Friday, June 17, 2016


We took a leisurely afternoon hike to one of our favorite places on Carol's first day of summer break. The weather was gorgeous and there was hardly anyone around, though the black flies made their presence known.

This abutment is from an old footbridge that once spanned the South Fork of Hancock Branch along the Greeley Ponds Trail.

The crossing was an easy rock hop today.

Nice woods approaching Mad River Notch.

Big maples at the height-of-land in the notch.

A favorite trailside boulder, one of three erratics featured in a Greeley Ponds Earth Geocache.

A screened view of Upper Pond from the trail above the shore.

Carol takes in the classic view across Upper Pond to the East Osceola cliffs.

Looking north along the pond. At the trailhead we chatted with retired N.H. Fish and Game staffer Don Miller and his daughter Heidi, who had watched a helicopter land here on the pond (with pontoons) and stock it with trout this morning.

Carol was ready for the black fly swarm.

Neat boulder up in the woods behind the pond. It actually shows up on the latest Google Earth image.

This appears to be the site of the Greeley Ponds Shelter, which was removed around 1970 due to overuse. The boulder bears the mark of many campfires.

East Osceola's ridges seen from another shoreside vantage.

The west knob of Mount Kancamagus, with its K2 Cliff, overlooks Upper Pond on the east side.

The section of trail between the ponds is a very pleasant walk.

Heading towards Lower Pond, the trail passes this rubbly runout from an 1892 slide off East Osceola.

The Kancamagus west knob from the gravel "beach" at the NW corner of Lower Pond.

Here there be leeches...

A pair of Tree Swallows have a nest in this tall snag. Also of note, I heard and saw what I believe was a singing Philadelphia Vireo (fairly rare) in a tree along the shore.

Looking south over Lower Pond. This pond is more open and expansive than Upper Pond, and also much shallower.

The view north from the south end of Lower Pond.

Another pleasant trail section leads south from Lower Pond to a crossing of the Mad River.

Another view of Lower Pond.

A profile on the K1 Cliff of Mt. Kancamagus.

I made a short bushwhack to a satellite wetland north of Lower Pond.

Peering up at East Osceola's Painted Cliff.

One of many ladyslippers along the trail.

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