Some of my favorite places include Smith Pond (including Little and Big Dog Falls), Bicknell Brook (Colette Trail), and Grafton Pond. I seem to find myself driving down Route 4A a lot in my free time. I visited all three this past week after heavy rain over Christmas wiped out most of the white stuff.
Big Dog Falls and Smith Pond Brook
The rain that wiped out most of the snow made the hike up to Big Dog Falls much faster than using snowshoes and created spring-like flows over the falls. Big Dog Falls is a 1.6-mile jaunt from the 4A parking lot and the hike is very relaxing, especially the last half-mile to the falls with the roaring brook by your side.
Bicknell Brook and the Colette Trail
The next day I visited Bicknell Brook, located just off Boys Camp Road in Enfield, NH. Bicknell Brook is by far the easiest and best place to get a nature fix. The hiking is easy (it can be icy in the winter) and offers views of cascading waterfalls, beautiful marsh/wetlands, and access to Crystal Lake.
Little Dog Falls - Smith Pond Shaker Forest Conservation Area
Yes, Little Dog Falls is smaller than Big Dog Falls, but in my opinion, it packs a bigger punch. It does not matter the time of year; it always a treat to visit.
Half Mile Pond
Instead of taking a left to Smith Pond and Little Dog Falls, take the right to Half Mile Pond. It is a 1.6 mile out and back trail takes you along some of the highest elevations around Smith Pond and offers a birds-eye view of Smith Pond. The end of the trail takes you to the isolated Half Mile Pond.
Grafton Pond Reservation
While the much-needed rain has made the streams and rivers almost overflow, it has not changed the hi-water mark at Grafton Pond. In October, the state released its water to help with the drought downstream and perform maintenance to the dam.
The low water has made Grafton Pond very interesting by enabling creatures with legs able to walk the now dry shores. The day we visited, it was cold and windy, and half-way through our stroll, a blinding snow squall appeared out of nowhere.