Trail Name: Boulder Trail
Trail Description: Dana Mitchell and Southern New Hampshire Trail Guide. 3rd Edition. 2010. Compiled and Edited by Gene Daniell and Steven D. Smith. Appalachian Mountain Club Books. Boston, MA.
Boulder Trail – Description
The Boulder Trail (blazed blue) is typically accessed via the Wood Road parking area. The entrance to this parking area is off of Wood Road, which is approximately 1.6 mi. south of the Gunstock Resort entrance on NH11A. From the Wood Rd. parking area, the bottom of the Boulder Trail can be reached by following the Fire Road (not blazed) and Round Pond Trail (blazed red). Be sure and cross the bridge on the Fire Road where the East Gilford Trail leaves right and continue 0.7 mi.to the intersection with the Round Pond Trail. Continuing left (south) up hill on the round Pond Trail to where the Round Pond Trail intersects the Round Pond-Piper Link Trail (blazed green) at 1.4 mi. From the intersection with the Round Pond-Piper Trail Link it is another 0.8 mi to the base of the Boulder Trail.
The Boulder Trail (blazed blue) starts at its junction with the Round Pond – Piper Link Trails (Sign) and climbs the southeast slope of Belknap Mt. to its intersection with the East Gilford Trail about 0.4 mi below the summit of Belknap Mt. The trail is marked with blue blazes and cairns. It is short but relatively steep for nearly all of its length.
From the Round Pond – Piper Link Trail junction, the Boulder Trail rises quickly to a small boulder jumble where the trail moves slightly to the right. Again moving through mixed hardwood forest, the trail makes a left turn and immediately traverses a more substantial boulder jumble where caution should be used in wet or icy weather. After another short section of woods the trail enters out onto the first of three open ledges that all offer views to the south and west Lake Winnipesauke is not visible from this vantage point, however). Blueberries are readily available on the open parts of the trail by mid to late July.
The first two ledges are smaller and the trail on each ledge is marked by cairns before returning to a wooded path. The final ledge is much more substantial and is marked by blue blazes and many large cairns. The trail rises to the top of the third open ledge to the intersection of the East Gilford Trail (blazed yellow). About 100 ft. from this intersection, a stone “easy chair” has been constructed to the left of the trail.
CAUTION: This trail is short but very steep. It is more suited to going up than down. In wet, icy or inclement weather, hiking down could be extremely difficult and potentially dangerous. The numerous open ledges and limited cover make it a poor choice if there is a risk of an electrical storm.
Hiking distances and times from the Wood Road Parking Area:
- To the base of Boulder Trail junction with the Round Pond – Piper Link Trail – via the Fire Rd., Round Pond Trail and Round Pond – Piper Link Trails: 2.2 mi., 670 ft., 2 hr.
- From the base of the Boulder Trail to the intersection with the East Gilford Trail: (2100 ft.) 0.4 mi., 550 ft., 30 min.
- From the Piper-Belknap col to the base of the Boulder Trail: 1.0 mi, -260 ft., 1 hr.