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Gentian Pond Out and Back

Intermediate/Difficult
  4.0 ( 1 ) Favorite

Trail

7.9 mile 12.7 kilometer out and back
87% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,449' 442 m
Descent: -1,450' -442 m
High: 2,168' 661 m
Low: 722' 220 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 43% (23°)

Dogs

Off-leash
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Trail shared by Charles Danforth

One of the most wonderful spots in the Mahoosucs.

Charles Danforth

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views

Overview

This is one of the quickest ways from pastoral Shelburne to high Mahoosuc splendor. You'll run a gradually-ascending logging road for 2.5 miles (spectacular in the fall) before starting the steep climb up to Gentian Pond and the Appalachian Trail. The final half mile is very steep, switchbacking across rocky ledges, before arriving at the AT shelter near the lake.

Need to Know

The lower portions of the route border private property on the left side. Please follow signed trails only in this region. Logging operations are occasionally active in the area. Watch for trucks on the road.

Description

Start at the junction of North Road and Meadow Road in Shelburne and run up the wide Millbrook Road. This road is passable by passenger cars for at least a mile and you may find occasional logging trucks sharing the "trail" with you.

Don't worry, it gets better.

After two miles and a couple of decent but doable hills, you'll cross the Mill Brook and start to climb purposefully toward the mountains ahead. Look carefully at 2.5 miles for a signed junction on the right for the Austin Brook Trail. Bear right half a mile later as the trail to Dryad Falls splits left. Continue climbing through birch, beech, and pine forest. The slope eases at mile 3.5 as you traverse some beaver bogs before meeting the final climb up to the lake and shelter.

Flora & Fauna

Moose and mosquitos.

History & Background

Gentian Pond is the last shelter on the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire for northbound runners (or the first for southbound) and marks the beginning of the challenging Mahoosuc Range. Much more adventure awaits beyond!

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  4.0 from 1 vote

#3321

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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Featured Run Rankings

#36

in New Hampshire

#3,321

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31 Views Last Month
199 Since Jun 14, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

New Hampshire has the best fall colors of anywhere on earth. This is from the beaver meadows below Gentian Pond.
Jun 15, 2019 near Berlin, NH
Gentian Pond below the shelter.
Jun 14, 2019 near Berlin, NH
Slippery when wet! The final climb up to Gentian Pond looks like this.
Jun 15, 2019 near Berlin, NH
Blissful green tunnel running on the way up to Gentian Pond.
Jun 15, 2019 near Berlin, NH

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