Thursday, May 16, 2019

Hall Ponds & East Weetamoo: 5/15/19

An interesting bushwhack loop in Sandwich Notch featuring ponds, cascades, views and wildlife.

Sandwich Notch Road was still closed, so I parked in a muddy pulloff just before the barrier.

I made a two-mile approach to Upper Hall Pond with a combination of unofficial mountain bike trails, a bit of bushwhacking, and walking the historic Sandwich Notch Road, about as pleasant a road walk as you'll find in the Whites.

A cascade on the outlet brook from Atwood Pond, seen beyond one of the many stone walls in Sandwich Notch.

Stumbled on this U-shaped cellar hole, which doesn't seem to match any of the descriptions in the two Sandwich Notch historical site booklets published by the Sandwich Historical Society.

A small but attractive cascade.

Walkin' the road.

The scene at Upper Hall Pond. East Weetamoo (2435 ft.) is on the L, its northern spur is on the R. In summer and fall, high-clearance vehicles can be driven here, but all was quiet today.

Zoom on East Weetamoo, a darkly-wooded mass. With binoculars I could just make out an obscure view spot I'd visited twice in recent springs. Today I planned to continue the rest of the way up to the summit. Before whacking up there, I wanted to pay a visit to secluded Middle Hall Pond.

A Spotted Sandpiper forages along the shore of Upper Hall Pond.

A large wetland meadow passed along the bushwhack to Middle Hall Pond.

Old beaver work.

Middle Hall Pond, in the shadow of East Weetamoo.


A backcountry beauty, known mostly to reclusive anglers.

The eastern shore.

A nameless waterfall visited en route to East Weetamoo.

Side view.

View from the top.

More cascades.

Dusky pool.

Where the river flows.

Steep slope on flank of Sandwich Notch.

Ambitious beavers have felled small trees high above the floor of the notch. That would be a long drag down!

Big old yellow birch.

Rugged terrain ascending to the ridgecrest of East Weetamoo.

Reaching the first view ledge, looking out at Lower Hall Pond with Dinsmore Mountain and Mt. Israel beyond.

A rare spot of sun illuminates Israel and Dinsmore on this raw, gray spring day.

Sandwich Dome is a sprawling mountain from any angle. I didn't linger long at this remote viewpoint as upon my arrival a loud and persistent canine call (coyote, I assumed) began from not far away to the north, and it was getting closer.

I moved quietly up the ridge and dropped down to a somewhat hidden clifftop with a wonderful view north over Sandwich Notch to the mountains beyond. The calls continued to come closer, then started receding in the opposite direction.

Nice bird's eye view of Upper Hall Pond...

...and Middle Hall Pond.

Sandwich Dome presides over both ponds.

Spruce-woods whacking up to East Weetamoo's summit.

First register entry of 2019. Obscure lists, and familiar names!

I passed by a small ridgecrest bog near the summit.

Osceolas in the distance.

In the Weetamoo woods.

These cliffs reminded me of those seen on a recent hike on Friday Mountain in the Catskills.

A champion yellow birch in a little hardwood valley below the cliffs.

One of several interesting boulders at the base of East Weetamoo's steep-sided northern spur.

Indian Poke lines the stream flowing down through the valley.

Red Trilliums on a hardwood slope above Upper Hall Pond.

View across Upper Hall Pond to the two Black Mountains of Sandwich Dome.

Rocky shoreline.

A lingering snowdrift by the shore, rock-solid to walk on.

Ship ahoy!

Peaceful easy feelin'

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