Want to bang out six miles before the sun hits high noon? Want to challenge yourself to a rolling walk in the woods, with a plethora of wild life that surrounds the many ponds that cover Southern New Hampshire?
If your answer is yes to the above questions, then you have come to the right place, as Pisgah National Park has everything a snowshoe enthusiast could want, and absolutely nothing they don’t.
Lets face it; our epic days in the woods can be few-and-far-between. With the constant outside distractions affecting our free time, it can be hard to really sink our teeth into a winter adventure without feeling a tad bit guilty about the many other less enjoyable tasks that we are required to perform in our daily lives.
There is a two prong approach to explaining why Pisgah and, for more specific purposes, the Kilburn Loop Trail is the perfect way for those outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy a wonderful day of snowshoeing in less time then it would take to fix that all-too-neglected leaky sink.
At 6.7 miles, the Kilburn Loop may strike some fear into those deadline driven individuals. However, taking a closer look at the details of this trek will reveal that 6.7 miles of Kilburn is far more enjoyable and doable in the matter of four hours, then four miles on many other trails.
The loop naturally follows the rim of Kilburn Pond, a large body of water that stretches approximately a mile in length and is one of the first natural phenomenons that you encounter along the trail.
Due to the numerous entry points to the edge of Kilburn pond, this snowshoe will afford hikers numerous vantage points of the pond. The many expansive rock ledges that cover the pond’s edge, which give hikers an elevated vantage point, further enhance the many views of the pond and its surroundings.
Although the trail map, which I miraculously remembered to pack this time, lead me to believe that there is but one pond on this trail, as I reached slightly lower altitudes and Kilburn Pond went out-of-sight, I began to hear the sounds of a raging brook traveling down the trail with me. This brook, which gave me yet another compelling view of the landscape also lead to another pond, one that was much smaller, yet still captured my attention for more than a mere moment.
Given the adventurous debacle which I had subjected myself to in my last scouting expedition, I was fairly confident that given the mild elevation changes, and the reassurance that I was following the one and only trail on this loop, that this trip would go off without a hitch.
Well, except for the fact that I printed the wrong map for this expedition, which was for another trail in the Pisgah State Park, I was correct.
There are two things that can turn a wonderful day in the snow into a day that you wished you never strapped those snowshoes on: Being lost or being subject to a hike that takes much longer than planned.
With the largest climb in elevation measuring at approximately 300 feet, the entire hike took me exactly two hours and 40 minutes. Although my later winter hike will be encumbered by my 9 inch by 30 inch snowshoes, which will likely add an additional hour to the trip, there is no doubt in my mind that a morning on the Kilburn Loop and an afternoon underneath the kitchen sink are entirely within the realm of possibilities.