Hiking in the watershed will give you many different perspectives of Newfound Lake. There are several locations that serve as “hubs” for hiking trails. These are listed below:
Grey Rocks Conservation Area (directions) (trail map)
Park at the Grey Rocks Conservation Area on N. Shore Road to access all trails including the Cockermouth River Loop, Floodplain Loop, and Sandy Point Trail. From the parking lot, follow signs, on foot, down N. Shore Rd to the Cockermouth River Loop. A short walk brings you to the river platform across from the Charles Bean Sanctuary. After returning to the parking lot, hike along the Floodplain Loop. This includes two bridges and another platform. Extend your hike further by walking out on the Sandy Point Trail. The sandy opening offers a great picnic area and views up to Bald Knob and Crosby Mountain.
Goose Pond & Sugarloaf Conservation Area- (directions) (trail map)
You may choose to park at the Wellington State Park (fee) or the Elwell Trailhead across the street (W. Shore Rd). Wellington offers a great loop along the shore of Newfound while the Elwell trail takes you to expansive views of the lake or the secluded Goose Pond area.
Newfound Audubon Center- (directions) (trail map)
The Newfound Audubon Center is home to a fantastic Nature Center (seasonal), boat rentals, and a trail system. The trails lead you along the north shore of the lake with several views to the south.
AMC Cardigan Lodge- (directions) (buy a trail map)
As part of the AMC trail network, Cardigan Mountain is a gem. It is known for it’s exposed summit with 360 degree views and a fire tower. This is a must for avid hikers in the lakes region. Feeling adventurous? Stay the night at the summit cabin, base lodge or in a tent!
Other Must-See hikes:
Sculptured Rocks- A geological wonder in the heart of the Newfound Watershed. Bring a bathing suit! (directions)
Slim Baker Conservation Area- Located near downtown Bristol, this area is loaded with hiking trails including Inspiration Point. From this point you can see Cardigan, Tenney Mountain and beyond. (directions)
Use the interactive map below for more information on trails. This map features information from NH Mountain Hiking.