Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
3,182.00 ft (969.87 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
9.10 mi (14.64 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Nancy Pond and Norcross Pond are two beautiful mountain ponds located on the edge of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. They are accessible via the Nancy Pond Trail, a 3.9-mile trail through pleasant forest, beginning as an easy and shallow trail before becoming steep and more rocky. At around 2.4 miles, the trail passes the Nancy Cascades, a pretty set of waterfalls on the northern side of the trail. These cascades are much larger and more impressive in spring, but the scenery is still impressive in autumn.

The trail switchbacks past the falls, then continues on more technical terrain until reaching the first pond, Nancy Pond, at about 3.3 miles. The area here near the ponds is muddy in many areas, and the trail has many bog bridges. Hikers then continue along the Nancy Pond Trail to reach Norcross Pond at about 3.6 miles. When first approaching the pond, a beautiful viewpoint of the pond can be reached on the left side of the trail by forking left for about 20-30 meters towards the shore. The Nancy Pond Trail continues along the shoreline for 0.3 miles to reach the other end of Norcross Pond.

From the northwestern end of Norcross Pond at 3.9 miles, hikers have the option to summit Mount Nancy via an unofficial bushwhacking trail. Mount Nancy is not a 4000-footer and has no official, maintained trail to the summit, but does offer some views that stretch to the Presidential Range on a clear day. The trail is steep and narrow, but is very clear to follow considering that it is not marked. To find the trail, continue northeast from the northwestern end of Norcross Pond past a large upturned stump. Passing several large tentsites, begin to bear left along a trail that quickly sidehills to the north. The trail then ascends next to a short slide before bearing east towards the summit 0.6 miles from Norcross Pond.

The hike to Nancy and Norcross Ponds, with the option to include Mount Nancy, is a fun and scenic hike with options for overnight camping. Several tentsites exist near Norcross Pond, but most of this area lies within the Pemigewasset Wilderness, which prohibits camping within 200 feet of a trail or pond, except at designated campsites. Be sure to research camping regulations before camping at Norcross Pond, and follow Leave No Trace principles to protect this beautiful area and keep the wilderness wild!

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Beautiful views. Option to extend loop. Wildlife in area. Waterfalls.

Cons

Crowded at ponds. Campsites can fill up.

Trailhead Elevation

1,000.00 ft (304.80 m)

Highest point

3,927.00 ft (1,196.95 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Family friendly
Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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