Saturday, September 17, 2016


Starting from the end of Carter Notch Road in Jackson, I checked a few things out on the Bog Brook Trail and on the Wild River Trail in Perkins Notch, then bushwhacked through endless birch and hardwood glades to a large beaver meadow at the base of Carter Dome, out in the Wild River Wilderness. It was a gorgeous late summer day for rambling around this remote nook of the mountains.

Bog Brook Trail has a new trailhead and parking area on FR 233, just off the end of Carter Notch Road.

The Wildcat River was easy to cross today.

Nice spruce section on Bog Brook Trail, which has some good footing, as seen here, and some rocky and muddy footing too.

A brushy wetland along the Bog Brook Trail.

Beavers have freshly flooded the Bog Brook Trail just before its junction with Wild River Trail, necessitating a herd path/bushwhack detour around to the left.

Beaver handiwork.

Beautiful, lush hardwood-birch forest on the Wild River Trail approaching Perkins Notch.

The hobblebush-lined Wild River Trail in Perkins Notch. It feels very wild in here.

The site of the former Perkins Notch Shelter, removed in 2011. The last time I was here a WMNF archaeologist was documenting the shelter shortly before its dismantling.

There are now three tent pads on a knoll above the shelter site.

Rainbow Ridge, Carter Dome and Mount Hight from the bog by No-Ketchum Pond. This view is accessed by a well-beaten side path, not too muddy in this dry season.

The pond itself is a narrow pool of water. In 1882 AMC explorer Randall Spaulding estimated its area at 500 feet by 60 feet. Certainly it's smaller than that today. While sitting on a rock here for lunch, I watched an adult Bald Eagle soar high over Carter Dome.

The east end of the pond.

I headed back into Perkins Notch and from the lower end of the Rainbow Trail, I headed off-trail to the big beaver meadow, passing along several forest openings like this along the way.

Birches! They are abundant on this slope, growing up after a vast 1903 forest fire.

One of several moose beds I passed.

Ferns and birches.

This forest has character.

There were some open stands of spruce closer to the string of beaver ponds and meadows on the floor of the valley.

First glimpse of the meadow, Sable Mountain in the distance.

Arriving at the meadow, a gorgeous spot in the September sun. Last time I was here, in 2009, there was a fair amount of water in the meadow. My first visit here was on a snowshoe bushwhack with Creston Ruiter more than 20 years ago.

Seven years later the meadow is mostly dry, and from it I found a fine vista of the Carter Dome massif.

On that snowshoe trek we visited these ledges and others on a spur ridge of Carter Dome for dramatic views of the Wild River valley and surrounding mountains. I was tempted to whack to these ledges today, but being a bit under the weather from a bug I didn't have much ambition for climbing.

Basking in the sun on a fine sitting rock was the other option, and I took it.

The mud here was pockmarked with moose tracks.

My sunny rock perch, occupied for an hour and a half.

Great fair-weather clouds.

Early color on the forest floor.

I made use of the occasional moose path on the bushwhack. It being the start of rutting season, I was glad I didn't encounter a bull.

A shrubby wetland west of the big meadow.

A small inlet stream.

Open spruces approaching a beaver pond.

An old beaver pond.

Birches in formation.

An interesting maple. I also passed this tree back in 2009.

Gorgeous hardwood glades up on the slope above the meadows and ponds.

Nice whacking!

A giant yellow birch.

One of the beavers who flooded the Bog Brook Trail.

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