Deering Sanctuary and Black Fox Pond

Destinations:  Deering Sanctuary, Black Fox Pond
Trails:  R.E. Clement Path, etc.
Region:  NH - Southwest  
Location:  Deering, NH
Rating:  Easy  
Features:  Pond, brook, stone walls, cellar holes
Distance:  Approximately 5.0 miles  
Elevation Gain:  200 feet (high point minus low point)  
Hiking Time:  Actual: 4:00   Typical: 5:10  
Outing Duration:  Typical: 6:30  
Season:  Fall
Hike Date:  12/15/2007 (Saturday)  
Weather:  Temperatures in the teens
Author:  Reinhild Davis
Companion:  Five SDHers

Trail Guide   

Somewhere between the many snowstorms, five hikers managed to get in a four-hour snowshoe walk (the terrain is too rough for cross-country skis) in a beautiful snowy winter wonder landscape.

Deering Sanctuary provides the opportunity for a rambling country walk by a pond and through fields and woods. This was kind of a backwards hike, since we started at the height of the land and then hiked down to Black Fox Pond and then back up to the cars.

Group (photo by Mark Malnati) Group (photo by Mark Malnati)

The temperature was in the teens the whole day, so we took short breaks, several times along the way, eating a quick lunch at a trail crossing.

The last trek uphill on the R.E. Clement path, which took us back to the road, was a good workout. I estimate we did about 4 or 5 miles or so. After wishing each other Happy Holidays, we departed to ready ourselves for the next storm.

Snowy brook (photo by Mark Malnati) Pond (photo by Mark Malnati)

NH - Southwest

  Driving Directions   

  • From the center of Hillsboro, go south on Rt. 149.
  • After 1 mile turn left onto Clement Hill Road.
  • After 1.5 miles (you are now on a dirt road) turn right at a big sign.
  • Go sharply up a hill.
  • The parking area is at the height of the land on the right after less than a mile.

Since the roads leading to the sanctuary are not paved and a bit steep, winter and spring conditions may make access to the sanctuary difficult.
Trail (photo by Mark Malnati) Swamp (photo by Mark Malnati)

  About Deering Sanctuary

Deering Sanctuary is an Audubon Society property consisting of about 500 acres. It is managed to encourage wildlife and has a great network of trails for exploring the varied terrain.

As is the case with much of New Hampshire, this area was once used for agriculture. Testifying to this history, you will spot many stone walls and cellar holes as you amble about the paths. The remains of an old apple orchard provide food for the deer that frequent the preserve. Other animals in the sanctuary include porcupine and foxes.

The 36-acre Black Fox Pond is an artificial pond created by the damming of Smith Brook. The shoreline is totally undeveloped and you can see signs of beaver and otter activity. Otter signs are more likely to be evident in winter when they create slides in the snow and leave tracks across the frozen pond.

Bird nesting boxes have been erected around the pond and in the more open parts of the property to encourage species like bluebirds, great crested flycatchers, and wood ducks. In the orchards you may spot scarlet tanagers or indigo buntings since they like to nest in this type of habitat.

The ground cover in the spring and summer is a carpet of wildflowers; maiden pinks and starflowers jostle for space amongst the wood strawberry and meadowsweet, providing a perfect setting for butterflies and other nectar-loving insects.

Stone cellar (photo by Mark Malnati)


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