By Andrew Post, SCA Interpretive Ranger
With 10,000 acres to explore, Bear Brook is one of the largest state parks in New Hampshire and has plenty to offer for every visitor. Throughout this post you will find some of my favorite locations to visit within the park along with photos and directions to help you find your way.
Looking for a great hill to hike? Look no further. Catamount Hill is the place for you. Catamount Hill features a well maintained trail, views from the top, and even blueberries!
As you make your way up the hill, keep an eye out for remnants of the old Catamount Quarry. To get there, start at the trail head by the Deerfield Rd tollbooth. Continue along the wide path until you come to a trail on your right with signs for Catamount. Follow to the top!
Bear Brook's Bear Brook
Easily accessible right off Podunk road, you will find the brook of Bear Brook meandering through the forest. A peaceful trail follows the brook from either side of the bridge. I encourage you to find an inviting boulder, make yourself comfortable, and experience the serenity of flowing water as it gently moves past you. To get there, follow Deerfield Rd until you get to Podunk Rd. The sign for Podunk is difficult to see so keep an eye out for the landmarks shown in the photo below.
Once on Podunk, drive down a short hill until you come to a bridge where Bear Brook can be found underneath. Park here and enjoy your walk!
Scattered throughout the park is evidence of those who lived here years ago. The Leavitt Cemetery is a place found back in the woods where mystery and wonder fill the minds of its visitors. Take a 1 mile walk through the woods to find this well preserved remnant of the 19th century. The feeling of coming across gravestones in the middle of the forest is surely a unique experience. To get there, follow Podunk Rd to the tollbooth, where you will stay to the right.
Drive uphill until you come to a sign for Hayes Field. Park here.
Across from Hayes field will be the trail head for Bobcat Trail. Walk down Bobcat until you come to Chipmunk trail on your right (on the Bear Brook trail map this section of Chipmunk is called Salt Lick). Continue on Chipmunk until you reach the Cemetery on your right, marked by a red sign and a border of larger boulders. Take a moment to read the names and dates on the gravestones and imagine what the lives of these people might have been like.
Discover the Power of Parks is presented by New Hampshire State Parks in collaboration with the Student Conservation Association and made possible by generous financial support from Eversource. The program offers a look into the natural world through hands-on programming.
Interpretive programs focus on connecting participants with nature and building appreciation for New Hampshire's unmatched natural heritage. Programs include guided hikes, interpretive tours, and imaginative environmental workshops for children and families. Programs are offered free to guests with paid park admission fee. No pre-registration is required.