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Thorndike Pond in New Hampshire

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

My husband and I paddled Thorndike Pond mid-day on the 4th of July. We selected this spot from our NH Atlas and didn't really know what to expect.

The pond is fairly large--over 250 acres--and basically has an hourglass shape, which encourages exploration from one end to the other. While Thorndike Pond isn't as secluded and traffic-free as many places we've paddled, it still has a lot to recommend it. Motor boats are allowed (there's a 6 mph no-wake rule) but we only encountered one powerboat on this holiday weekend. There's also a kids' camp and some shoreline development, but nothing too intrusive.

Despite having to share this pond with others, we found a lot to like here. Thorndike has plenty of open water, some small marshy areas, tiny coves, and a good-sized island. Managed by the Nature Conservancy, Whittemore Island looks like a great place to explore or to stop for a picnic.

Two things struck me about Thorndike: it has the feel of a classic New England pond. It took me back to my childhood and evoked memories of doing cannonballs off a floating dock or splashing into the water from a tire swing...that's the kind of scene you'll find here.

Second, there are some great views of Mount Monadnock, which never fails to inspire me. We spent a relaxing and enjoyable two hours paddling Thorndike Pond and would definitely recommend it to anyone in the area.

Check out my blog for other great places to kayak, bike, fish, and enjoy the outdoors in NH:


There are no facilities here and roadside parking is limited. The put-in is easy access.


Take state route 124 to Jaffrey Center. Turn right on Thorndike Pond Road. Take a left onto Gilson Road (unpaved for 1.4 miles) and then a right on Dublin Road. There's a small gravel put-in on the right.

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location