Webster Slide Mtn. and Wachipauka Pond

Destinations:  Webster Slide Mtn. (2184'), Wachipauka Pond (1500')
Trails:  Wachipauka Pond Trail, Webster Slide Trail, Appalachian Trail
Region:  NH - Central West  
White Mountain National Forest, Middle Connecticut River
Location:  Warren, NH
Rating:  Moderate  
Features:  Summit, views, pond
Distance:  6.4 miles  
Elevation Gain:  1800 feet (cumulative)  
Hiking Time:  Actual: 3:33   Typical: 4:10  
Outing Duration:  Typical: 5:30  
Season:  Summer
Hike Date:  08/03/2002 (Saturday)  
Last Updated:  08/30/2008  
Weather:  75-80 degrees in the shade, humid
Author:  Webmaster

Wachipauka Pond (photo by Webmaster) Route Summary   

  • Start at the eastern terminus of Wachipauka Pond Trail, on Route 25 in Warren. This is also the Appalachian Trail (AT). Follow the white blazes on the west side of the road (the Appalachian Trail also continues on the east side of Route 25).
  • After 2.3 miles, upon reaching a 4-way intersection, take a right and head up Webster Slide Trail for 0.7 mile to the Webster Slide ledge outlook.
  • Go back down to the trail intersection and continue straight ahead for 0.2 mile to reach the shore of Wachipauka Pond.
  • Again, retrace your steps back up to the trail junction, take a right and follow Wachipauka Pond Trail (AT) for 2.3 miles back to the parking area in Warren.

Place         Split
Parking area on Rt. 25 (1050') 0.0 0.0 0:00 0:00
Top of steep section (1600') 1.0 1.0 0:35 0:35
Jct. Wachipauka Pond Trail (AT)/Webster Slide Trail (1650') 1.3 2.3 0:43 1:18
Webster Slide ledge outlook (2180') 0.7 3.0 0:33 1:51
Jct. Wachipauka Pond Trail (AT)/Webster Slide Trail (1650') 0.7 3.7 0:26 2:17
Wachipauka Pond (1500') 0.2 3.9 0:05 2:22
Jct. Wachipauka Pond Trail (AT)/Webster Slide Trail (1650') 0.2 4.1 0:07 2:29
Top of steep section (1600') 1.3 5.4 0:38 3:07
Parking area on Rt. 25 (1050') 1.0 6.4 0:26 3:33

Map of hiking route to Webster Slide Mountain and Wachipauka Pond (map by Webmaster)

  Trail Guide   

Overall this was a moderate trail but it did have some steep sections (and some easy ones too). The trail went through nice woods and there were lots of daddy long legs and little toads and chipmunks. Wachipauka Pond Trail is part of the Appalachian Trail so it was well blazed in white.

Webster Slide Mountain as seen from field near beginning of Wachipauka Pond Trail (photo by Webmaster) From the parking area, where there is a wide opening in the trees, head up the woods road for about 25 feet. There will be what looks like a nice rails-to-trails route crossing left and right (perhaps a good jogging or cross-country skiing route?). There is a woods road across the trail which shortly leads to a big field. From the field is a great prospect of the upper part of Webster Slide Mountain and its sheer rock face. Wachipauka Pond Trail stays just to the left of this woods road, on a narrow footpath and is marked by blazes.

This trail started out deceptively easy then after a half-mile turned into a steep climb. It was tough with my heavy pack and high temperatures (75-80 degrees in the shade). A mile from the trailhead, I hit the height-of-land and got a break from the steepness. The path ascends easily for 0.2 mile to reach its high point (but not the summit) on Wyatt Hill. After this there were some mild inclines but mostly descending and level terrain until reaching Webster Slide Trail, which is 2.3 miles into the hike.

There were lots of ferns and wildflowers (mostly not in bloom) along the trail: blue bead lily, bunchberries with bright red berry clusters, possibly star flower and rose twisted stalk. There were quite a few bugs but they weren't bothersome - they were buzzing around but did very little biting. There were a few fall leaves on the ground! Hard to believe - autumn feels a long ways away in this heat. I thought maybe people dyed them and left them on the trail but then I saw one fall with my own eyes - they were yellow and green and edged in orange.

The trail had some roots and rocks but it was mostly easy footing. In the section preceding the pond, some areas looked like they'd be wet/muddy during wet seasons but there were logs and rocks to mitigate this problem. When the pond first comes into sight, a spur path leads left, down almost to the edge and seems to parallel the shore although I didn't follow it. The shoreline along the spur trail was overgrown with shrubs. Wachipauka Pond Trail runs roughly parallel to the northwest side of pond before intersecting Webster Slide Trail. In this section by the pond, the path was all rocks - sort of like a cobblestone sidewalk but the rocks were bigger and more uneven.

Wachipauka Pond as seen from the top of the ledges on Webster Slide Mountain (photo by Webmaster) At the junction of Wachipauka Pond Trail and Webster Slide Trail, I took a right to ascend to the ledges of Webster Slide Mountain. This trail also started out easy but then shortly transformed into an abrupt climb. The beginning had a couple muddy sections where I saw a moose print. One spot caught me off guard and almost sucked off my boot. After the steep section, the path levels out then goes through an overgrown area where ferns were almost chest high and the dirt track barely a foot wide. I walked past a "summit-elevation 2184" sign before reaching the outlook.

The summit was lightly wooded and had an inviting area for a bonfire. The breeze was light and refreshing up here and there were blueberry bushes scattered about. Wachipauka Pond could be viewed through the trees. There was only one spot that had an unobstructed view; but that was attained by going down a steep, slippery-looking sandy, rocky incline, and provided only a small, precarious, seat. The ledges drop off so abruptly that it felt like a true aerial view, as if I was flying overhead. Looking down and ahead, I could see views of local mountains and hills and most of the pond.

There was a canoe floating about. I later tried to follow the road that leads to the far shore of the pond, because I wanted to canoe on the pond too, but it was too rough for my low-underbody car. I went quite a ways and ran into some people on an ATV that were very surprised to see a car on that road. I've noticed on some maps that the last part of that route is depicted as a trail rather than a road so I wonder how that canoe found its way to the pond.

Retracing my steps down Webster Slide Trail, I went back to the trail junction, where a wide, unmarked path, leads straight down to the shore of the pond. The pond is very pretty and peaceful. Other than the canoeists, I was the only person around. There were several campsites near the shore and there was a big, old wire spool that served as a table and had a candle on it. There was also rope for stringing food up away from bears.

To get back to the car, I headed up the unnamed spur to the junction of Wachipauka Pond Trail and Webster Slide Trail. I took a right at the intersection and retraced my steps on Wachipauka Pond Trail to return to the parking area.

NH - Central West

  Driving Directions   

The trailhead is located on the west side of Rt. 25, in Warren, NH. It is a half-mile north of the intersection of Rt. 25 with High Street. There is an obvious dirt parking area along the road.

Other Notes   

WMNF Recreational Pass

A parking permit is required to park at White Mountain National Forest trailheads and parking areas. You can purchase a WMNF permit from the forest service and other vendors and can also pay-by-the-day using self-service kiosks located in many parking areas.

For more information on parking passes please refer to the White Mountain National Forest website.

  • $5 per day
  • $30 for a year-long pass
  • $40 for a year for a household

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