Smith Pond Shaker Forest, Enfield
By: Jennifer Hansen
Route: Smith Pond Shaker Forest, Enfield
Percentage runnable: 95% with a steep section or two
Elevation change: 800'+/-
Ease of Navigation: The trail is lovingly maintained (see photo of one of the many nice bridges) and very well-marked with blue blazes and several kiosks with maps. Trail surface is even; the least pleasant section is the west third of the loop, which is mostly tall grasses and a few muddy spots. Tick repellent is a must.
Parking areas: I park at the lot on Smith Pond Rd, I-89 exit 15, a mere 10 min. from downtown Lebanon, but there is also a parking area on 4-A by Lake Mascoma (see map).
This is an easily accessible, hidden gem. From the lot on Smith Pond Rd, it's 0.2 downhill to the 4.6-mile loop. I like going clockwise 1.4 mi. down to the next junction, then up all the way 2.1 mi to the pond. You can take a quick dip or a long swim in the pond, but you will get a bit sweaty and dirty again running 1.3 mi back out to the car. You could also add the 1.6 (3.2 out and back) to Half Mile Pond, which I did as a snowshoe this winter (second photo, looking down on Smith Pond). There is greater elevation change on that portion. I don't know if Half Mile Pond is also swimmable.