I enjoyed a hazy, lazy afternoon in the Albany Intervale visiting beautiful Church Pond, one of the easiest hikes in the Whites. Thanks to Carol for watching the store.
The Church Pond Trail starts in Passaconaway Campground and immediately fords the Swift River. The water was low today and it felt good on the feet.
There is a new beaver dam at the crossing of a second channel.
Several years ago the Saco Ranger District trail crew installed a quarter-mile's worth of new bog bridges across an extensive swampy area. This amazing work makes the hike to the pond easy and pleasant.
A view of Green's Cliff across the swamp.
The trail ends at a gravelly hummock known as The Knoll, with a fine stand of red pine. The former eastern loop section of trail has been closed due to chronic wetness.
Gazing down at the pond with the summer breeze sighing through the pines.
There was a feasting on blueberries.
A couple of small openings on the shore provide fine views south to the Sandwich Range.
Sleeper Ridge, the Fool Killer, North Tripyramid and Scaur Peak.
Mt. Passaconaway and Potash Mountain.
I headed to a secluded flat sitting rock on the eastern arm of the pond for an extended break.
Looking towards Mt. Tremont, Owl's Cliff and Birch Hill.
A zoom on Owl's Cliff, displaying its NW and SE cliffs.
Summertime, and the livin' is easy...
I read the chapter on the "Deer Ponds" (the old name for the Church Ponds) in this classic 1916 book about the Albany Intervale.
Another vista from The Knoll.
On the way home I visited a wildlife opening/former log landing at the base of Tripyramid. A field of goldenrod highlighted the view of Potash Mountain.
An impressive view of Tripyramid peaks: the Fool Killer, North Peak and Scaur Peak.
Farther up the Kanc, I stopped to poke up along Ledge Brook. I'd passed the small roadside cascade on this brook hundreds of times, but this was the first time I'd stopped. A tenth of a mile up from the road, I discovered why it's called Ledge Brook.
This would be quite a sight in high water.
A fine display of granite brookbed. I'll be back for further exploration.