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30 September 2015

Accessing Bog Pond from Kinsman Ridge Trail

The outcome for this adventure was somewhat uncertain since my goal was to access Bog Pond from the north where there are no trails leading to it.  Actually, there are no hiking trails to this body of water from any direction!  However, from the east, the pond is accessible by walking several miles on snowmobile trails from the area of North Woodstock, NH, or by bushwhacking for a considerable distance beyond the end of the Georgiana Falls Trail.

To achieve my goal of accessing Bog Pond from the north, I decided to explore an abandoned roadway off the east side of the Kinsman Ridge Trail (KRT) about a hundred feet north of where the trail crosses Eliza Brook.  On previous visits to this area, I've noticed that this old corridor heads southward.  It has always intrigued me as to whether it could be followed all the way to Bog Pond which lies less than a mile south of the KRT.

My overall route of travel for this trek is highlighted on the map below. It involved hiking the Reel Brook Trail to meet up with the Kinsman Ridge Trail which I hiked northward to Eliza Brook where I then went off-trail onto the abandoned roadway that heads southward for about one mile to Bog Pond.
Map showing overall route of travel for this trek
To cut to the chase, the abandoned roadway does indeed lead to Bog Pond. And, it was generally in good shape for the majority of the way.  However, there was a short segment which was a bit confusing near the beginning.  But the corridor soon became very apparent again by staying on the east side of Eliza Brook, and by maintaining a southward bearing.  It should also be noted that there was a swampy section of several hundred feet which required a short bushwhack through the woods adjacent to the roadway.

Shown below is a typical portion of the old corridor that was followed between the Kinsman Ridge Trail and Bog Pond.
A typical portion of old corridor between the Kinsman Ridge Trail and Bog Pond
Regarding the purpose that the abandoned roadway once served, I suspect it was used as a logging road.  However, it's also possible that it was built as an access road used in conjunction with erection of the high voltage transmission line that runs through this area.

It might also be of interest to know that the old roadway ends at a point along a snowmobile trail where it curves and then heads across Bog Pond (when it's frozen, of course!).

My explorations were pretty much limited to the vicinity where the old roadway ends.  It is exceptionally difficult to walk around the perimeter of the pond since it is extremely boggy.  There is a good reason why it's named Bog Pond!  Once the ground freezes, it should be relatively easy to do more extensive explorations of other portions of the pond.

And so, what did I see once I reached Bog Pond?  My views across the pond were looking in a SSW direction.  Mt. Wolf (3,478 ft) dominated the scene.  The photo below shows is a panorama of the view I experienced.  Surprisingly enough, the power lines were barely noticeable from my location at the pond.  But upon close examination of the right/center portion of the next photo you can see the faint glint of wires to the left of Mt. Wolf.
Panorama view looking SSW across Bog Pond.  Mt. Wolf is the prominent mountain at right of photo
The next photo is a zoomed view of Mt. Wolf, as viewed across Bog Pond.
A zoomed view of Mt. Wolf, as viewed across Bog Pond
The next photo shows nothing in particular.  I just happened to like it, and decided to share it.  Since the trees surrounding Bog Pond are mainly conifers, this might be about as "autumn-like" as it's ever going to be at this location.  Regardless, Bog Pond should be proud of its staging and the show it put on. The underbrush along the shore had an autumn hue, and the leaves had become colorful on the smattering of hardwoods scattered here and there.  Plus, its water was bluer than blue on the day of my visit!
A segment of beautiful Bog Pond
Besides the views looking across the pond, I also managed to get a nice view of South Kinsman (4,358 ft).  However, getting this view required some tedious maneuvering that involved treading carefully on the sponge-like surface surrounding the pond, as well as pushing my way through some tight thickets of conifers.
View of South Kinsman from an area on north side of Bog Pond
In addition to the fine views experienced at Bog Pond, there were other noteworthy sights that were seen over the course of this trek.   For example, while hiking along the Reel Brook Trail, I came across the trailside scene shown in the next photo.  Lighting conditions just happened to be perfect for accentuating the vivid colors in this little vignette.
Vivid colors at a spot along the Reel Brook Trail
Along the way, I also made a short side-trip to the Eliza Brook campsite where I snapped a photo of the lean-to shelter at this location.
Lean-to at Eliza Brook campsite
And here is one last photo. Shortly after the junction of the Reel Brook Trail and Kinsman Ridge Trail you come to the power line swath.  If you can manage to somehow ignore the power lines, the eastward view is quite pleasant.
View looking eastward from the power line swath near the junction of the Reel Brook Trail and Kinsman Ridge Trail
To sum it up, approaching Bog Pond from the north is an alternative to walking the snowmobile trails from the North Woodstock area; or bushwhacking beyond the end of Georgiana Falls Trail.  Although Bog Pond was my sole target for this particular day, it would make a nice side-trip when hiking along the Kinsman Ridge Trail to other destinations.

8 comments:

  1. John, the "vivid colors" photograph looks like something out of a fairy tale!

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    1. SteveK . . . I know exactly what you mean! It was one of those rare moments when I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. If I’d stumbled upon this scene just a few minutes sooner or a few minutes later, the lighting would have been different and the photo wouldn’t have been nearly as dramatic.

      Thanks for your comment! Much appreciated!

      John

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  2. Very nice John. I've only been to Bog Pond in winter. Via the very long and boring snowmobile trail. What an absolutely gorgeous spot in summer. Or should I say early fall? Awesome contrast with the splashes of oranges and reds amongst all the greens.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Joe

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    1. Thanks Joe!

      Just like you, my previous visits to the Bog Pond area have been in winter also. But actually, this was my first visit to Bog Pond proper. My winter treks to this area have been limited to Bog Eddie by bushwhacking about 0.6 mile beyond the end of the Georgiana Falls Trail.

      John

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks!

      Your blog postings are enjoyable to read and contain great images, including your most recent one at the link below:

      http://solowoodlandwanderer.blogspot.com/2015/10/mount-hale-zealand-hut-loop.html

      John

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  4. Very nice place John. Never heard about that before, thank you. :)

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    1. And thank you Yvon for reading my blog, and for taking the time to post a comment!

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