Pickering Pond – Rochester, NH


Overall Rating: 3/5
Swimming Not Allowed (Not really suggested, either…)
Handicap Accessible

Pickering Ponds is an odd but lovely little place for a quiet walk. It’s nicely tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Rochester, albeit in a slightly unnatural setting at one point (on one end of the pond, you’ll find the water treatment plant). There are a couple different trails here; one which loops around the main pond area and another which loops down to a walk along the Cocheco River for a bit, then back to the main trail.

For the most part, this is a pretty easy hike; there’s barely any elevation, including walking down and back up the hill to get to the river. The trail isn’t really marked, per say, but it’s easy to tell where the paths are and which direction you’re supposed to go. Even if you take a little side trail, it all ends up looping back together at some point. This is great for a day when you need to get your exercise in, but don’t want to over-exert yourself!

One of my favorite things about Pickering Ponds is to go midday when the sun is pretty high in the sky and it reflects and glows off of the pond. I don’t know if many other people love this like I do, but I find myself taking pictures like that quite often.  I don’t know what it is about that setting, but it makes my soul happy.

Besides the walk down to the river, the trail is pretty handicap and wheelchair accessible. That part might even be too, but I’ll leave that up to you who wish to venture.

To find Pickering Ponds, take Pickering Rd into Rochester. The parking area is across from 612 Pickering Rd. The parking area leaves about two spots abutting the gate and room enough for about four more cars down the drive.

Have fun and be safe!!

{Edit: I did a little bit more research on this area after drafting this post; when these photos were originally taken, we had visited in November 2016. As many across the country know (I may be assuming that, but I remember hearing it a lot on the national news), New England had a pretty terrible drought last year, and we’re just barely coming out of it now. As you can tell from one of the photos, the pond level was low around the edges and the dirt underneath was bone dry. However, I just want to point out that this is most definitely not the way you’d normally find this area and I don’t want it deterring anyone. As per pictures I have seen, this pond is usually much fuller, especially around snow melt and spring run off season, if not year round. I hope you still find yourself visiting here and enjoying yourself, despite how low the water looks in these photos. Have a good time out there!}


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