Thursday, August 21, 2014


Continuing a series of explorations in the Kinsman Notch area, I made two short morning solo bushwhacks and one longer afternoon/evening whack with photographer Erin Paul Donovan - a fellow Kinsman Notch enthusiast - exploring areas logged a century ago by notorious lumber baron George L. Johnson's Gordon Pond Logging Railroad operation.

On my first morning jaunt I crossed this old beaver meadow on a small side stream.

I followed the old bed of the Gordon Pond Logging Railroad for quite a distance. It crossed the river three times in that section.

Ledgy rapids on the river.

This flat ferny area has the look of an old logging camp. We've been looking for the site of Camp 2 on the Gordon Pond RR. However, historic accounts (in Forest History of Mount Moosilauke, by J. Willcox Brown; Logging Railroads of the White Mountains, by C. Francis Belcher; and Logging Railroads of the Pemigewasset Valley, by Bill Gove) state that Camp 2 was on a knoll above the end of the Lost River railroad spur. This ferny opening is down near the river.

On my second morning visit I started higher up the valley and descended to this fine pool on Lost River.

I found a couple of artifacts, including this rusted metal hoop...

...and this century-old shovel blade.

Wandering around looking for a possible logging camp site, I came upon this cascade on a tributary flowing off Kinsman Ridge.

I also found these lengths of thin metal piping. Wonder what these were used for?

Two days later Erin Paul Donovan and I spent an afternoon exploring the lower northern slopes of Mt. Waternomee in search of a large logging artifact. We didn't find it, but saw many interesting sights along the way. Erin pointed out this old piping, which runs from a brook all the way across to near the Lost River Gorge - perhaps an old water supply line?

We followed this old sled road at 2000 ft. for a third of a mile, in which time its elevation varied by only 20 feet.

We followed the road to this ledgy brookbed with a view of 2909-ft. "Lost River Mountain," a spur of Kinsman Ridge.

Erin checking out the brookbed.

A peek at the Monkey Cliffs, with Mt. Hitchcock and North Hancock in the distance.

Heading up and back across the slope in search of another old sled road, we ran into some hobblebush hell.

Then we traversed a seemingly endless boulder field with countless treacherous holes - very slow going.

There was some nice mossy scenery along the way.

We crossed what looked like a dry brookbed, but may have once been a steep sled road, washed out by a hundred years of rainstorms.

We made our way to what I like to call the "Waternomee Waterslide," a beautiful ledgy swath on a nameless brook. We had both been here once before, in my case earlier this month.

Scrambling up the ledges of the brookbed.

Looking back at the Dilly Cliffs.

A tenacious tendril on the ledges.

We continued up along the brook above the waterslide to a cascade I'd visited earlier in the month. Would love to see this with a strong flow of water.

Lush ravine below the cascade.

 The photographer at work.

We climbed through the steep woods to the ledgy top of the cascade.

A closer look at the Dilly Cliffs.

The brook disappears into the forest.

We briefly followed another sled road in birches at 2400 ft. Erin has explored many of the numerous sled roads used by the George L. Johnson/Gordon Pond Logging Railroad operation in Kinsman Notch.

Here we found a cryptic sign, placed high up in a tree.

Open glades - is this a skier's playground? What a fun area to explore!


  1. Steve,

    Your trip descriptions and photos provide a great break in my day and allow me to engage in some vicarious hiking and exploring while being chained to my desk. Thanks
    Jason "Tuck"

    1. Hi Jason,

      Thanks for your comment, and thanks for reading! Glad the reports help you enjoy the mountains when you can't be up here.