Pondicherry Wildlife Sanctuary

Pondicherry Wildlife Sanctuary

166 Acres
9 Miles of Trails
Jefferson/Whitefield/Carroll, NH

Nestled beneath the mountains north of the Presidential Range, Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge has often been called one of the “crown jewels” of New Hampshire’s landscape, and visitors to the site will easily understand why. The ponds, wetlands, and forests of this refuge support a wide variety of significant ecological features. The sweeping views from the wetlands and ponds are truly unique, and the hiking trails through lowland spruce – fir forest provide an easy way to experience this characteristic natural community of New Hampshire’s North Country in person.

Pondicherry is a Division of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, and it is owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with New Hampshire Audubon and the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game (166 of the 6,450 total refuge acres is under NH Audubon ownership). A local Friends group also plays a role in the management of the refuge, and the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails has specific jurisdiction for the rail-trails. The refuge was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1972 by the National Park Service, and it was named the first Important Bird Area in New Hampshire. The Little Cherry Pond Trail and Mud Pond Trails were named National Recreation Trails in 2006 and 2011, respectively, by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Trailhead address: Presidential Rail Trail, 289 Airport Road, Whitefield, NH 03598.

Photo, top: Pondicherry sunrise, by Phil Brown.