Wednesday, February 29, 2012


On a gorgeous sunny afternoon Carol and I snowshoed up the recently-reopened southern section of the Greeley Ponds Trail, and partway up the Goodrich Rock Trail. We started at the large Livermore Rd. parking area, where this sign notes that Livermore Trail and Tripoli Rd. are free backcountry access trails, no Waterville Valley trail pass required.

The first 0.3 mi. was on the groomed Livermore Trail, leading to the Depot Camp clearing. The little ledgy nubble of The Scaur can be seen to the L of center, with Flume Peak to its R.

North Tripyramid from the Depot Camp clearing.

Greeley Ponds Trail was ravaged by Tropical Storm Irene, with the Mad River jumping its bank and flowing down part of the trail. The Forest Service has done some major restoration work, as indicated by these signs. The southern section, up to the Timber Camp Trail, has recently opened. The middle section of the trail remains closed.

Lots of destinations from this trail junction.

Carol inspects the damage from a major washout.

Several large drainage dips have been placed to prevent further erosion.

A snowshoe track parallels a trench.

These felled trees are part of the restoration effort.

A peaceful scene along the Mad River.

We turned L onto the Goodrich Rock Trail, one of the many wonderful short paths in the Waterville backcountry.

Carol took the lead, breaking trail up the steady grade of an old logging road. This was her first time on snowshoes since knee surgery almost exactly a year ago. She did great!

Not wanting to push too hard the first time out, Carol turned back partway up the trail. A job well done!

I continued another quarter mile up to the Davis Boulders, a neat collection of big glacial erratics named for their discoverer, J.W. Davis, a Watervillean of the late 1800s. The trail was originally laid out in the 1890s.

A peek through the trees at North Tripyramid, The Scaur and South Tripyramid.

This trail is quite entertaining, leading through the crevices of this split boulder.

A short snowshoe scramble led into the crevice.

Exiting around the corner.

More boulders rising amidst a fine hardwood forest.

A WVAIA arrow points the way.

A passage between two more big rocks.

The trail squeezes through this boulder cave. With snowshoes on, I opted for an alternate route around.

Perhaps the largest of the boulders, except for Goodrich Rock at trail's end, is this "ocean liner." I didn't go all the way to Goodrich Rock as Carol was waiting below on Greeley Ponds Trail, and in any case I don't like climbing the 20-ft. ladder to the top of the rock in the snow.

A dry seat for a quick bite to eat.

The winding track through the Davis Boulders.

On the way back along Greeley Ponds Trail, we made a short side excursion on the Scaur Trail to its crossing of the Mad River, where this scene awaited, looking upstream.

Mt. Osceola from the Depot Camp clearing.

On the Livermore Trail, at the end of a fine snowshoe hike.


  1. Nice report, Steve. Those trails in the WV area off Livermore Rd are great, especially the Davis Boulders and Goodrich Rock. I've never hiked them in the winter, but your pictures make me want to do so. I don't blame you for skipping the ladder to Goodrich Rock. That's a bit of a challenge even in the summer!

  2. Thanks, BC - I've been up the ladder once when there was snow and ice on the top of Goodrich Rock, and that first step back down onto the top of the ladder was a little tense...


  3. Hi Steve, I discovered your Blog this morning and am looking forward to reading it. I am now living in the Mountains of Maine so the old "mounted" NH & VT map collection I gave you is yours to keep. I am now starting one of Maine. On another topic: Just before I sold my place in Wentworth I "whacked" the old Stevens Brook trail up over the Carr Mountain Ridge. Have you any information on that very faint old trail? Never have seen any information on it other than that it's on my Mapsource TOPO US 2008 software?

  4. Hi Tom,

    Good to hear from you - thanks for looking at the blog. I've kept the map collection here at the store and occasionally show it to map buffs. Thanks again for sharing that.

    The old Stevens Brook Trail was described in the AMC guidebook as late as 1983 and was abandoned shortly thereafter. It was built by the Forest Service in the late 1930s along with several other trails that ran across the Carr ridge (Rattlesnake Mtn., Martins Brook, Clifford Brook, Patch Brook, Batchelder Brook). Don't really know what purpose these served other then getting one over the ridge - maybe for access in case of possible forest fire? This type of trail was sometimes called a "manway," I believe. A few years ago J.R. Stockwell and I whacked the ridge from Rattlesnake to Carr and thought we crossed the Stevens Brook Trail in a fern-filled col; see the long blog entry for Carr Mountain from 5/25/11, which has a picture of that col towards the end, along with a bunch of pics from other whacks on and around Carr.