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03 August 2016

Wachipauka Pond and Webster Slide Mountain via an Abandoned Route


Several times over the years, I've done the trek to Wachipauka Pond and Webster Slide Mountain.   In earlier years, my hikes were launched from the current-day trailhead located on Rt. 25 about 0.5 mile north of High Street in Glencliff, NH.

However, for my past few hikes (including this one in late July 2016), I've launched my trek from Rt. 25 at a point that is situated about a mile west of the trailhead described above.  I've done this in order to trek along an abandoned corridor that was once part of the Appalachian Trail (see red arrow on map below).
Red arrow points to abandoned corridor that was once part of the Appalachian Trail; the corridor highlighted in yellow shows my GPS track from a hike done in earlier years when I used current-day trails to access Wachipauka Pond and Webster Slide Mountain.
There are some indications that this old corridor is still being occasionally used by humankind, even though there are places where the old route can be confusing to follow.  Regardless, it sure beats the steep climb over Wyatt Hill via the current-day route!  (Just as a side note, I've thus far been unable to discover why this old segment of trail was abandoned and re-routed to its current day track.)

It should be noted that it's impossible to find this old corridor from Rt. 25 itself.  You stand a better chance of locating it from the multi-use Warren to E. Haverhill Railroad Grade Trail that runs in close proximity and parallel to Rt. 25.   Even knowing the GPS coordinates (N 43 59 43, W 71 54 55) for the start of the trail, it's still difficult to spot since it's extremely faint for first 100 ft or so.  But after that, the corridor is fairly apparent and remains relatively discernible to within a few hundred feet of the junction with the Wachipauka Pond Trail where the old corridor once again becomes faint.

Regardless of which route you use to reach the lightly-visited area of Wachipauka Pond and Webster Slide Mountain, you will enjoy some fine views in a peaceful location.  Shown below are a few photos taken on my most recent visit.


By trekking along a faint footpath along the western shoreline of Wachipauka Pond, you can get a view that includes Webster Slide Mountain (at left).  Immediately to right of Webster Slide Mountain (way off in the distance) you can see the band of cliffs that constitute The Hogsback.  Mt. Moosilauke is seen at far right.
A zoomed view of The Hogsback as viewed looking across Wachipauka Pond.
From locations below the main viewpoint on Webster Slide Mountain, you can get this overview that ranges from Moosilauke at left to Carr Mountain at right, with Wachipauka Pond in foreground.
By cautiously following some faint and steep pathways off Webster Slide Mountain's main viewing area, you can get this view which includes Moosilauke, as well as the massive Owls Head cliff above Oliverian Pond (not seen in photo).
Near the spot where the main trail ends, there's an unsigned side path that leads you to the Southwest View.  From there, you can get a view that includes a piece of Wachipauka Pond (foreground,left).  Mt. Mist dominates the scene (at center), and on the horizon to the right of Mt. Mist is Mt. Cube.  At the far right are slices of Lakes Tarleton and Armington at the base of Piermont Mountain.
This naturally-occurring lean-to (compliments of Mother Nature) was seen just slightly below the main viewing area of Webster Slide Mountain.



Karl said...

Hi John,

Beautiful pics, as always! The first photo along the shoreline is my favorite. Moosilauke is always a great mountain to get in the background.

Are there any signs or cairns left from when this trail was active? It's great that people are still using it enough to keep the path clear for more adventurous hikers such as yourself, even if it is tough to find. There are so many trails that have been abandoned and consumed by the forest never to be found's a shame!


1HappyHiker said...

Hi Karl,

Thanks once again for reading and responding to my blog postings.

Regarding your question, there are no cairns, blazes, etc to hint that this was once an active trail. Here and there, are a few random pieces of flagging tape, which some folks would be inclined to remove. However, I’ve always been hesitant to do so, not knowing if the flagging MIGHT be there for a legitimate purpose. Always in the back of my mind is an instance of a few years ago when a group of us placed flagging for a legitimate reason, and then had hours of work destroyed by someone who removed our flagging.

And yes, there are indeed a fair number of trails that have been abandoned over the years. Some of them were deserted for a variety of good reasons. But it’s puzzling why some very utilitarian trails were cast aside.


One Day in America said...

That lean-to looks like a good spot to wait out a storm!
Once again, John, you have a collection of wonderful photos from your New Hampshire mountains.
I commented on the pond in your last post and I'll say it again: The deep blue water of Wachipauka pond looks soooo inviting. (Can you tell we're in a drought here?)
Nice hike!

1HappyHiker said...

Thanks for your kind words about my photos, Rita.

New Hampshire (and New England in general) has something in common with your location in the Western U.S. These locations all have scenery that is so marvelous, it’s difficult NOT to get at least a few good photos when participating in outdoor adventures.

If I thought it would help, I’d do a rain dance, hoping it would bring relief to your drought situation! :-)