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10 October 2012

A Short Bushwack to Ledges above Sawyer Pond and Little Sawyer Pond

With only a few hours available for hiking on 09-October, I managed to get on the road well beyond the "crack of noon"!  
I had just read that the Sawyer River Road had recently been repaired and reopened.  And so, I decided to take advantage of this by launching a bushwack from the Sawyer Pond Trail which is located at the end of this road.

In the past, I've launched bushwacks off the south side of the Sawyer Pond Trail to visit Green's Cliff, but had never ventured off the north side of the trail to explore the ledge outcroppings just to the north of Sawyer and Little Sawyer Pond.   Even though it was late in the day, I felt this would likely be a short and easy bushwhack through open hardwoods, and it was!

It was an overcast day, and so the autumn scenery lacked a little sparkle.  Regardless the views were still nice.  The next few snapshots will provide a general idea of what was seen on my Sawyer Ponds adventure.
 The bridge over Sawyer River at the beginning of the Sawyer Pond Trail

Sawyer Pond and Little Sawyer Pond with peaks in the Sandwich Range in the background

Sawyer Pond and Little Sawyer Pond with Owls Cliff on the left of the photo

Zoomed view of Greens Cliff

In case you might have a problem visualizing the location where I bushwhacked, the ledges are located in the general vicinity of the area circled in pink on the map shown below.

 The pink circle on the map shows the general vicinity of the ledges

As mentioned at the beginning of this report, in previous years I had launched bushwhacks to Green's Cliff.  The next snapshot was taken from one of those visits, which coincidentally also occurred in early October!  Anyway, the ledges that I visited this time around can barely be seen on the far left of the photo. They are circled in pink.
Ledges above Sawyer Ponds as viewed from Green's Cliff (photo from a previous hike)

Here is a piece of information that some readers might find of interest.  Sawyer Ponds and the surrounding 1,130 acres is one of ten designated "Scenic Areas in the White Mountain National Forest".  To read more about these scenic areas, click HERE.

Here are two more tidbits that might be of interest!  First of all, it's simply amazing how they were able to repair the extensive damage to Sawyer River Road that was caused by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.  The huge chunks of road that were washed away have somehow magically been restored!

And secondly, I took a few minutes to check out the short re-route of the Signal Ridge Trail.  The re-routed portion begins at the trailhead on Sawyer River Road, and then rejoins the pre-existing trail at a point beyond where the former trail corridor crossed Whiteface Brook.  A very nice job was done in constructing this new segment of trail.  The corridor is blazed and easy to follow.  It took me exactly 5-minutes (one-way) to walk the re-route.

To sum it up, this trek was unplanned and done on a whim, which is the way I do many of my hikes.  And although this mini-adventure didn't cover many miles, and only took about 2 hours, it still provided a decent-size reward. 


Rita Wechter said...

I'll say that this trip provided a great reward!
Sounds like a short but sweet outing. The pictures from this "scenic area of the White Mountains National Forest" show why the area was so designated.
I love the first photo of the bridge leading to the Sawyer Pond Trail - what an amazing shot! The photo draws the viewer into the scene; it made me wish I was crossing that bridge right now! Also this picture illustrates the optical illusion of two parallel lines appearing to converge as they recede into the distance.
Another fun post John!

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rita,

You nailed it by characterizing this as a “short but sweet outing”!

Regarding the bridge leading to the Sawyer Pond Trail, it lends itself well to the “parallel lines appearing to converge” phenomenon. Just as some people are particularly photogenic, the same is true with this bridge.

Thanks as always for posting your comments!