Sunday, October 21, 2012

SAWYER PONDS: 10/18/12

On a gorgeous October day, Dave Stinson and I opted for an easy hike to Sawyer Pond, one of the most beautiful water bodies in the Whites. Dave had only been there once before, and my last visit was seven years ago, so it was time for a return.

On the way down through Crawford Notch, we stopped for a short walk on a connecting path from the Pleasant Valley Wayside to the new Maggie's Run Trail. The path led along the Saco River with some nice streamside vignettes.

Then we drove out to the end of the recently reopened Sawyer River Road to the trailhead for the Sawyer Pond Trail.

A high, sturdy footbridge leads across the Sawyer River.

The 1.5 mile hike into Sawyer Pond is at mostly easy grades, with an occasional moderate stretch. There was a nice glow to the understory in the hardwood sections.

Shortly before reaching the pond, the trail skirts a satellite bog. I dropped down a side path for a closer look.

Where the trail comes by Sawyer Pond, we turned L on a path that leads 0.2 mile along the shore to the shelter. Along the way there are several openings with views across the water to the enclosing mountains. Here Dave captures the view of rugged Mt. Tremont.

A nice spot to sit and gaze across at Owl's Cliff.

Two guys were camped out in the shelter, which has a great view across the water. Because of the easy access, this can be a party spot on weekends.

From the shelter, we followed an unmarked path up a steep pitch past the privy, and then across the slope to Little Sawyer Pond. This quiet gem nestles on a shelf about 100 ft. higher than Sawyer Pond. On the north side it's enclosed by a cliff-studded spur ridge of Mt. Tremont.

A few years ago I explored that ridge and found some nice views back over the Sawyer Ponds, with Mt. Chocorua and Mt. Paugus beyond.

Another view of Little Sawyer, looking towards the main crest of Tremont.

We retraced our steps down to the shore of Sawyer Pond, and continued NE past the shelter on a herd path to a great sitting rock with a view across to the ominous face of Green's Cliff.

From the rock you can also see the neat island at the north end of the pond, with Owl's Cliff behind.

Then we found a roomier spot for an hour-long siesta on the shore.

Peace and quiet on a golden October afternoon.

The classic Sawyer Pond view of Tremont and Owl's Cliff.

The long crest of Mt. Tremont, with the summit on the far R.

A zoom on Owl's Cliff.

A few years ago I whacked to the ledges on Owl's Cliff seen from Sawyer Pond, and admired the view back over the pond.

After a long stay at Sawyer Pond, Dave and I  took the easy walk back out to Sawyer River Road. It was a leisurely day, well spent.


  1. Steve, your concluding statement says it all, i.e. " It was a leisurely day, well spent."

    I loved the photo of Dave relaxing on the shore of Sawyer Pond. Also, I liked the interjection of photos from your past adventures to this area. Speaking of which, you really found a great viewing spot on the cliff-studded spur ridge of Mt. Tremont on the north side of Little Sawyer Pond. The views I found on my recent adventure to that same area were much more obstructed than the spot you found.


    1. Thanks, John - it was a very relaxing day. I checked out several viewpoints on that spur ridge, and that one spot had the most open view. As you note, some of the others were obstructed.