Lucia's Lookout, Mill Pond, and North Pond

Destinations:  Lucia's Lookout (2493'), Mill Pond, North Pond
Trails:  Bear Pond Trail, Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, Five Summers Trail, Pamac Trail
Region:  NH - Southwest  
Pillsbury State Park
Location:  Washington, NH
Rating:  Easy/Moderate  
Features:  Views, ponds, brooks, loop hike
Distance:  11.0 miles  
Elevation Gain:  1250 feet (cumulative)  
Hiking Time:  Typical: 6:10  
Outing Duration:  Typical: 8:00  
Season:  Spring
Hike Date:  05/02/2009 (Saturday)  
Author:  Dennis Marchand
Companion:  Twelve SDHers

Pond (photo by Mark Malnati)


Route Summary   

This is a loop hike to Lucia's Lookout from Pillsbury State Park with part of the walk following the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway. From various points at Lucia's Lookout are views to the south, east, and west including Mount Monadnock, Ragged Mountain, and Mount Kearsarge. The trek also brings you by Mill Pond and North Pond.

Since this hike was done during Pillsbury State Park's off-season, it starts from the park's entrance gate on Route 31. If you are hiking during the open season, you can drive in on the 1.1-mile access road, thus reducing the overall hike by 2.2 miles.

To Lucia's Lookout:
  • From the park's entrance on Route 31, walk past the gate and follow the access road for 1.1 miles until it ends at a cul-de-sac at a picnic area in front of Mill Pond.
  • Pick up Five Summers Trail (may also be referred to as Pamac Trail) by taking a gravel road north from the cul-de-sac and then passing through a gate.
  • Follow Five Summers Trail for 0.5 mile which will bring you to a junction.
  • Spring beauty (photo by Mark Malnati)
  • Veer right on Bear Pond Road leaving Five Summers Trail to continue straight (we will revisit it during our descent).
  • Follow Bear Pond Road, up easy inclines, for 1.2 miles until it meets the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway at a T-junction.
  • Turn left on the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway.
  • Follow the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway for 1.7 miles, through some gentle ups and downs, which will bring you to a spur path on the left leading to Moose Lookout Campsite – Pillsbury State Park's only backcountry campsite.
  • Continue straight on the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway for an additional 1.2 miles to arrive at the junction with Five Summers Trail, which will be our return route.
  • For now, go straight, still on the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, and climb steeply for 0.2 mile to reach Lucia's Lookout which is a ledge with viewpoints to the south. Descend on a spur path to the right for 40 yards to reach an eastern viewpoint. And another outlook – this one to the west – can be found by continuing on the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway for 90 yards past Lucia's Lookout and then taking a short spur path to the left.

Return:
  • After enjoying the vistas, retrace your steps south on the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway for 0.2 mile back to the junction with Five Summers Trail.
  • Turn right onto Five Summers Trail which will take you all the way back to the cul-de-sac at the end of the park's access road.
  • After descending 3.3 miles on Five Summers Trail, and hiking past North Pond, you will be back at the junction with Bear Pond Trail which was encountered earlier in the hike.
  • Keep straight on Five Summers Trail and you will arrive back at the cul-de-sac after 0.5 mile.
  • From here, simply follow the park's access road for 1.1 miles to return to the entrance gate on Route 31.

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View from Lucia's Lookout (photo by Mark Malnati)

 
 
Place         Split
Miles
     Total
Miles
Park entrance on Rt. 31 (1600') 0.0 0.0
Five Summers Trailhead (1650') 1.1 1.1
Jct. Five Summers Trail/Bear Pond Trail (1660') 0.5 1.6
Jct. Bear Pond Trail/Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway (2040') 1.2 2.8
Jct. Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway/Five Summers Trail (2220') 2.9 5.7
Lucia's Lookout (2493') 0.2 5.9
Jct. Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway/Five Summers Trail (2220') 0.2 6.1
Jct. Five Summers Trail/Bear Pond Trail (1660') 3.3 9.4
Five Summers Trailhead (1650') 0.5 9.9
Park entrance on Rt. 31 (1600') 1.1 11.0
 
 




 

Click for the full trail map (it will open in a new window).   

Trail map of hike route to Lucia's Lookout (map courtesy of Pillsbury State Park)


Trail Guide   

This loop hike starts at Pillsbury State Park in Washington, New Hampshire. We hiked up to Lucia's Lookout, which is partially on the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway. With only about 1,250 feet of elevation gain over the course of the 11-mile trek, it was fairly easy.

This is a really nice out-of-the way park with good campsites, some on the water and even a backpacking site. They also rent canoes in season. If you look at the pictures, you'll see it's a great place for canoeing too.

Twelve hikers met up at the park for a nice day of hiking over varied terrain. Since the park was closed, we had to park at the entrance gate which meant we hiked 11 miles instead of an expected 8.8 miles – luckily the 11 miles weren't hard miles. Finding the Five Summers Trailhead was a little confusing with no trail signs until we got to the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway – good thing I brought my Hiking New Hampshire book by Larry Pletcher which describes this loop hike in Chapter 27.

Brook (photo by Mark Malnati)


The hike up to the greenway was steady but not too steep. Once on the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, it was just a walk in the park. There were lots of wildflowers coming out; I've never seen so many trilliums. I wouldn't have minded just walking back and forth on this section.

The black flies weren't bad all the way up; of course we slathered enough repellent on at the beginning of the hike to stop any horde. Nearing Lucia's Lookout it got a bit steep, but it wasn't very long and then we were there. Nice views, good breezes, and we even had three turkey vultures soaring overhead.

We hiked back down via Five Summers Trail which was a bit mucky and buggy. Towards the end, the trail brought us past North Pond. After returning to our cars, we went off for ice cream at Beech Hill Farm in Hopkinton. Good ice cream with farm animals. Another good hike with excellent weather and company.
 


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Windmill (photo by Mark Malnati) SDH at a brook crossing (photo by Diane King)

 


NH - Southwest



  Driving Directions   

Pillsbury State Park is located in Washington, New Hampshire.

From I-89:
  • From I-89, take Exit 5 onto Routes 202 and 9 West.
  • Follow the combined Routes 202 and 9 West to Hillsborough.
  • Beyond Hillsborough, where the routes split, follow Rt. 9 West for about 1.5 miles.
  • Upon reaching the junction with Rt. 31, turn off of Rt. 9 and get onto Rt. 31 North.
  • Follow Rt. 31 North for approximately 14 miles until reaching the park's entrance road on the right.
  • If the park is open, drive in, and after 0.2 mile, stop at the office to pay the entrance fee, before continuing another 0.9 mile to the cul-de-sac at Mill Pond where there is parking. During off-season, you will have to park at the entrance gate and walk down the access road to Mill Pond.

Hobblebush bloom (photo by Mark Malnati) Facilities   

In season:
  • picnic areas
  • camping
  • canoe rentals
  • toilets

Other Notes   

An entrance fee is charged in season.

For more information on entrance fees please refer to the New Hampshire State Parks Fees page.

Rates: (Subject to change.)
  • $5 for adults
  • $2 for children ages 6-11
  • Children ages 5 and under and NH residents age 65 and over are admitted free.

Five Summers Trail, and several other trails in the park, are used for snowmobiling during the winter.
 

 

Red trillium (photo by Mark Malnati) Trout lily (photo by Mark Malnati)

 


  About Pillsbury State Park   

Pillsbury State Park is located in Washington and Goshen, New Hampshire. In three separate parcels, it covers about 8,000 acres spanning forested areas, low mountains, and nine ponds.

Lucia's Lookout (2493') and Lovewell Mountain (2473') both offer good viewpoints and the 49-mile Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway trail passes through the park. The park offers a nice network of hiking trails, some Pond at Pillsbury State Park (photo by Mark Malnati) of which are also used by mountain bikers and snowmobilers.

The many ponds and wetlands make for great wildlife viewing, notably moose, beaver, and loons. Fishing and paddling are allowed on the ponds and canoe rentals are available in season. The park offers 40 primitive campsites scattered around the ponds with two being accessible only by boat; plus there's one backcountry site – Moose Lookout Campsite – along the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway. In the late 1700's and early 1800's the area was called Cherry Valley and overgrown mill sites and cellar holes can be found in the park.

The park's entrance is located on Route 31 in Washington, New Hampshire. In season a fee is charged and the gate will be open enabling you to drive on the access road to Mill Pond, most of the campsites, and a couple picnic areas. The park may be used during the off-season but the gate to the access road will be closed. The park is open roughly from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.

Pillsbury State Park
PO Box 1008
Washington, NH 03280
603.863.2860

Sky and bird (photo by Mark Malnati)


About Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway   

The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway is a 49-mile hiking trail that runs between Mount Monadnock and Mount Sunapee. It is located in southwestern New Hampshire and traverses mostly rolling hills and ridges that divide the Connecticut and Merrimack River drainages.

The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway route was laid out in 1921 by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. The trail runs through three New Hampshire state parks, and over 80 private land owners voluntarily agree to host the trail, and in some cases, campsites on their land.

A few favorite dayhikes on the Greenway are climbing Mount Monadnock, hiking through the Andorra forest at Pitcher Mountain, or moose watching in and around Pillsbury State Park. There are five campsites along the Greenway for those thru-hiking the entire trail; it normally takes 3–4 days to complete the full length.

Hiking trails should always be respected, but this is especially essential when private lands are involved because landowners can revoke trail-use privileges at any time. Leave no litter, pick up any litter you see left by others, stay on the trails, and don't light campfires (portable stoves are okay).

The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club (MSGTC) was formed in 1994. The club's mission is to continue trail maintenance efforts, support the volunteers and trail adopters, and promote awareness of this beautiful, remote, well-kept secret.

You can purchase the latest edition of The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Guide, (which includes a map) or just map from the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club.

The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway connects to the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail to the south which in turn connects to Metacomet and Mattabesett Trails in Connecticut further south. The linked trails collectively cover about 240 miles running from Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire south towards Long Island Sound in Connecticut.

Dennis on the trail to Lucia's Lookout (photo by Mark Malnati)


About Metacomet-Monadnock Trail   

The Metacomet-Monadnock Trail starts in Rising Corner, Connecticut near the Connecticut/Massachusetts state line and runs north for 114 miles. It traverses Massachusetts, and dips up into New Hampshire, ending at the summit of Mount Monadnock.

The Metacomet-Monadnock Trail was originally laid out by the late Professor Walter M. Banfield of the University of Massachusetts starting in the late 1950s. It made use of abandoned farm roads and existing hiking routes as well as blazing new trails.

Metacomet-Monadnock Trail leading over Mount Grace (photo by Webmaster) Portions of the route on Mount Monadnock and the Holyoke and Mount Tom Ranges date back as far as the 18th century. Early trail building was supported by various summit resort hotels, popular in the 19th century. Such resorts once stood on Mount Holyoke, Mount Nonotuck, Mount Tom, and Mount Monadnock (at the Halfway House site). Most of them had burned down or had became defunct by the early 20th century and never recovered.

Despite being easily accessible and close to large population centers, the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail is remarkably rugged and scenic and passes through some of the prettiest landscapes in Western Massachusetts.

The route includes many areas of unique ecologic, historic, and geologic interest. Features include waterfalls, dramatic cliff faces, exposed mountain summits, woodlands, swamps, lakes, river flood plain, farmland, and historic sites.

The trail is blazed with white painted rectangles on trees and rocks and supplemental white, metal, diamond-shaped signs affixed to trees and poles at road crossings and other trail intersections.

Much of the trail is considered easy hiking, with sections of rugged and moderately difficult hiking along the Holyoke and Mount Tom Ranges and on Mount Monadnock.

There are several primitive lean-to's and campsites, and a few campsites with facilities along the trail, but camping is discouraged in many areas. Campfires are generally prohibited, except in established fire rings in state park campgrounds.

A complete guidebook with topographic maps is published by the Appalachian Mountain Club.

The Metacomet-Monadnock Trail connects to the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway to the north and to Metacomet and Mattabesett Trails in Connecticut to the south. The linked trails collectively cover about 240 miles running from Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire south towards Long Island Sound in Connecticut.

More Pillsbury State Park and Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Reports   

 



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View from Lucia's Lookout (photo by Mark Malnati)

 

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