I'd never done this hike, even though I've been meaning to do so for quite awhile. It suddenly leapfrogged to the top of my list on 20-July-2011 when I only had a few hours available for hiking. And besides, the weather was too hot and humid (for my taste) to do anything strenuous.
The entire loop is only 2.8 miles. The map shown below was extracted from a document published by the Forest Service which outlines a proposal to decommission a 1.2 segment on the east side of the loop. Apparently, this plan was set forth since it would require extensive labor and materials to rehabilitate this badly deteriorated section. The 1.1 mile western side of the loop would continue to be maintained. (Click on the map to enlarge.)
On the day of my hike, the two crossings of the river were pretty easy. However, the water depth at the first crossing was about 10 inches deep. And with no stepping stones, it was just deep enough to require wading (unless you don't mind getting your footwear wet). Whereas the water level at the second crossing was only 2-3 inches deep, plus someone had laid down a few logs which further facilitated the short passage across the water.
Shown in the photo below are the two water crossings.
I did this loop in a clockwise fashion. Aside from deteriorating bog bridges, the western side of the loop was in very good shape. There was even evidence of recent trail maintenance.
However, the eastern side of the loop was in poor condition. There were many segments of the trail that were similar to the one shown in the photo below.
Throughout the entire loop, ripe blueberries were abundant.
On the better-maintained western side of the loop, I spotted one of the more unique wildflowers, the pitcher plant.
And, I also saw what I consider as one of the more beautiful wildflowers in the Whites, the purple-fringed orchid.
Near the end of the western side of the loop is a knoll that overlooks Church Pond. This knoll is covered with red pines. The approach leading to the top of the knoll is picturesque (photo below).
By following one of the paths from the top of the knoll to the water's edge, you get a great view of Potash Mountain (foreground) and Mt. Passaconaway (background).
By going off-trail, you can get a spectacular view of Green's Cliff.
And, another off-trail exploit to a different spot will earn you a view of Owl's Cliff with lumpy Mt. Tremont behind it.
Okay, and now for something that isn't "divine" (as per the title of this report), but instead is rather "silly". There was one segment on the west side of the loop where the angle of the sun was such that it cast my shadow in front of me for a tenth of a mile or so. Everywhere I went, there I was! With all due respect to the Beatles song entitled "Yesterday", I was reminded of the line from that song which says: "There's a shadow hanging over me".
To sum it up, this was a great little hike, and I'm very happy that I finally did it. As one final note, on the day of this hike, no insect repellant was needed. The bugs were buzzing, but not biting! And for certain, that was "divine"!