Saturday, September 13, 2014


On a crisp, partly sunny and breezy afternoon, I went on a fun bushwhack with John "1HappyHiker" Compton to the main lower part of the so-called "Monkey Cliffs" that front a lower southeastern spur of Kinsman Ridge, at the east end of Kinsman Notch.

After dropping down from Rt. 112 to cross the Lost River, we visited the sites of a few artifacts from the Gordon Pond Logging Railroad (1905-1916), including these hooks in a tree.

A century-old shovel blade.

We found this bottle half-buried near other artifacts. It seems to match up with images of early 1900s liquor bottles.

John on the old grade of the Gordon Pond Logging Railroad on the slope above Lost River.

A cascade and pool on a nameless brook flowing off Kinsman Ridge.

We climbed up past a variety of ledges, cascades and chutes on this attractive brook.

This cascade would be impressive after a heavy rainfall. It reminded us of Gordon Falls along the Gordon Pond Trail.

A lover's pool.

We dubbed this the "Triangle Pool."

One of several old logging sled roads we used in the course of our whack. We were mostly in open hardwoods the whole way up.

There was abundant moose sign on this slope!

Popping out on the first ledge for a view south to Mt. Cushman.

A bird's eye view of Rt. 112 leading up to Kinsman Notch.

Looking across the Lost River valley to Mt. Waternomee and Mt. Jim. Throughout the afternoon Mt. Blue and Mt. Moosilauke were engulfed by clouds.

A neat area of grasses and red maples behind the cliffs.

Looking towards the upper Monkey Cliffs. There are some neat viewpoints up there as well, including one dramatic narrow ledge, but we opted to linger at the lower cliffs.

We had a pleasant grassy spot to hang out, with goldenrod blooming, crickets chirping, and a wide view to the east.

The Tripyramids, the Sleepers and Mt. Whiteface seen through Thornton Gap, with Mt. Osceola to the left.

Sandwich Dome sprawling behind the ledgy ridges of Dickey, Fisher Hogback and Green.

John checks out the scene before we head down.

A neat area!

Parting shot.

Hardwoods and hobblebush behind the cliffs.


  1. Bushwhacking through hardwoods, many cascades, interesting artifacts from bygone logging days, good companionship! With all those ingredients, how could this be anything other than a great day in the woods! :-)

    As always, your narrative and photos captured the day perfectly!


    1. Thanks, John - it was great fun doing this whack with you!


  2. Wow ~ who knew ! Spectacular Steve-O.
    Looks like you two had a super day, and so close to home ~ Cath

    1. Hi Cath - This is a cool spot, and not far outside of town. And hardwoods all the way!


  3. Great report Steve. Not until your recent Kinsman Notch reports had I heard of the Gordon Pond logging. I did not come across any artifacts on my one trip to the "Monkey Cliffs". Wish I'd known then, to look for them. That is a great whack though. I remember vividly that spot you described as " a pleasant grassy spot to hang out". I hung out there as well. How could you not? It's a gorgeous spot.

    Thanks for sharing,

    1. Thanks Joe - you had a great report on this last year on your blog. Erin Donovan (ScenicNH) has been doing a lot of sleuthing in this area for logging stuff. He showed me the hooks in the tree. There's also a couple saw blades in there, I couldn't find them this trip.

      Monkey Cliff is a really neat spot for sure. Back in the 90s I took my then teenage nephew on an afternoon snowshoe whack up there. We got in trouble because we got back very late!