Wednesday, July 28, 2010


My niece Rebecca was up for a visit, so while Carol watched the store we spent a few hours playing tourist along the Kancamagus Highway. Our first stop was good old Lincoln Woods, where we did the short "Riverwalk Loop," starting across the suspension footbridge.

The view looking north up the East Branch.

The suspension footbridge and slide-marked West Hitchcock as seen from the walkway on the Kanc Highway bridge.

Heading east, our next brief stop was at Otter Rocks on the Hancock Branch. Nice picnic spot.

The view of Osceola and its many slides from the Hancock Overlook, just past the hairpin turn.

The various summits of Scar Ridge seen from the same vantage.

A little farther up the road is a pulloff with a nifty look at Mad River Notch - the west knob of Mt. Kancamagus on the L, East Osceola on the R.

We made a stop at the C.L. Graham Overlook on the east side of Kancamagus Pass. Mt. Tremont, Owl Cliff and Bear Mountain in the distance.

A view from the shore of Lily Pond, with the long east spur of Mt. Huntington in the distance. Before the Kanc was built, this was a lonely little high-country pond.

From the Sugar Hill Overlook, looking SE, Potash Mountain is on the L and lofty Mt. Passaconaway in back on the R.

Mt. Chocorua and the Three Sisters are seen off to the ESE.

To the NE are (L to R) Green's Cliff, Mt. Tremont and Owl Cliff.

We made a stop at the south trailhead for the Sawyer Pond Trail, to have a look at the gravel bars on the Swift River.

Next up was the 1832-vintage Russell-Colbath House, with some neat historic exhibits inside. This house was part of a small enclave of civilization that thrived in the vast Albany Intervale in the late 1800s and early 1900s. A compelling story involving the residents of this house is "The Light in the Window," recounted in Shrouded Memories, Floyd Ramsey's excellent book of true White Mountain tales.

A colorful garden next to the house.

We walked the graded, graveled half-mile Rail 'n River Trail behind the historic site. This meanders under towering pines and briefly touches the bank of the Swift River, with a view downstream to Bear Mountain.

Our last stop was at the Rocky Gorge Scenic Area. This view, taken from the footbridge over the gorge, looks upstream at Swift River Falls.

A naturally sculpted cave on the wall of the gorge.

Going up over a little glacial ridge, we descended to the quiet of Falls Pond.

A nice lady at the pond outlook offered to take our picture.

We then walked the 0.7 mile Lovequist Loop around Falls Pond. This path leads through fine spruce forest, with several ups and downs.

On the far shore there's a view of the Three Sisters, the northern spurs of Mt. Chocorua.

The Lovequist Loop is a great short hike that gets you away from the bustle of Rocky Gorge. Highly recommended as part of any leisurely tour of the Kanc!

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