This entry includes photos from seven different places in the White
Mountains where I took photos on hikes, usually with Casey and/or Cody, our
fun-loving Labrador retrievers.
Sometimes Jim hiked with me. Other times
I hiked somewhere along his cycling routes after dropping him off at the
beginning of a bike ride or picking him up at the end.
Gordon Falls in Snyder Brook
All of these are popular places for visitors to hike in the northern Whites. Most
were new to us; the only one of the bunch that we've visited
previously is The Basin.
Since I mentioned it in the previous entry, I'll begin with this
stream full of waterfalls, cascades, pools, and
colorful rocks. It is located on the north side of Mt. Adams in the
northern Presidential Range.
I enjoyed the creek so much on my Mt. Madison hike that I took Cody
and Casey back to it twice so they could play in the pools of water. Jim
also accompanied me on one of those hikes, a round trip of a little over
a mile from the Appalachia parking area on US 2.
Cody leads the way on the Maple
Above and below: This inviting
pool of water is near the intersection of Maple Walk and Falls Way.
The quickest way to access the creek is to follow Valley Way Trail to
Maple Walk, go left, and follow the trail to Snyder Brook.
You can add more distance by following the creek farther upstream
or downstream on Falls Way. The stream is full of cascades, waterfalls,
and pools all the way up the mountain, although not all of it is
accessible to trails:
There is also a trail on the other side of the creek.
The paths to and along Snyder Brook are relatively easy to hike and
great for kids, dogs, and people who aren't able (or don't want) to hike
gnarly or steep trails.
This pretty little lake is off US 302 near the AMC's Highland Center
at the northern end of Crawford Notch. Several trails go out from the
Highland Center, including the two-mile loop around Ammonoosuc Lake.
I hiked around the lake with the dogs last Friday morning while Jim
was riding his bike from Twin Mountain RV Park to the town of Glen. He
rode past the Highland Center during his ride.
was also the day the running relay was proceeding through the Notch. One
of the transition points for the runners was the Highland Center, so the
parking area and roadsides were packed with crew vehicles. I managed to
find a spot to park at the far side of the building not far from the
The trail is fairly flat and fairly easy to hike except
for some roots and rocks here and there. The dogs enjoyed swimming in
the lake. We didn't see anyone else on the trail while we were hiking.
If you continue driving a little farther south on US 302
to Crawford Notch State Park you'll come to the Ethan Pond parking area.
Follow the Ethan Pond Trail west, over the railroad tracks, for 3/10ths
mile to the intersection with the Ripley Falls Trail. The falls are
another 4/10ths mile, approximately.
I talked Jim into going with the dogs and me on this
hike Tuesday afternoon between rain showers.
I thought it would be an easier hike than it was. If I'd
realized how steep and gnarly the trail is, I never would have suggested
Jim go with me. He hated this trail and the waterfall was a
disappointment to both of us because there was so little water.
Ripley Falls is one of the steepest-angled falls in New
England. Water flows continuously over rather smooth rock at a 60-degree
angle for about 100 feet:
Pictures of the falls are much more attractive when
there is more water -- and a blue sky.
I suppose I could have called this another A.T. Redux
entry. On the way back down to the parking area we both realized we'd
been on the Ethan Pond Trail nine years ago on our A.T. Adventure
Run-Hike! I was just finishing up the segment that included Franconia
Ridge, Galehead Hut, and Zealand Falls, and Jim and Cody hiked up to
meet me a few miles from the end.
<sigh> We were both in better shape then and our knees hadn't
crapped out on us yet so the trail didn't beat us up as much as it did
Now I'll show you three places in
Franconia Notch State Park that are
popular with visitors and residents.
The first is Artist's Bluff, located on Bald Mountain
off the I-93 parkway near Cannon Mountain. There is a large parking area
at the trail head on NH 18, about a quarter mile past Echo Lake. The
1.5-mile loop trail offers nice views of the lake, Cannon Mountain,
Franconia Ridge, and the Notch:
L to R: Franconia Ridge,
Echo Lake in the Notch, and Cannon Mountain
Ski slopes on Cannon Mtn.
I hiked the loop with the dogs on Wednesday while Jim
was doing a long bike ride from our campground, through Franconia Notch,
and down to Lincoln. This was a tough hike for me with a rambunctious
young Lab on a leash most of the time! Cody was off-leash and no problem.
The trail ranges from smooth to very gnarly, with some
steep slopes, rocks, roots, and large boulders to negotiate:
Cody has had more experience on difficult terrain than
Despite his age he was better able than Casey-pup to figure out how to maneuver
around, up, and down difficult spots like the next two:
There was no way around this
10-foot rock wall, just up or down.
Ditto for this 20-foot slope on
After we hiked Artists' Bluff I drove down to the parking area
by Echo Lake, planning to take the dogs on the trail around the lake.
That didn't happen because prominent signs said "No Dogs" at the
lake. I walked down to the water, took a couple pictures, and left:
This scenic lake is popular with picnickers, swimmers, boaters,
fishermen, hikers, and photographers.
Continuing farther south through Franconia Notch State Park on my way to pick
up Jim in Lincoln, I stopped for a half-hour hike at The Basin.
This extremely popular pool of water is located across the road from the
equally-popular Flume Gorge, which I talked about in
July 26 entry. There is a fee to hike the trails in the Flume area,
but you can park in a pull-off on the west side of the I-93 parkway to easily
access The Basin for free. Or you can park in the main Flume parking lot and walk
a little farther (it's still free to hike to the Basin from there).
Because of all the other visitors that afternoon I left Casey AKA
"Wild Child" in the truck and took Cody ("Mellow Fellow")
with me along the beautiful creek to The Basin:
I love the rock flumes, cascades, and turquoise water
along the upper part of the stream as
much as The Basin itself:
It was only about a mile total out and back to the pool but what
a gorgeous hike -- and the trail is easy in this area, so
most people can access it.
WEEKS STATE PARK
Our buddies Eric and Lynn highly recommended we visit this
historic site about 15 miles north of our campground at Twin Mountain on
US 3. They like it so much they drove a lot farther than that from their
home in Maine to give us a tour of the place last Sunday.
John Wingate Weeks was a leading conservationist, U.S. senator,
U.S. congressman, and Secretary of War under Presidents Harding and Coolidge.
He built an estate on the top of Mt. Prospect, near Lancaster, NH. It was
donated by his heirs to the state for a park in 1941.
Visitors can park at the summit but we chose to park at the bottom of
the paved entrance road just off US 3 and walk up/down the road with our
There are also trails to and around the top. Once we got up
there we walked on a single-track loop trail around the top:
The house, lodge, fire tower, and trails around the grounds have
a panoramic view of the White Mountains of NH, the Green Mountains of VT,
other peaks, and the upper Connecticut River Valley.
We didn't go into any of the buildings that day. We did walk up the
stairs to the top of the attractive stone fire tower, built in 1912:
Eric, Lynn, and their dog Madison wait while
Jim climbs inside the tower.
As you'd expect, the very best views are above the trees,
from the top of the tower:
Jim took this picture of Lynn and me way down below with the dogs:
My legs were a little sore from my Mt. Madison hike the previous
day but the steps in the tower weren't that difficult to
negotiate. It's worth the trip to the top, if you can manage it.
Next entry: another hike to Zealand Falls, this
time with beautiful fall leaf color
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup
© 2014 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil