Saturday, October 6, 2012


After a week of on and off rain and fog, we were treated to a sunny and unseasonably warm day at just about peak foliage. I took the morning off and drove up to Kinsman Notch for a bushwhack to a small cliff above Beaver Pond. I'd been to this viewpoint a couple of times before, many years ago, but not during foliage season.

Lincoln was enshrouded in thick fog, but I broke out of it just before reaching Lost River on Rt. 112. From the parking lot at Beaver Pond, the crags on the steep slope west of the pond were clearing from the mist. My objective can be seen in the center of the photo, amidst spruces.

The dam that holds back the pond was just repaired this year by the Forest Service. I crossed the ledgy streambed just below the dam and headed into the woods.

On the first part of the whack the woods were open and the grade was moderate. Farther up, having made too frontal of an approach, I struggled upward in some rugged terrain, pushing through dense, wet conifers laced with blowdown.

Luckily it's a short whack (40 minutes up by this not-so-good route) and I soon emerged in the warm sun atop the east-facing cliff.

To my right I could see Mt. Waternomee, one of several summits on Mt. Moosilauke's Blue Ridge.

The neatest perspective from this spot is the view SE through Kinsman Notch.

The fog was still thick in the valley out there, with the double summit of Grandview Mountain poking up. Mt. Tecumseh and Sandwich Dome hovered hazily on the horizon.

Looking NE to the triple summits of Mt. Wolf on the L, and several humps on the southern Kinsman Ridge on the R.

By moving farther south along the cliff I found a view of South Kinsman to the L of Mt. Wolf. Near the center of the photo are cliffs that rise above Underhill Brook.

There were many leaf-peepers coming and going down at Beaver Pond.

Looking east, the south end of Kinsman Ridge rises steeply above Beaver Pond and Rt. 112.

Nice color along the west shore of the pond.

An airy spot for the obligatory boot shot.

I found a better route for the descent, with only moderately thick conifers and less steep terrain.

Back down at the pond, I went out to the great glacier-shaped ledge that juts out into the water - perhaps the finest "sitting rock" at any pond in the Whites.

This ledge has a great view across the water to Mt. Jim.

The view from the parking area across the pond to Mt. Waternomee.

Driving back down Rt. 112, I ducked into a pulloff for a colorful view of the "Monkey Cliffs." Some great foliage displays this year!


  1. Great report and pictures as always, Steve!

    Such an interesting little feature that ledge is.

    1. Thanks, Alex - that is a neat little perch.


  2. Very cool Steve. Beaver Pond is a favorite pull-over of ours. I've eyed those ledges several times. I played around down stream from the pond once. Sort of Basin like features carved in the granite. I also saw drill holes with some steel rods and maybe a ring or two. Any idea what may have been?


    1. Thanks, Joe. Those are some cool potholes down below the pond. Maybe the drill holes, rods and rings had something to do with the early 1900s logging operation up in the Stark Falls Brook basin?


  3. Nice one Steve! Fantastic images of the notch.
    Nice to see the great colors and a mention of the "Monkey Cliffs" in your report. Such a treat...

    Mark in Freedom

  4. Steve . . . what an awesome adventure! And as an added bonus, it looks like you hit the foliage near its peak.

    It's so much fun to do exploits such as this. Not only is there the reward of unique views, but there is the satisfaction of reaching a destination via your own route-finding without the aid of a trail.

    Terrific photos!


    1. Thanks, John - it's a good little whack if you just want to get out for a couple of hours. The foliage has been outstanding this year!