East Gilford Trail

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Trail Name: East Gilford Trail
Gilford, NH
Trail Description: Southern New Hampshire Trail Guide. 3rd Edition. 2010. Compiled and Edited by Gene Daniell and Steven D. Smith. Appalachian Mountain Club Books. Boston, MA.
East Gilford Trail – Description
The East Gilford Trail (blazed yellow) is one of the most attractive on the Belknap Range. From NH11A, 1.7 mi. south of the Gunstock Mountain Resort Road or 2.7 mi. west of NH 11, turn west onto Bickford Rd., then at 0.2 mi. turn left on Wood Rd. In another 0.1 mi., just before reaching a house, bear left on a narrow gravel road (sign: TRAIL PARKING). Follow this road for 0.1 mi. to a parking area in an old gravel pit. Be aware that this area is sometimes used for logging operations and is closed to vehicles at dusk.  There is a five-car limit at this parking area; if full, there is a small overflow parking turnout on Bickford Rd.

NOTE: The parking Area is not plowed in winter and parking is VERY Limited on Bickford Road. Therefore, car pooling is highly recommended. There is NO PARKING on Wood Road especially in the driveway leading to the house at the end of the road.

Please note that the trailhead and lower part of the trail are on private land protected by conservation easement; in this area dogs must be leashed and any waste from your canine friend picked up and packed out.

Continue along the road on foot past a gate, descending slightly. At 0.1 mi. from the parking area the East Gilford Trail bears right at a fork. (The left branch here, the East Gilford Fire Road, immediately crosses the Poorfarm Brook on a bridge and runs 0.6 mi. to a jct. with the Round Pond Trail 0.8 mi. below Round Pond.) The East Gilford Trail climbs gently, crosses a haul road between clear cuts (cut in 2011) and passes a cellar hole on the right. At 0.3 mi. the multi-use Round Pond Trail (red-blazed, marked B20) from the Gunstock Mountain Resort to Round Pond enters on the right, and at 0.5 mi. it diverges to the left. The trail immediately crosses into the Belknap State Forest blue markers and begins to climb moderately, crosses a drainage twice, swings right and soon turns sharp left and more steeply, and at 0.9 mi. it passes to the left of an interesting rock formation where nearly perfectly rectangular blocks of rock have been riven from a ledge by frost action. The trail winds back and forth, angling up the ledgy face of the mountain, and views begin to appear. The trail climbs steeply over two sections of ledge. The ledges are slippery when wet. At 1.4 mi., just above an excellent outlook over Lake Winnipesaukee, the blue-blazed Boulder Trail (part of the Belknap Range Trail) enters on the left (sign). Now coinciding with the Belknap Range Trail, the East Gilford Trail continues across ledges and through patches of woods at a moderate grade and joins the White Trail, which enters from the left at 1.7 mi. The trails coincide (blazed yellow and white) and ascend at an easy grade, soon swinging right around a communications building, then rejoining the original route and following under a powerline to the summit and its fire tower.Descending, East Gilford Trail and White Trail begin at the summit ledge on the south side of the fire tower, follow under a powerline for 70 yd., then diverge left onto the relocation.

Distances from parking area off Wood Rd. (1,110 ft.):

  • to junction with Boulder Trail (2 ,100 ft.): 1.4 mi. (2.3 km.), 1,000 ft., 1 hr. 10 min.
  • to summit of Belknap Mtn. (2,382 ft.): 1.9 mi. (3.1 km.), 1,250 ft., 1 hr. 35 min.