Posted on April 21, 2021 and last updated on April 21, 2021

Northern Pond Natural Area, Monroe


  • Preserve Size: 163 acres
  • Trail Mileage: 2.4 miles in network
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
  • Sights: Northern Pond, hemlock forest, marshes, beaver ponds

The trail system is ideal here—I love the figure eight. It allows you to do either a longish walk, or keep it short without re-treading paths you’ve already been on.

Anyway, this nice preserve has the ideal form, the figure eight (plus a little leg to a beaver dam and marshy area with blue herons, in season, at the far end of the preserve). It is well blazed and easy to navigate.

The preserve is located off a dirt road, Dahlia Farm Road, which can be a bit rutted with potholes. The parking area is a good-sized pullover. The town of Monroe has put out a great flyer on the trail system and pond.

From the trailhead, you’ll start out on the Old Tote Road (0.75 miles) and pass the leg to the canoe launch. If you continue on the Old Tote Road, you’ll come to the southern edge of the pond (after crossing some bog bridges). There are two areas where it’s obvious people stop and hang out for a bit along the pond’s edge—both of them look like they are possibly decent places to swim?

The Hemlock Trail (.5 mile) is the hardest and steepest path here. The Thurlow Brook Trail is one mile long, and includes a 0.2-mile spur to a beaver dam. (The trail gets a little sodden at the end, where there is a little marshy pool with, on the day I visited, a blue heron and beaver dam visible across the way).

Note: Before you come to the intersection of Hemlock Ridge Trail and Old Tote Road, and before you cross a bog on some planks, you’ll see an unmarked trail that is used as a temporary access trail when the original trail gets too wet. It goes out to Dahlia Farm Road.

Directions: (From the town of Monroe) Drive east on Route 139 from the junction of Routes 141 and 139 and take the first left onto the Monroe Road. One mile farther on, turn left onto Dahlia Farm Road and in 1.5 miles watch for a parking area on the left. A sign and a trail map are posted at this parking area.


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