Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful place in Northern NH that has a fabulous range of habitats including bogs, ponds, and lowland spruce-fir forest. There are fun boardwalks to explore as well as multiple trails, some of which lead you to viewing platforms with excellent views of the Northern Presidentials.
The 2 trails at the Trestle Bridge in Gorham make for great afternoon strolls. One is a wide gravel/dirt trail that makes a nice 30-45 minute loop. The second, The Power Island Loop, is primarily a mountain bike trail but also is nice for walking. Both trails are accessed by parking at the trestle bridge on Rt. 16 and then walking across the metal grating to the east side of the Androscoggin. Before crossing the bridge, be sure to check out the informational sign on the history of the river as well as hydro power in Gorham.
Trail 1 30-40 min; easy
The wide gravel and dirt trail makes a great loop for an easy stroll. It is even stroller accessible if you have a stroller with all-terrain wheels. After crossing the trestle bridge you can turn either way to begin the loop. If you turn to the left you will start out with the river on your left. You will soon pass the start to the Power Island Loop. Continue on the main path past the pond on your left. When you reach the T, turn to your left heading back towards the river. You will soon arrive at the dam. From there, turn right to follow the canal. You will cross over another dirt trail with a bridge on your left. At the end of the canal you will reach a second dam building. Turn right here following the river back north to the trestle.
Trail 2 – Power Island Loop 1 hr; easy
This is a narrow trail that was cut to be a mountain bike trail. Please be cautious of and give right of way to bikers while walking on this loop. That being said, it is a very scenic loop that travels through many different areas of forest and is slightly longer than Trail 1. To begin, cross over the trestle and go left. Just pass the grassy “beach” next to the river there is a small sign on a tree for the Power Island Loop. The trail is easy to follow. Twice it crosses over dirt roads. Eventually, after many twists and turns, it will meet back up with Trail 1 just about 50 yards south of the trestle.