Thursday, June 29, 2017


With intermittent showers in the forecast, it seemed like a good day for a long valley walk in the Western Pemi Wilderness. Carol accompanied me to Franconia Falls, where we relaxed for a while, then she headed home and I continued several miles up the Franconia Brook Trail and bushwhacked to various beaver ponds for views of the surrounding peaks.

This sled runner is on display alongside Lincoln Woods Trail at the site of J.E. Henry's Camp 8.

A bed frame at J.E. Henry's Camp 7, at the junction of Lincoln Woods and Black Pond Trails.

Relaxing at Franconia Falls, with North Hancock in the distance.

Franconia Falls.

A rain shower veils Mt. Flume from the bridge over Franconia Brook.

View of Owl's Head from a beaver meadow near Franconia Brook Trail and the site of Camp 9.

Zoom on the south peak and SE cliffs of Owl's Head.

A sled runner pokes up like a periscope from a beaver meadow.

Another artifact nearby.

More artifacts on display in the woods.

A stove door from Camp 9.

A rain shower dapples a beaver pond along the Franconia Brook Trail.

A little spruce sprouts from a big old pine trunk.

The west spur of Bondcliff seen across another beaver pond.

Hellgate Brook. The crossing was easy today.

A rusted old waterline at Camp 10, north of Hellgate Brook.

A lonely, abandoned beaver pond offers a view of the southwest ridge of South Twin.

Southwest Twin, the most remote Trailwrights 4000 peak, is on the left.

The view from my sitting rock along the shore.

 In the Pemi woods.

Franconia Brook, deep in the valley.

A gorgeous maple glade between the Franconia Brook Trail and Franconia Brook.

Franconia Brook Trail follows the old railroad grade.

Talus on the west spur of Bondcliff. Great Pemi views up there, but not easy to access.

Massive driftwood on Franconia Brook.

Someone fashioned quite a campsite on the bank of the brook.

A vivid green beaver meadow at the eastern base of Owl's Head.

The cliff-faced SE spur of Owl's Head looms above another beaver pond.

By moving around the corner I gained a wider perspective on the Owl's Head ridge.

The Owl's Head cliffs, backlit. I had spotted these beaver wetlands from up there on a snowshoe bushwhack a few years back with Chris Whiton and John Compton.

Beaver pond reflections.

Bondcliff and its southern spur from yet another beaver wetland, just above the trail.

Looking up the East Branch to Bondcliff.

 Looking downstream to Mt. Osceola.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

INLOOK LOOP: 6/24/17

With a crack o' noon start following heavy morning showers, my brother Drew and I enjoyed the wonderful five-mile loop from the Appalachia trailhead that includes the Inlook Trail, the upper section of the Kelton Trail, and the lower part of the Brookside. This hike is rich in waterfalls, views and fine forest scenery. Thanks to Carol for watching the store!

We followed Valley Way and Maple Walk over to Fallsway, and dropped a short distance to Gordon Fall.

Drew stands beside a big hemlock in the Snyder Brook Scenic Area.

The scene at Upper Salroc Fall.

Tama Fall is a real beauty.

A great spot!

A mellow stretch above the initial steep climb on the Inlook Trail.

The first of several open ledges along the Inlook Trail, which follows a spur of Gordon Ridge that was burned in a 1921 forest fire.

Looking up the ridge to more ledges above.

This big ledge at 2500 ft. is one of the great spots in the Randolph area, and is only 1.4 miles from Appalachia. Here there is a long view west, all the way out to Mt. Mansfield in Vermont.

The trail is named for the "inlooks" up the Snyder Brook valley to Mt. Madison, Mt.John Quincy Adams, and Mt. Adams (which was socked in at this point).

A bit farther up the ridge is Dome Rock, with partly open views north to the Crescent Range and NE to the Mahoosucs.

Black Crescent Mountain, with its talus slope that was once called the Crescent Scar.

Drew takes in the vista from the Upper Inlook, the viewpoint at the very top of the Inlook Trail.

This spot has another good view to the west.

Mt. Adams itself (on the right) had emerged from the clouds.

JQ Adams and Adams.

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From here we followed a fine woodsy and mostly gentle section of the Kelton Trail southward. Back in 2002-2003 the Randolph Mountain Club trail crew had done some fine sidecutting work on a very rough section of trail.

From the end of Kelton Trail we headed a little ways up the Brookside to Salmacis Fall.

We picked our way across the brook to the base of the waterfall.


Below the Kelton Trail, the Brookside offers excellent footing through a birch forest along with pleasant brook scenery.

Snyder Brook along the Brookside.

A peek at the cliffs across the valley, below the Inlook Trail.

More brook scenery.

A hook in the rock at a crossing on the Brookside - perhaps the site of an old bridge? We completed our loop with easy jaunts through airy hardwood forest along Beechwood Way and the lower part of Air Line.