On two mornings last week I enjoyed interesting morning hikes before opening the store.
1) LITTLE EAST POND
A mellow 4-mile round trip off Tripoli Road leads to this small, shallow and secluded pond. For 0.8 mile the Little East Pond Trail follows the old grade of the Woodstock & Thornton Gore logging railroad. Good walking through hardwood and birch.
Little East Pond is tucked in under the wild, shaggy slopes of Scar Ridge. It doesn't look far up to the ridge from here, but it is a tough, scrappy bushwhack.
Ledges adorning the peak of Middle Scar Ridge. I've been to the summit of Middle Scar twice, but not to these ledges. We were traversing the whole ridge both times and didn't have time for what looked like a steep and thick side trip. On a winter trip the snow was deep enough so we got the view down to the pond from the summit area. There's a good view ledge looking SE on the third knob heading towards East Scar.
A short bushwhack led to a nice spot to relax and take in the scene at the pond.
A wonderfully gnarled old red maple.
The sun came out and brightened the view at one of my favorite White Mountain ponds.
2) STARK FALLS BROOK
The next morning I enjoyed a leisurely bushwhack partway up Stark Falls Brook in Kinsman Notch. The falls for which the brook was named is a lovely spot, not far from the road.
This brook is a long-running "cascade event," one coming soon after another. Neighboring Beaver Brook is steep and spectacular. Stark Falls Brook is mellow and mossy. They are equally beautiful.
An old mossy log in the streamside forest.
Much of the way I clambered up the rocky bed of the brook.
The "X" cascade.
With limited time, I turned around at this fine cascade and pool. Click here for an account of an exploration farther up the brook last summer.