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Bethlehem, New Hampshire, United States
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21 May 2011

Watery Hikes along the Beaver Brook Trail and Other Locations

The best sentiment I could dredge-up relative to my recent hikes is the somewhat overused adage that says "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em". The weather here in northern NH (and most of New England) continues to be a bit on the damp and dreary side. So, it seems appropriate to just go with the flow (pun intended!) and do some weather-appropriate hikes.

On Saturday (21-May), my friend Marty and I decided to hike the first mile of the Beaver Brook Trail just so we could witness the spectacular display of cascades along that segment of trail. We had no intentions on this particular day of hiking the full length of the trail to the summit of Mt. Moosilauke.  Our destination was solely to the area along the trail known as the Beaver Brook Cascades.

We certainly were NOT disappointed with the venue we chose! It was quite an exhibition! Shown below are a few of the many falls we saw along the way.




Earlier in the day, Marty and I also visited Bridal Veil Falls. If you hike the Whites on a regular basis, then it's likely that you've visited this waterfall at one time or another.

Shown below is the scene at Bridal Veil on this particular day.
After the visit to Bridal Veil, we did a short bushwhack to Holden Falls. Click HERE for a link to a fascinating story (and photos) that was posted on the VFTT forum by NeoAkela in July 2010. His posting gives some history and describes his quest to rediscover these all but forgotten waterfalls.

I couldn't get enough of this waterfall, and so shown below are TWO views of Holden Falls. They are essentially the same view but with two different camera settings.

On 20-May (the day prior to the waterfall tour undertaken by Marty and me) I did a solo bushwhack along the east bank of the Saco River. I began from a point along the Davis Path and proceeded northward to Sleeper Brook. Upon reaching Sleeper Brook, I followed along its south bank for a few tenths of a mile before my available time ran out. And besides, the weather was beginning to deteriorate even more!

The yellow line on the map below provides an approximation of the route that I followed.
One thing of interest that I came upon during this trek was a patch of wildflowers that I've been unable to identify. They appear to be a mixture of a common blue and a white violet. Perhaps this wildflower is what's known as a "Dog Violet"??
Shown below are a couple of other snapshots taken during my Saco River/Sleeper Brook adventure.

Here is a scene along the Saco River.
And, here is a scene from along Sleeper Brook.

Oh! Please allow me to switch gears and return to 21-May, the day that Marty and I did our waterfall hikes. On our way back to Bethlehem, we decided to stop in the Franconia Notch to take a peek at the new "Old Man of the Mountain" exhibit that was just opened this month. Click HERE for a link to a newspaper article about this.

As you might have already read elsewhere, seven metal objects have been installed at the former Old Man viewing area. They resemble giant hockey-sticks and are dubbed as "Profilers". You get a general idea of what the Old Man looked like by standing behind any one of these Profilers and then looking toward the spot where the Old Man once was.

I must admit that I didn't take a lot of time trying to photograph what my eye was seeing, but I sort of think that to get a really good image you need to mount your camera on a tripod. Otherwise, (merely my opinion) I think you'll have limited success with getting a crisp image. Below is a rather fuzzy image of the Profilers, plus my feeble attempt at capturing an image of what I was seeing while sighting along one of the Profilers.

To sum it up . . . rain, rain . . . go away! Although rain is necessary, and waterfall hikes can be delightful, there is also something called "too much of a good thing"!
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2 comments:

  1. Great assortment of photos, John! Looks like Beaver Brook was really rocking. That fallen tree has kind of mucked things up at the lowest cascade.

    Did you guys go to the upper level at Bridal Veil, or was there too much water? Holden is a pretty one, have only seen it buried in snow.

    Kudos for exploring up Sleeper Brook. That valley has always looked intriguing, but the long approach along the river always deterred me from going there.

    Never seen violets that looked like those - neat!

    Excellent exploring!

    Steve

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  2. Thanks Steve for your very nice comments!

    Nope, we didn’t make it to the upper level at Bridal Veil. I started the approach to it, but another downpour of rain began, and so I did a quick retreat to join Marty who had wisely already taken cover at the nearby lean-to shelter.

    Regarding Sleeper Brook, although the approach route I used is a bit lengthy, it goes quickly since the terrain along the river is relatively flat, and the woods are very open.

    And yes, those funky violet-like wildflowers that I came across were a surprise. Maybe a scientific name needs to be generated, perhaps something like Viola Saco? :-)

    John

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