Willard Pond is tucked away in the southwestern corner of the state, a little off the beaten path. Even with the high price of gasoline, I would recommend making the trip to Antrim to enjoy Willards crystal clear water and quiet seclusion.
The pond is protected as part of the New Hampshire Audubon Societys largest sanctuary. The entire property is well over 1,000 acres and includes two large hills: Bald Mountain and Goodhue Hill. While we were out on the water, we saw hikers as small specks, making their way up the trails. Theres only one privately owned house on the pond and its set back from the water.
We paddled here early one morning in June 2007, but not early enough to see too much wildlife activity, with one exception: There was a pair of nesting loons and their young chick. You can bet those adult loons were protective of their little one! Aside from loons, The Audubon Society says to be on the lookout for Hooded Mergansers and Wood Ducks.
The shoreline of Willard Pond is dotted with boulders. Youll also see boulders that appear to be just below the surface of the water, but they are actually submerged deep enough for you to paddle right over them. Its an illusion created by the clear water.
Willard Pond isnt large. Its around 100 acres and has a maximum depth of about 15 feet. Protected and peaceful are the key words here. Willard Pond is a real treasure!
Gas-powered motorboats are not allowed and fishing is restricted to fly fishing only.
Drive right up to the water to unload your boat and then drive back to the large gravel parking lot. There's no boat ramp or other facilities.
At the junction of Routes 123 and 137 in Hancock, take Route 123 Northwest for about 3 miles. Turn slight right onto Davenport Road (a dirt road). After you pass Willard Pond Road (in about 1/2 mile), travel another one mile to the pond.