Friday, October 23, 2015


My brother Drew and I took a long walk in the western Pemigewasset Wilderness to this beautiful spot deep in the Franconia Brook valley. For him it was a trip down memory lane - in 1972 his first hike in the Whites began with a trek with a friend to Thirteen Falls, including a rest stop in the shelter that once stood there, and then on to Garfield Ridge.

It was a very quiet day at Lincoln Woods. We saw one person strolling by the bridge at the start, then no one until we were past the Osseo Trail on the way out. The wide trail was a leafy carpetway into the Wilderness.


A mandatory stop at the Bondcliff view, 1.7 miles in.

Earlier in the month this was a colorful vista from the footbridge looking up Franconia Brook to Mount Flume. Today it had more of a November look.

Bondcliff and its southern spurs seen from a beaver swamp near the Franconia Brook Trail.

Zoom on Bondcliff and its southern peak.

Another must-stop: the beaver meadow view of Owl's Head.

Pieces of a stove at the site of J.E. Henry's Camp 9.

A lumberman's boot sole.

A rusting bed frame at Camp 9.

A meadow along Camp 9 Brook.

Drew takes a pic of a young spruce growing from a big old stump.

Looking up Hellgate Brook from the trail crossing.

Franconia Brook, still a large stream far into the valley.

Looking upstream at the Redrock Brook crossing.

Why Redrock Brook got its name.

Open hardwoods, with the outline of Mount Lafayette glimpsed through the trees.

More of those gorgeous hardwoods, with Owl's Head beyond.

Hopping across Twin Brook.

The first cascade you come to in the Thirteen Falls area. Though there may well be 13 waterfalls in the vicinity, the name refers to logging Camp #13.

Looking downstream to double-decker pools.

The ledgy expanse on the eastern branch of Franconia Brook near Thirteen Falls Tentsite - one of the great resting spots in the mountains.

Looking upstream along the eastern branch.

It was turning into a warm and sunny October afternoon, and we had this beautiful, secluded place all to ourselves.

The ledges at the confluence of the eastern and western branches bear many large bent iron pins.

Perhaps there was some kind of trestle, or walkway for the horses, here at the end of the Franconia Branch spur railroad line.

Looking up the western branch from the confluence.

I clambered up streambed ledges for a closer look at this impressive waterspout.

Looking back, West Bond could be espied through the leafless trees.

A parting shot of the ledges in mid-afternoon sun.

The mass of Southwest Twin looms above the trail near Twin Brook.

A century-old peavey head at the site of Camp 12.

A moss-covered stone wheel perched atop a boulder.

An array of Camp 12 artifacts. A reminder that it is illegal (and totally inconsiderate of future history-minded visitors) to remove these from the WMNF.

These horseshoes were hidden in the duff and were replaced where they were found.

Afternoon sun on the peaceful Franconia Brook Trail.

Looking down Hellgate Brook to the Owl's Head ridge.

High spurs of South Twin.

Beaver pond reflections capture the essence of a long and wonderful wander through the Pemi.

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