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.
There's a spacious ledge perch at the top of the main drop.
Nice spot to lounge for a while in the spring sun.
The upper part of the cascade above the perch.
Another cascade above.
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.
Sandwich Dome across the beaver pond.
I found a great pondside sitting rock.
An old beaver dam grown to grasses.
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.