Friday, May 26, 2017


After making some last-minute checks on the Squam Rattlesnake trails for the forthcoming 30th edition of the AMC White Mountain Guide (thanks to Jeremy Clark for the heads-up on the new color-marking system on these trails), I headed down to the Bennett Street trailhead for a favorite bushwhack loop in the Cold River drainage -- a large (3,000+ acres) trailless area on the south side of Sandwich Dome in the Sandwich Range Wilderness.

I approached along the Guinea Pond Trail, which follows the bed of the Beebe River Logging Railroad (1917-1942).

The site of Camp 7 of the Beebe River Logging Railroad.

Artifacts are strewn throughout the site. A reminder: Please don't remove the artifacts - leave them for others to enjoy. Plus, it is illegal to take them.

Rotting remnants of a logger's boot.

Sled runners, etc.

Not sure what this was.

Old pail, still holding together.

A can dump.

A random barrel rusting away in the woods.

A peaceful stretch of the Cold River.

The first in a series of cascades.

Cascade and pool.

An interesting little gorge.

The cascades keep coming.

This one has interesting rock strata, almost like the sandstone of the Catskills.

An old tote road from the logging railroad days. For the story of the Beebe River Railroad, see Bill Gove's Logging Railroads Along the Pemigewasset River.

Another nice one.

This is my favorite of the group. Were it along a trail, it surely would have a name.

Side view.

There's a spacious ledge perch at the top of the main drop.

Nice spot to lounge for a while in the spring sun.

Cascade grass.

The upper part of the cascade above the perch.

Looking down.

Another cascade above.

Side view.

A wild spruce-wooded plateau.

From here I bushwhacked up to a familiar ledge with a unique view highlighting the massive sprawl of Sandwich Dome beyond an expansive beaver wetland. Nice spring foliage on the flanks of the Dome.

Black Mountain and the Dome.

Northeast to Whiteface and Chocorua.

Close-up of the Dome. Back in 2005 I wandered up through the broad basin on the left and then up to Black Mountain and the Algonquin Trail, as recounted here.

The black flies were a bit annoying, but I managed to get a snooze in.

Reluctantly leaving the ledge, but I wanted to circumnavigate the beaver wetland complex.

Tree embrace.

Sandwich Dome across the beaver pond.

I found a great pondside sitting rock.

An old beaver dam grown to grasses.

Interesting colors.

Old beaver work.

Hobblebush entanglements await on the slopes around the pond.

Fresh beaver work.

Home sweet home.

Tall maples border this pondside meadow. Beware of ticks!

Looking back at the knob with the view ledge.

Gorgeous remote hardwood plateau.

One more cascade on the return loop.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


On a cool, cloudy, breezy spring afternoon and evening, I enjoyed a leisurely low-elevation loop, partly on trails and partly bushwhacking. A nice quiet day in the woods.

From the Smarts Brook trailhead, I went up the Tri-Town Trail and then veered off onto the Atwood Ski Trail, which is mostly used by mountain bikers.

It was looking very spring-like here.

A fine sitting ledge on the shore of Atwood Pond beckoned for a break.

A rare mellow stretch on Sandwich Notch Road.

I headed up a ridge to a nameless 2200-ft. knob I had visited last year. This shoulder featured open, mossy spruce woods.

These woods had the look of old pastureland, from the days in the mid-1800s when Sandwich Notch was home to a thriving farming community.

This appears to be a massive old-field maple.

Fallen ferns in a natural meadow.

A glimpse of Carr Mountain.

One of the objectives of this trek was to check out two open maple glades I found last year, as possible rich woods sites with Dutchman's Breeches. Alas, none were found, but this is a gorgeous Catskill-like glade.

I took a break atop this little rocky knob.

Magnificent woods in this area.

I stumbled upon this stark and desolate spruce bog.

Farther up the ridge was the second glade I wanted to check. No rare flowers here, either, but an inviting scene nonetheless.

Somethin's bruin.

Random ledge on the ridge, a shoulder of Black Mountain.

View of the Campton Range from the top of a sloping ledge-meadow.

Mt. Morgan and East Weetamoo.

Tufts in the woods.

A natural tombstone.

Black cherry trees, which are fairly unusual in the Whites.

Wonderful whackin' heading down to Smarts Brook.

A fine cascade on a nameless tributary of Smarts Brook.

This brook was loaded with small cascades.

A ledgy waterslide.

And yet another cascade.

Sachem Peak overlooks the Smarts Brook beaver pond.

Evening glow on Black Mountain and Sandwich Dome.

Spring foliage on the flank of Black Mountain.

The Smarts Brook Cascade, always a pretty spot.