If for whatever reason you happen to be in the vicinity of Easton, NH, there are two very small hikes that you might want to consider. I'm talking about really small!
1) Mud Pond:
This little pond (about 4 acres) can be reached by an unmarked pathway that begins on the northbound side of Rt. 116. Finding the pathway can be more challenging than hiking the short 0.1 mile distance from the road down to the pond!
You can park at a wide spot along the shoulder of the road on the northbound side of Rt. 116. If you're coming from the north, this wide spot is about 3.1 miles south of Easton's Town Hall. If coming from the south, it's about 1.6 miles from the junction of Rt. 116 and Rt. 112. Just as one additional point of reference, this wide spot is about 0.2 mile south of the trailhead for the Jericho Road Trail that leads to Cooley Hill.
Once you've located the wide spot on the shoulder of the road, and your car is parked, you then need to walk a couple hundred feet south along the shoulder of Rt. 116 to reach the pathway to the pond.
Sometimes a picture is worth more than a thousand words. Shown below is a split photo. On the left panel you can see my parked car as viewed from the spot where the pathway begins. The right panel of the photo shows the appearance of the pathway as viewed from Rt. 116.
|Appearance of pathway to pond, as viewed from Rt. 116|
The pathway is not blazed, but is relatively easy to follow. Don't become discouraged by a large downed tree laying across the corridor near the beginning of the pathway. It can easily be circumvented by walking around it. Depending upon your walking speed, you should arrive at the pond within 5 to 10 minutes from the time you leave your car. As stated at the outset of this report, it's a very short hike!
Once at the shore of the pond, there are pleasant views of the water and the surrounding forest. However, you will need to do some light bushwhacking if you want a view of the pond with South Kinsman on the horizon, as seen in the next photo.
|View from western end of Mud Pond with South Kinsman on the distant horizon|
To get the view shown above, you need to trek westward along the shoreline of the pond for a short distance. There is a pathway, but it's very faint and difficult to follow in places, and it has some spots that can be boggy and muddy at times.
2) Cobble Hill Trailhead:
As difficult as it might be to believe, this next "hike" is even shorter than the one described above for Mud Pond!
By looking at the map shown below, it can be seen that it is a very short driving distance between the Cobble Hill Trail and Mud Pond.
|Map showing locations of the two short hikes described in this report|
There are two picturesque spots that can be reached by parking at the trailhead for the Cobble Hill Trail. By walking about a 100 yards up the Cobble Hill Trail, you can reach an attractive little cascade along Dearth Brook. To access it, you need to leave the east side of the trail and go down an embankment that is short, but somewhat steep.
The next photo shows the cascade as it appeared on the day of my hike in early October. Although still picturesque, I've been there at times of high water and it has had a more dramatic appearance.
|Cascade along Dearth Brook (located about 100 yds from trailhead for Cobble Hill Trail)|
Across the road (Rt. 112) from the Cobble Hill trailhead, is a dirt road. By trekking along this road for a hundred yards or so, you will come to the banks of the Wild Ammonoosuc River. From this vantage point are very pleasant views of this scenic waterway.
|View of Wild Ammonoosuc River, just a short walk from trailhead for Cobble Hill Trail|
To sum it up, most folks would likely agree that neither of the above destinations are worth making a special trip. However, if you're in the area for whatever reason, then either or both are worthy of a few minutes of your time.