The 1981 movie "On Golden Pond" immediately comes to mind each time I hike in the Lakes Region of NH. As many readers will recall, this film starred Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn, along with Jane Fonda. The story centers around an aging couple, Ethel and Norman Thayer, who spend each summer at their home on a lake called Golden Pond.
It’s little wonder that the filmmakers chose the Squam Lake area as the setting for this movie. It is a gorgeous place all year-round, but especially picturesque in the autumn season. With the colors of autumn starting to fade near my home in northern NH, I decided to drive south to the Lakes Region where colorful foliage remained vividly present on this 24th day of October.
To soak in as much of this beautiful day as possible, a rather convoluted route was chosen. I began and ended my hike at the trailhead for the Butterworth Trail. My route is highlighted in yellow on the map that is shown below.
From the trailhead for the Butterworth Trail, you get a pleasant view, even you begin to hike (see snapshot below)!
Regardless of which trails you hike in the Squam Lake region, it is pleasant and easygoing. And during the autumn season, there is plenty of color to delight the eye. The snapshot below shows a scene along a typical segment of trail.
My route took me over the ledges on East Rattlesnake where there are sweeping vistas overlooking Squam Lake. The next two photos were taken from the East Rattlesnake ledges. The first snapshot is a broad overview. The second photo is zoomed, and if you look closely, you can see a boater enjoying a terrific autumn day on the water. (NOTE: Clicking on any photo in this Blog will enlarge it.)
On previous occasions, I had visited the ledges on East Rattlesnake, but the next destination of this trek was new to me. For whatever reason, I had never take the time to trek to Five Finger Point!
Wow! I was totally amazed by the gorgeous scenery along the loop portion of the Five Finger Point Trail. The next 4 photos show just a small selection of the many scenic spots along this trail.
A cove with wonderful reflections!
A cove with a sandy bottom that looks ideal for summertime fun!
Yet another picturesque cove along the Five Finger Point Trail!
View of East Rattlesnake (1,289 ft) and West Rattlesnake (1,260 ft) mountains
In addition to scenes like those shown in the 4 photos shown above, you can also catch glimpses of many attractive homes that dot the shoreline. The one shown in the next photo reminded me of Ethel and Norman Thayer's home from the "On Golden Pond" movie.
On the way home, I made a side trip to confirm a more direct route to the Five Finger Point Trail (just in case I might ever want to do that as a short stand-alone hike). I took Pinehurst Road off of Rt. 113 and then made a right turn onto Bacon Road. Immediately upon turning onto Bacon Road, there is a small (unsigned) parking area on the left side of the road. After walking a few paces back to Pinehurst Road, I walked eastward along the road for about 100 yards and then exited left from the road at the trail signboard. After following the yellow-blazed trail (Pasture Trail) for about 0.2 mile, I came to the beginning of the Five Finger Point Trail.
To sum it up, the chances are good that my trek to the Lakes Region will be the last time for experiencing the full splendor of autumn foliage, at least for this time around! But, there is always next year to look forward to! So now, it's time to start getting excited about the good times ahead for snowshoe hikes, and cross-country skiing!