Thursday, May 28, 2015


After some morning business, I headed over to Glencliff for my (at least) annual visit to Tunnel Brook Notch, the scenic pass between Mount Moosilauke and Mount Clough. With a couple of bushwhack side trips, this afternoon/evening trek was sort of like a triple/double in basketball, offering ponds, views and cascades.

Before heading to the Tunnel Brook Trail, I walked a little way up the Glencliff Trail to see the flowering apple trees along the fields. Ain't spring grand!

The view of Wyatt Hill and Webster Slide Mountain from the field by the junction of High Street and Long Pond Rd. I parked here because Long Pond Rd. is still gated on the south end. I thought I heard a bobolink sing once here, but it was early afternoon and hot, not an active time for birdsong.

Near the start, the Tunnel Brook Trail crosses Jeffers Brook by this nice cascade.

The route follows attractive Slide Brook much of the way up to the notch.

At 1.1 mile the trail passes by this clear little reservoir used by the Glencliff Home.

Another peek at Slide Brook.

Here the trail is a narrow leafy footway through tall hardwoods, with easy grades and good footing.

After a moderate climb, the trail levels out on a broad height-of-land south of Mud Pond.

The first look at Mud Pond, the southernmost and largest of the beaver ponds in the notch.

A beaver lodge over by the east shore.

The view from a grassy little opening along the trail: Mud Pond, Moosilauke's South Peak, and the largest slide in Slide Ravine.

Looking back from the NW corner of Mud Pond.

An inviting path leading north along the chain of beaver ponds.

Looking south from the shore of another beaver pond, a quarter-mile north of Mud Pond.

From here the South Peak just peers over the treetops.

I relaxed on this grassy shore for a while, but I was getting chomped on by black flies, so I headed west to climb partway up one of the several slides on Mount Clough to get a bird's eye view of the notch and ponds.

The lower section of this slide is gravelly.

The upper part of the slide is a huge expanse of steep bare rock, nearly a cliff in places.

The view of two beaver ponds nestled on the floor of the notch was well worth the steep scramble out to the ledges.

Looking across at the bulky west shoulder of Moosilauke.

Looking north towards the ridge traversed by the Benton Trail.

Looking down from my wide-open rocky perch.

This narrow shelf was the trickiest spot to negotiate, especially coming down off the ledges.

Back on the floor of the notch, a recently refurbished beaver dam.

Looking north up the notch from the south end of Mud Pond.

From here I bushwhacked partway into Slide Ravine along Slide Brook to visit some of its many cascades.

Despite a recent dearth of rain, Slide Brook was in good flow.

I've been into this ravine several times, and the brook is always a joy to behold.

I hung out for a while beside this twin cascade before heading back.

There is a fine sitting ledge here.

Heading back down to the trail through hardwoods, in evening sun.

Nice 'whacking here!

Parting shot from Mud Pond. The shadows were gettin' kinda long.

Dusk back at the field along High Street. The distant outlines on Mount Cube and Smarts Mountain can be glimpsed on the left.


  1. One of my favorite trails in the Whites. Spent a beautiful early Nov night camped at Mud Pond watching beavers go bout their work. Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Peter! I've been there many times but never camped. That must have been a great experience, and I imagine you had the place to yourself in November!


  2. These ponds are absolutely on my to do list this year. I know its not a long hike, but I'm considering doing a backpack trip so I can sample the ponds for brookies. Looked like a great day. A nice variety of scenery!

    1. Hi Nick,

      It's a great place to spend a day, or two. The beavers come and go but it appears they've been active recently at the southern ponds.The slides are fun, too - you can scramble up for views on any of several of them.