At the end of August 2016, I did a 9.2 mile counterclockwise loop hike with my primary target being a viewpoint known as Zeacliff.
This trek took place in the Zealand area of New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest. The origin of the name "Zealand" is lost to history, but this area was labeled on early maps as "New Zealand", perhaps suggesting some possible association with islands in the South Pacific. Whatever its origin, the name "Zealand" has proliferated to a number of land features, such as: Zealand Notch; Zealand Pond; Zealand Falls; Zealand River; Zealand Mountain; and Zealand Ridge whereupon my destination, Zeacliff, is located.
Show below is a map with my route highlighted in yellow.
|Map showing my route highlighted in yellow|
|Of all the many awesome views from Zeacliff, my favorite is this southward vista. A few of the prominent features include the "V" shaped Carrigain Notch (on horizon at CENTER), and the bare cliffs on nearby Whitewall Mountain (at LEFT).|
|Another outstanding view from Zeacliff is the ENE vista looking across the flat top of Whitewall Mountain toward the Willey Range, and onward to peaks in the Presidential Range on the horizon (at LEFT).|
|A zoomed view of the Presidential Range that features Mt. Washington (at CENTER)|
|It's difficult to convey in a photo, but perhaps this snapshot will provide some sense of the wilderness through which the Zeacliff Trail runs. When taking this photo, I was standing on the trail (slightly visible at bottom left).|
|I love the 'rough and tumble' nature of the Zeacliff Trail. Those who have descended it might recognize this spot where the trail dumps you off at the top of a cliff. There isn't a ladder, or other assists. You're on your own! :-)|
|There are no trailside viewpoints along the Zeacliff Trail itself. However, I was able to find this view of Carrigain Notch by bushwhacking to a spot located only about 75 ft off the trail.|
|The Zeacliff Trail crosses Whitewall Brook about 0.2 mile below the junction with the Ethan Pond Trail. At this point, I found a comfortable boulder in the middle of the brook and had lunch!|
|Upon approaching the Ethan Pond Trail, I looked westward up at Zeacliff where I had enjoyed fabulous views earlier in the day.|
|Also at the junction of the Zeacliff Trail and Ethan Pond Trail there is this "up-close and personal" view of Whitewall Mountain.|
|Looking southward from a point near the junction of the Zeacliff Trail and Ethan Pond Trail is this vista where, on the distant horizon, you can see the tops of Mts. Carrigain (at LEFT) and Hancock (at RIGHT).|