Posted on July 14, 2018 and last updated on December 29, 2021

Heald and Bradley Ponds Reserve, Lovell


  • Preserve Size: 802 acres
  • Trail Mileage:
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy to strenuous
  • Sights: Bradley and Heald Ponds, three little mountains

This 802-acre preserve encompasses three little hills — two with decent views — and two ponds. In between, there are miles of forested trails and even one .7-mile wheelchair-accessible path with packed gravel. At a bog near Bradley Pond, you can watch birds from a platform with a bench (accessible off Perkey’s Path).

I arrived at 10 a.m. in the morning and didn’t leave until after 3 p.m., so you can go for a pretty lengthy walk if you’d like, or pick one of several smaller loops to do. There are four places to access the preserve, each with parking.

In my opinion, the best views are from Whiting Hill (801 feet), the second best from Flat Hill (891 feet). Amos and Whiting have benches at their summits. If you hike up Amos Mountain (955 feet) from the north parking lot of Route 5, you can choose to go steeply straight up (passing a stone called El Pulpito, *the pulpit*) or wind your way up via alternative paths. Bypass the Devil’s Staircase if you want to avoid steepness. 

Also nice is the short spur to Heald Pond, where there is a rock to sit on and possibly decent swimming? Take care not to miss the path, it’s easy to walk by, especially if you’re coming from Amos Mountain. 

Directions: There is a parking lot just east of Mill Brook off Slab City Road, two points of access with parking off Route 5, and a lot off Heald Pond Road. Park at the parking lot near Palmer Lane for the wheelchair-accessible path.

Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!