Estimated Time: 1 hour round-trip
Distance: 1 mile round-trip
Lost Pond makes for a great afternoon hike and is wonderful for kids. There are many great “attractions” along the way to keep the entire family entertained. The hike begins across the street from the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center so park in the main lot. The trail to Lost Pond is part of the Appalachian Trail (AT) and as you head to the pond you will be following the AT north towards Katahdin.
You will first pass through a boggy area. When you are standing on the bridge, be sure to look around for evidence of some of the Notch’s permanent residents. On your left you will notice a beaver dam, and if you look to your right you might be able to spot the beaver lodge (their house).
Almost immediately after you cross the bridge the trail to Square Ledge will turn left. Continue straight following the white blazes. You will soon join up with the Ellis River. There are a couple good spots along the trail to get down by the water and dip your feet in. The trail will then leave the river and cross over a 2nd bridge. From here it will climb slightly through a rocky area before reaching the north end of the lake.
Follow the trail around the east side of the lake. There are multiple large rocks to sit on for a snack, lunch, or to simply take in the view. On a clear day you will be able to see across the notch to NH’s tallest peak, Mt. Washington. To the right of Washington you will see Mt. Adam’s and Mt. Madison. You should also be able to see Huntington Ravine, a glacial cirque that was carved out during the Ice Age.
From the south end of the lake you can turn around and retrace your steps back to Pinkham. If you want a more adventurous return you can continue until the trail meets the Wildcat Ridge Trail. Here, turn right. You will soon reach the Ellis River again. There is no bridge at this point, so you will need to wade or rock-hop across. Do not attempt this route after heavy rains as the river will be high and potentially quite rapid. From this point, either return to the parking lot along the road or head left to Glen Ellis Falls and then cross Rt. 16 to embark on a bigger loop – the Glen Boulder Trail to The Direttissima.