being the first person to hike a trail after the snow – can be quite rewarding, but exhausting, too. For this, and for safety reasons, it’s always a good idea to hike with others in winter. Cross-country skiing is another way to go, although you may prefer to find a groomed snowmobile corridor unless you’re really ambitious. NH Audubon partners with local snowmobile clubs at the Dahl, Pondicherry, and Bear Mountain Wildlife Sanctuaries. Club members maintain trails in winter and provide additional recreational opportunities for sanctuary users. In these cases, snowmobiles are only permitted on NH Audubon approved snowmobile corridors, so if you notice off-trail snowmobile use, be sure to let us know!

Though NH Audubon doesn’t plow out parking spots for all of its sanctuaries, many of our most popular wild places are accessible all winter ,thanks in part to some of our dedicated volunteers and neighbors.
Still, other sanctuaries are accessible only by roadside parking (but please keep in mind state and town parking laws, and roadside space may be limited!) At some sanctuaries, however, we are unable to maintain a winter parking area, and these will remain the domain of the wild until spring. So if you can’t access your favorite sanctuary this winter, try exploring one of these several places around the state where parking is available all winter long:

  • Silk Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Concord (parking at the McLane Center)
  • Deering Wildlife Sanctuary, Deering (parking at the upper parking area only)
  • Willard Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Antrim
  • Kensan-Devan Wildlife Sanctuary, Marlborough (parking in plowed roadside pullout at the junction of Route 124 and Underwood Road)
  • Pondicherry Refuge, Jefferson (parking at Mud Pond Trail lot or roadside along Airport Road)
  • Massabesic Wildlife Sanctuary, Auburn (parking at the Massabesic Center)
  • Bellamy River Wildlife Sanctuary, Dover (usually enough parking for two cars)
  • Hoyt Wildlife Sanctuary, Madison (parking at Purity Spring Resort/King Pine Ski Area)
  • Dahl Wildlife Sanctuary, North Conway (parking in Settler’s Green shopping area near LL Bean)

For more information, or to report problems, please contact Phil Brown at or call (603) 224-9909×334