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12 October 2013

Long Pond and The Hogsback

The title of this report sort of sounds like the title of a work of fiction, although I'm uncertain what the subject matter might be if that were to be the case!   Regardless, the topic of this report is about a short foray to Long Pond, followed by a bushwhack to a ledge along the ridgeline known as The Hogsback.

The sole purpose for making a short foray to the shoreline of Long Pond was to get a photo of Black Mountain with the pond in the foreground (see next photo).
Black Mountain (Benton, NH) with Long Pond in foreground
Before proceeding further with this report, perhaps it might be a good idea to set the scene by presenting a map that shows the area where my adventure took place.  On this map you will see both Long Pond and The Hogsback.  The route I took to The Hogsback is highlighted in yellow.
Map showing the area where my adventure took place
Following my brief stopover at Long Pond to take some photos, I continued travelling south on Long Pond Road to a gated logging road where I parked my car at a wide spot in the road.  On the map shown above, the logging road is labeled as the "Black Mountain Trail".  This corridor now bears little resemblance to a hiking trail!  The next photo shows a typical scene along the logging road, as it currently exists.
Typical scene along the logging road
I followed the logging road for about 0.8 mile and then launched a bushwhack heading westward through open woods for about 0.7 mile to reach a ledge on the ridgeline of The Hogsback.  The next photo shows the type of open woods that I enjoyed for the majority of the bushwhack.
This type of open woods was typical for the majority of the bushwhack
Upon reaching the ridgeline, I picked up the remnants of an old trail.  I don't know if this was ever an official trail.  According to old maps, there was once an official trail called the Jeffers Mountain Trail that ran along the southern part of The Hogsback's ridgeline. However, it appears to me that it veered off before reaching the ledges on the northern end of the ridgeline.  Regardless, the next photo shows a typical segment of the old trail that I followed for about a tenth of a mile before heading off to my target ledge.
Segment of old trail corridor along northern end of The Hogsback's ridgeline
In the preceding paragraph it was mentioned that I headed off the old trail corridor to reach "my target ledge".  On other occasions, I've explored the entire ridgeline along The Hogsback.  Therefore, being familiar with this location, I knew exactly which ledge I wanted to visit.

The next three photos shows some of my favorite views from "my target ledge".
Vista of Long Pond with Kinsmans and tops of Franconia Range in background
Sugarloaf Mountain, as viewed from The Hogsback
Mt. Moosilauke (dark mass on horizon), as viewed from The Hogsback
For my road trip back home, I decided to continue driving southbound on Long Pond Road to pick up Rt. 25 westbound, and then take Lime Kiln Road to Rt. 116 toward Franconia where I'd pick up Rt. 142 and head for my home in Bethlehem.

The route outlined above enabled me to make a roadside stop at Oliverian Pond to view Owl's Head cliffs (just NW of Glencliff, NH), and to also make a roadside stop on Lime Kiln Road to get a distant view of Sugarloaf Mountain and The Hogsback ridgeline which I had visited earlier in the day.

The next two photos show the vistas from these roadside stops.  Sometimes the views travelling to/from the hike can be at least as pleasant as the views experienced on the hike itself!
Owl's Head cliff (near Glencliff, NH), as viewed from Oliverian Pond
Sugarloaf Mountain and The Hogsback, as viewed from Lime Kiln Road (between East Haverhill and Benton, NH)
To sum it up, the only actual hiking that I did for this adventure was the approximate 3-mile round trip trek to the ledge on The Hogsback.  But as the saying goes, big things come in small packages!  Also, it was terrific to do this trek one more time before the forest in this vicinity is "rearranged" by the upcoming logging operations associated with the Pemi Northwest Project.


Steve Smith said...

Great photos, John! The Hogsback is one of the neatest spots in the western Whites. You captured it beautifully.


1HappyHiker said...

Thanks Steve!

Although I enjoy hiking to all the peaks in the Benton Range, The Hogsback stands out as a unique and special place.


One Day in America said...

Hi John,

I'm sorry to hear about the upcoming logging project. Is nothing sacred? I guess not, as long as there is a dollar to be made by "rearranging" such a beautiful place. What a shame.

That said, I really enjoyed your foray to Long Pond and the Hogsback (perhaps it could be the title of a new Harry Potter movie?). Long Pond is spectacular in the fall. And the views from the ledge are wonderful too; sometimes it's great to be so familiar with a place that you know exactly how you'll be rewarded by visiting a certain location.
Also thanks for the wonderful photos from your roadside stops. Those pics are proof that you don't always have to hike for miles and miles to enjoy the beauty of a New England autumn—you just have to get out of your house and go!

Another great post John!

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rita,

Hmmm! Never thought of “Long Pond and The Hogsback” as having potential for a title of a Harry Potter movie! Great idea! :-)

Yes, there is a lot to be said for having familiarity with a place. It can enable you to ‘cut to the chase’ and go directly to a spot where you know there are views that are pleasing to you.

And yup, you have my complete agreement that one doesn’t need to hike for miles to find beauty in New England, especially during the Autumn season. There are many roadside vistas that I find every bit as rewarding as those requiring a hike. But of course, the vista is just one component of the overall experience. Hiking through the forest has its own set of rewards and pleasures.

Thank you so much for taking time to read my report and post your comments.


Don Robinson said...

Hi John,
Terrific report and great photos! I was up on Black Mountain Saturday and as I have a habit of doing an somewhat obsessed with that area now. I noticed in your report that you said logging was going to change the area. Your report is from 2013. Is that area in a condition where I could duplicate your bushwhack to Hogsback? I always find your trip reports very interesting and they inspire me to try new hiking adventures ��

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Don,

First off, thanks for your kind words about my blog postings.

Regarding your question about Hogsback, my wanderings have not taken me back to the logged area that I mentioned in my 2013 report. And so, I have no updated info to provide to you. HOWEVER, since my report was written, there has been some exciting news about a blazed trail that has been recently constructed (partially on private land but with landowner's permission). This trail leads to nearby Sugarloaf Mountain (Benton). From Sugarloaf, it is an easy trek over to Hogsback. Some of the trek (so I’m told) is on a herd path between Sugarloaf and the Hogsback ridge.

Anyway, to reach the new trail mentioned above, drive to Page Hill Road (Haverhill, NH) and park at the second green gate on your left (north side of road). Be very careful NOT to block access to the road on the other side of the green gate. The GPS coordinate for the parking area is: 44.0415, -71.9411. Once parked, then walk about a tenth of a mile down the road beyond the green gate. You should see the first yellow blaze on your right near this GPS coordinate: 44.0418, -71.9434. Yellow blazes mark the trail from the trailhead all the way to the east side of Sugarloaf.

If you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to contact me at: randonneur8 at yahoo dot com.