The Gentian Pond and the Dream Lake can both be found on the Appalachian Trail, in the area of the border between Maine and New Hampshire. You will have to travel off the well known path, however. If you want to access them in the winter to go winter hiking there, then they are going to be extra difficult to access. The area is pretty much going to be completely buried in snow, which is going to give you a hard time to plow through. If you thought the White Mountains were already a pretty hard section of the Appalachian, then you just wait until you get to the Mahoosuc Range during wintertime.
Instead of hiking the AT, you can also take the Austin Brook trail to get get to the Gentian Pond. If you’re going to do that, make sure that trails conditions are going to be alright, because it’s still not going to be an easy hike. You are likely to encounter quite a bit of snow, which goes pretty deep. Usually at least 1 foot.
Austin Brook Trail Towards The Gentian Pond
The Austin Brook Trail is a segment that you’ll find on the Philbrook Farm Trail System. The wooden turnstile you’ll find here that leads up to the gate, is considered to be a local joke. If you’re in on it, the locals will be impressed with you. The Austin Brook trail is going to take you past a number of logging roads. This trail is pretty easy to follow, as it is well marked. But I’d still recommend that you take a GPS with you so that you can get back on the trail, in the case that you still somehow manage to lose it. If you approach the Gentian Pond in the winter, then I’m sure you won’t be entirely surprised when I tell you it will be frozen solid.
If you follow the path past the Gentian Pond, you’ll be going across the Dryad Fall Trail, on your way to the Dream Lake. If you’re going to attempt this, make sure you know what you’re doing. This isn’t exactly a well thoughout, preplanned route you’re taking here. This isn’t a circle around the block and you’re back home. When you’re going up Dryad Fall Trail, beware that you are going to have to combat some elevation. Along the way, there’s a little feeder stream for you to behold.
As soon as you get close to Dream Lake, you will have to hike a mile up a very rough trails. For this, you are definitely going to need a couple of warm snow boots, otherwise you aren’t going to last. Microspikes alone aren’t going to be enough to save you here. From Dream Lake, you’ll be able to have a look at Mt. Adams, one of the highest peaks of the White Mountains. You can also view Mt. Madison from here.
The mountains are beautiful to look at. They have the power to enchant your for hours on end. But don’t stand still for too long, or you’ll freeze. The lake itself is also a sight for sore eyes, even when it’s frozen. What am I saying? Especially when it’s frozen! Imagine a lake that goes on as far as the eye can see, and it’s completely frozen solid. You’ll be wishing you had brought along your ice skates. But then again, hiking is already physically exhausting enough as it is, isn’t it?
If you’re looking for one of the very best winter landscapes in the history of mankind, then you owe it to yourself to visit the Appalachian’s Gentian Pond and Dream Lake. This is only for experienced hikers who know what they’re doing. If you don’t know what you’re doing, then it’s best to start out with something simpler. The views here are gorgeous, especially in the winter. But winter is also what makes this trail incredibly hard to traverse. But that’s just how life works… you want high rewards, you’ve gotta put in the effort. The good things in life don’t come for free. But if you’re willing to put in your time on this trail, then you’re going to be rewarded with scenic views that you won’t be able to pry your eyes loose from.