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Bear Brook's forty miles of trails, leading to seldom visited marshes, bogs, summits and ponds, offer a variety of options.

Bear Brook State Park has a number of trails enjoyed by hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. A walk around Hayes Marsh is apt to be very rewarding, especially in the early morning or evening when the beavers, muskrats and great blue herons are most active. Follow Lane Trail from Hayes Field where it leaves Podunk Road, just 200 yards past (west) Hayes Farm Trail. The trail to the marsh leaves from the dirt road, to the left, just after it enters the woods. It leads through the woods to the Hayes Farm Trail, which continues left to the far edge of the marsh. The distance from the marsh to Podunk Road is .5 mile.

For those interested in attaining some height, a hike up 721-foot Catamount Hill should fit the bill. Catamount Trail begins off One-Mile Trail which is accessed from a trail adjacent to the park toll booth. The rocky trail ascends steeply .5 mile to the relatively open summit and ridge.

Hedgehog Ledge Trail, accessed from Podunk Road, .2 mile (west) past Hayes Field, offers a look at one of the original Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) trails built in the 1930's. The trail leads through a boulder field at the base of Bear Hill. Stone revetments and steps, originally built by the CCC stationed at Bear Brook Camp, are visible along the way.

Two other popular hikes are the 1.5 mile loop trail around Beaver Pond which begins and ends at the campground and the short hike to Smith Pond. The Broken Boulder Trail, which crosses the campground road just past (south) Archery Pond, leads to Smith Pond. The bog at Smith Pond makes it an especially interesting destination.

Directions: From Allenstown, NH, Travel SR 28 north and turn right onto Dodge Road. The park is about 1 mile east. Parking is available in Hayes Field off Podunk Road and in the lot across from the junction of Campground and Podunk Roads.

Elevation: 500 feet

Distance: 40 miles

Difficulty: Varies

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Bear Brook State Park, New Hampshire

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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