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16 June 2013

Rogers Ledge - What He Said!

The title of this report includes the phrase "What He Said".  I'm referring to the fact that there is nothing of significance that I can add to what Steve Smith has already said about the trek to Rogers Ledge!

Steve's  blog (click HERE) contains an excellent narrative and photos from a few years ago when he and his wife Carol visited Rogers Ledge using the same route as taken by my friend Marty and I on our trek of 15-June-2013.

And, in addition to Steve's blog report, he has also written a very informative document about Rogers Ledge which is available at his Mountain Wanderer website under the tab labeled as "Paths & Peaks". (Click HERE to read that report.)

And so, with that introduction, my report will consist of some brief narrative along with a few snapshots taken during my trek with Marty to Rogers Ledge.

Despite having a view that is perhaps second only the Horn among peaks in the Kikenny region, Rogers Ledge is visited less frequently than many other destinations in the White Mountain area of NH.  The round-trip distance of 8.2 miles discourages some from doing this trek.  Also, this destination isn't included on lists used by most peakbaggers.

There are several routes in the Kilkenny region that can be used to access Rogers Ledge. However, during the summer season the approach from South Ponds offers the shortest and most direct route.  It has a gradual elevation gain of about 1,900 ft. which distributed over an ascent of 4.1 miles.

As we began our hike, Marty and I stopped at one of the many viewpoints along South Pond to take a few snapshots.
Marty taking a photo at South Pond at the start of our trek
We made very few stops on our way up to Rogers Ledge, and we arrived at the top in about 2 hours from the time we left the trailhead.  Just before stepping out onto the massive granite shelf atop the Rogers Ledge cliff, the snapshot shown below was taken.
View seen just before stepping out onto massive granite shelf atop Rogers Ledge cliff
Once out on the shelf, you experience a fabulous and unobstructed 180 degree view.  The next photo shows the view looking southward at the Carter Range and Northern Presidentials which rise above the Crescent Range and the upland plateau at the base of Rogers Ledge.
South view: Carter Range and Northern Presidentials
After snapping photos from the top, I went a short distance (60 ft or so) toward the western end of the ledge in order to get a profile view of the cliff  (see next photo). 
Profile of cliff face at Rogers Ledge.  Quite a sheer drop-off! 
After photographing the profile of this sheer cliff, I clambered my way back to the top to take photos looking to the east and to the west.

The eastward view features the long profile of the Mahoosuc Range on the horizon (next photo).
Eastward view featuring the long profile of the Mahoosuc Range on the horizon
The next photo is basically the same view as above, except I was standing closer to the edge of the ledge!
Eastward view standing close to the edge of the ledge!
The westward view features peaks in the Pilot Range.  The next photo shows Marty admiring the view of notable peaks such as The Horn, The Bulge, and Hutchins Mountain.
Marty admiring the view peaks in the Pilot Range
Pointing my camera southward again, I zoomed in on the Presidential Range to get a closer view into King Ravine which is situated under the watchful eye of Mt. Adams.
Zoomed photo featuring King Ravine in the Northern Presidential Range
In addition to the on-trail views, we also experienced some noteworthy off-trail views.  But before getting into that aspect of our trek, perhaps it might be worthwhile to give you a lay of the land.  The photo shown below was taken in 2009 from an off-trail ledge located on the peak known as The Horn.  This snapshot shows Rogers Ledge, plus some of the other notable landmarks in the vicinity (click to enlarge).
Photo taken from The Horn showing Rogers Ledge, plus other landmarks in the vicinity
As an additional aid to setting the scene, the following map shows locations for two off-trail spots that were visited.
Map showing the locations for two of the off-trail spots that were visited on this trek
Okay, now that the scene is set, here are the photos taken from these off-trail locations.  The first snapshot was taken from a ledge located below and to the east of the Rogers Ledge summit.  From this rather precarious ledge, there is a nice view of Square Mountain and Greens Ledge (next photo).
Square Mtn. & Greens Cliff viewed from ledge below and east of Rogers Ledge summit
The next two snapshots were taken from a ledge on the east side of the mountain known as North Peak.  The first photo shows a profile view of trailless Square Mountain which "boasts the largest cliff face in the Kilkenny" per Steve Smith.
Profile view of Square Mountain as viewed from ledge on east side of North Peak
The ledge on North Peak also provides an interesting view of the backside of Rogers Ledge (next photo).
Backside of Rogers Ledge, as viewed from a ledged on east side of North Peak
On the return leg of our trek, Marty and I made one more short off-trail foray to visit a small cascade located about 100 ft south of the point where the Kilkenny Ridge Trail crosses Cold Stream.  The next photo shows the cascade, as well as the approximate map location for the cascade.
Off-trail cascade with map showing its approximate location
The last 3 photos show some miscellaneous aspects of our hike.  The first snapshot shows a plaque that was attached to a rock at the top of Rogers Ledge to commemorate it receiving this official name in 1964.  It was named for Major Robert Rogers (1727-1795), a New Hampshire native and leader of the famed Rogers’ Rangers, who gained fame in the French and Indian War.  The naming campaign was spearheaded by an Episcopal Bishop (Rt. Rev. Robert Hatch).  (For some very interesting details about the naming of Rogers Ledge, click HERE to access Steve's Smith document at his website.)
Plaque at top of Rogers Ledge to commemorate it receiving this official name in 1964
As we hiked along the Kilkenny Ridge Trail, we saw evidence of recent trail maintenance work.  The next photo shows some fine axe work that was done to remove a blowdown.
Recent trail maintenance along Kilkenny Ridge Trail
And speaking of the Kilkenny Ridge Trail (from South Ponds to Rogers Ledge), the intent of the next photo is to show that there are some sections of the treadway that are smooth and very easy to travel, whereas other sections of the treadway are rocky and uneven.  There are also some segments which are muddy, but I forgot to take a snapshot of one of those sections.  However, I think we all know what mud looks like! :-)
Some segments of Kilkenny Ridge Trail are smooth, whereas others are rocky
To sum it up, the views from Rogers Ledge are worth the 8.2 mile round-trip hike, at least in my opinion.  And, the overall experience can be enhanced by making a few off-trail side trips along the way.
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ADDENDUM (added 17-June-2013):

There is a chapter about Rogers Ledge of Kim Nilsen's book entitled "50 Hikes North of the White Mountains".  
On page 75 of that book, mention is made of the profile of "Rogers's Dog" located on the cliff face of Rogers Ledge.  I followed the directions provided in the book, but was unable to visualize this profile when looking at the cliff face.

However, following the hike, Kim kindly provided me with some additional guidance and I can now see the profile of Rogers's Dog!  It was there all along, and even showed up in my photos!  And so, for anyone else who might have had the same "blind eye" as me, shown below is another photo of the cliff face that I took during this hike.  The dog's profile is outlined in pink, and there is a pink arrow pointing to Rogers's Dog.
Rogers's Dog (outlined in pink, with arrow pointing to it)

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos. Glad you were out on Saturday, it was a great day to hike. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Ann for your comments. Saturday was indeed a great day to be out for a hike, regardless of your destination. If you are the same Ann that I think you might be, then it looks like you had a fantastic day hiking the Percy Peaks.

      John

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    2. you have the correct Ann, that is me. We loved Percy Peaks. I told Steve S. on Sunday, if we lived up there we would adopt the trail up to South Percy, we both fell in love with that entire loop.

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    3. Hi Ann!

      It’s easy to understand how you fell in love with the Percy Peaks area. It is so unique and so special. And that little untamed path leading to South Percy ranks highly on my list of favorite trails!

      John

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  2. John, you've posted stories and photos from many wonderful hikes in your part of the country but this ranks as one of the best! It sounds like every aspect of this hike was rewarding and you had great weather too.
    The views from the ledges are spectacular but I think I would have been tempted to cut my hike short and just hang out by South Pond!
    Thanks for taking your readers on another awesome journey!

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    1. Thanks Rita! Yes, this hike does offer a little bit of everything, i.e. pretty pond, crystalline cascade, babbling brooks, lovely ledges, colossal cliffs, fabulous forest, and many mountain views.

      Regarding just simply hanging out at South Pond, rather than hiking, many folks choose this option. There is a lovely sandy beach, plus there are outdoor grilles, picnic tables, and public restrooms. Even those who do choose to hike have been known to do a post-hike cool down by taking a refreshing dip in the pond! :-)

      John

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  3. Far and away my favorite hike in the Whites. Besides the beautiful views and easy trail, you hvave solitude for much of the day. My family has a camp nearby, and I've gone up there at least three dozen times (I stopped counting at 35). It was how I walked my dog if we were bored at camp. All told, in all those trips, I saw 9 people (and four were in a single group).

    You told the story well.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comments!

      You are so right about everything you said regarding this hike, and especially the bit about the solitude! Although I’ve done this hike far fewer times than you, I also have never met another hiker during the handful of times that I’ve made the trek to Rogers Ledge.

      John

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  4. Terrific report and photos, John! Thanks for the plug, but you've said it and shown it pretty well yourself! Love the profile shots of Square and Greens. Thanks for pointing out the pooch. What a great area!

    Steve

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Steve! And I completely agree that the Kilkenny region is indeed an awesome area!

      Regarding the pooch, i.e. Rogers’s Dog, I think it’s just one of those things that once you see it, you see it! When I was standing right there looking at it, the image simply did not register in my mind. However, once Kim Nilsen provided a few more hints, then the dog’s profile popped right out at me!

      John

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  5. Replies
    1. Roger Ledge is located in the northern portion of the State of NH. The nearest town is Stark, NH.

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