Friday, November 13, 2009


****Thank you, vets, for your service.***

Carol and I had Veteran's Day off together, and decided to spend a leisurely afternoon on one of our favorite short hikes: The Kettles and The Scaur in Waterville Valley. This four-mile round trip has pleasant, uncrowded trails, fine woods and a wide south-facing view from a rocky nubble, all with only 600 ft. of climbing. As you approach the Depot Camp clearing near the start of the Livermore Trail, The Scaur is in sight ahead.

The Livermore Trail is always a relaxing stroll.

At 0.9 mile, we turned left on the Kettles Path, which was originally opened about 1890 by Arthur Goodrich, father of famed trailbuilder and Waterville historian Nathaniel Goodrich.

The first part is a gentle meander through mixed woods.

Two short, steep pitches lead to the three Kettles - bowl-shaped depressions left in the woods when stranded ice chunks melted at the end of the last Ice Age. These are the same formations that are now the hundreds of kettle ponds on Cape Cod.

Approaching the junction with the Scaur Trail through nice hardwood forest, we passed this interesting rock.

Near the trail is this large old white ash.

At the junction we turned right for the short but steep climb up The Scaur.

The trail circles around the backside of the nubble, then shoots up through conifer woods.

At the top you scramble through a ledgy slot before emerging at the outlook.

The Scaur is a great place to hang out in the warm sun - even in November!

To the east are Middle and South Tripyramid, with West Sleeper peering out on the right, above the Slide Brook valley.
Close-up of the Trips.

You get an intriguing look into the remote Lost Pass area.

Southward there's an impressive spread of Sandwich Dome, with Jennings Peak prominent on the right.

Tecumseh, its ski slopes still bare due to recent warm weather, is to the SW.

By poking carefully around you can get a view towards Thornton Gap, the pass between Tecumseh and Osceola, home of Tripoli Road.

Mt. Osceola looms impressively to the NW.

A window view of the unusual Painted Cliff on East Osceola.

Caught in a November snooze!

On the way down we made a short side trip on an unmarked road and path to Swazeytown, site of an early Waterville homestead and later the site of a dam and pond used for river-drives in the early 1900s. Part of the old dam can be seen underwater.

A semi-bushwhack around the corner revealed a hidden beaver pond that is actually close to Livermore Trail, but separated by a very steep slope. There's alot to explore in the Waterville Valley.

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