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Bethlehem, New Hampshire, United States
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03 July 2016

Mini-Adventure to Ledges on Deer Mountain (Kilkenny region of NH)

INTRODUCTION:

This is yet another blog posting about one of my little half-day adventures.   Toward the end of June 2016, I left my home around the "crack of noon" to do a short bushwhack to ledges (44°31'6.32"N, 71°19'21.24"W) located on the south end of Deer Mountain (the mountain north of the Berlin Fish Hatchery in the Kilkenny region of New Hampshire).  The entire trek was only about 3 miles round-trip.

Shown below is a photo-composite which illustrates the bushwhack route taken to the ledges, plus it shows one of the abandoned corridors that could be sporadically followed at a few points along my route.  It's pure speculation, but these corridors could have been old logging roads and/or remnants of an abandoned hiking trail that once ran between the Mill Brook Trail and Deer Mountain.  (When this blog was written, information about the abandoned hiking trail could be accessed by clicking HERE.)

LEFT PANEL: Bushwhack route taken to ledges; RIGHT PANEL:  one of abandoned corridors along my route
In 2009, I did a similar bushwhack to ledges on Deer Mountain, but they were located a little further east.  Also, that adventure included a visit to the abandoned Fire Warden's cabin (44°31'27.83"N, 71°19'30.21"W) along with the ruins of a 40 ft. fire tower that stood atop Deer Mountain from about 1940 to 1948.  Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time on this adventure to re-visit this site.  However, from reading trip reports from others who have recently bushwhacked to this location, it seems that these relics have pretty much remained intact over the past 7 years.  Shown below is a composite of some snapshots taken during my visit in 2009.
Composite of snapshots taken during 2009 visit to the abandoned Fire Warden's cabin and fire tower ruins located atop Deer Mountain (Kilkenny region)
Just as a footnote, use of aircraft for fire-spotting had become quite common by 1948, which led to the closing of many fire towers in New Hampshire, such as the one on Deer Mountain.  As of the time this blog was written, other interesting information about the history of NH fire towers could be accessed by clicking HERE.

PHOTOS:
Shown below are a three snapshots taken during my June 2016 visit to ledges located on the south end of Deer Mountain (Kilkenny region).
Slightly zoomed view of northern Presidential Range as viewed from ledges on Deer Mountain
On either side of the zoomed photo shown above are expansive views to the SSW and SSE (see next two photos).
This vista is looking SSW and extends from northern Presidential Range (at left) to North Weeks and Terrace Mountain (at right).  Also, the top of Mt. Starr-King is seen between North Weeks and Terrace Mountain.
This vista is looking SSE.  At LEFT is Jericho Mountain (pointy peak in shadows with wind farm faintly visible); at left of CENTER on distant horizon are peaks in Shelburne-Moriah range; at RIGHT are peaks in northern Presidential Range.

~ THE END ~

2 comments:

  1. What a fun short hike! It looks like you're still having great weather for your summer afternoon adventures.

    Thanks for including the scenes from your 2009 hike to the abandoned fire warden's cabin. I really love the photo taken through the six-panel window—perfectly composed!

    I'm surprised that the abandoned corridors through the woods have not grown in with vegetation. Do you think other recreationists—trail runners, snowshoers, X-country skiers, etc.—use them? (Maybe that information is in the link you provided; I'm going to click on that link as soon as I publish these comments!)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Rita for reading my blog posting, and for your kind words.

      Regarding the abandoned corridors, they all eventually petered out. They were just random little snippets that somehow managed to elude being reclaimed by Mother Nature. When bushwhacking it is somewhat common (at least here in northern NH) to come across segments of old corridors. These are usually from past logging operations, but occasionally you’ll stumble upon an abandoned hiking trail.

      John

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