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04 June 2018

Off-Trail Ledges Located East of the Bolles Trail


Recently, I’ve been doing a number bushwhacks to off-trail locations.  This blog posting is about a bushwhack to two ledges located east of the Bolles Trail.

Just as a sidelight, the Bolles trail follows the approximate corridor of a former road in eastern New Hampshire that ran between Tamworth and the Albany Intervale via the valley between Mt. Chocorua and Mt. Paugus.  The road was destroyed by a hurricane and later rebuilt as a trail by Frank Bolles in the late 19th century.

The location of this bushwhack is shown on the Google Earth map presented below. (NOTE: This image is oriented with EAST at top, rather than more conventional north at top.)

My primary goal was to visit the little speck of a ledge labeled as “1” on the image shown above. Based upon its positioning, I felt it stood a good chance of providing a sweeping vista of mountains located west and north of the ledge.  This vista would include peaks within the Sandwich Range Wilderness, plus the Pemigewasset Wilderness, as well as the Presidential Range – Dry River Wilderness.

As an ‘add-on’, I ended up visiting ledge “2” as well.  My inspiration for visiting this ledge came from a blog posting by Steve Smith in November 2015 (click HERE to view that report).

The little perch that I’ve called “Ledge #1” provided an expansive, unobstructed view that stretched from Mt. Paugus to Mt. Washington.   Shown here is just a portion of the vista.  Some of the more recognizable landmarks (from L to R) include: Green’s Cliff; Mt. Carrigain; Vose Spur; Mt. Lowell; Owls Cliff; Mt. Tremont; Bartlett Haystack; Bear Mountain (with Mt. Washington peeking over the top at far right).
This is a zoomed photo that focuses on the Mt. Carrigain portion of the view from Ledge 1.  Some of the more recognizable features here include: Green’s Cliff; The Captain; Mt. Carrigain; Vose Spur; Mts. Lowell and Anderson; Owls Cliff; Mt. Tremont.

Shown here are the land features seen at the far left of Ledge 1’s  vista.  Most prominent are the cliffs on a northeastern spur of Mt. Paugus.  And, in behind the cliffs, Mt. Passaconaway is at LEFT, and a portion of the Tripyramids is at RIGHT.
This zoomed photo, also taken from Ledge 1, shows Bear Mountain in the foreground with Mt. Washington in the background.
Wasn’t sure if I’d have enough time to include Ledge 2, but decided to go for it since it was in the same general area as Ledge 1. Unlike tiny Ledge 1 . . . Ledge 2 is massive!  There is much more to this ledge than what is seen in this photo, but perhaps this snapshot will provide a general idea as to its openness and its size.  This view is looking southward down the Paugus Brook Valley.  The color of the ledge and the erosion channels are both beautiful and interesting!
This is another view from Ledge 2.  It's looking northward toward Green’s Cliff, the Hancocks and Mt. Carrigain (at top RIGHT).  The cliffs (at top LEFT) are located on a northeastern spur of Mt. Paugus.
Much of the bushwhack to these ledges was through open woods, such as shown here.  However, there were some sections with patches of hobblebush and other undergrowth that were mildly annoying. :-)

This hike took place in the general vicinity of Mt. Chocorua.  Click/tap this LINK for more information about this area.


EvanHikes said...

Looks like you got some great views from those ledges! You seem to know of all these cool bushwhacks and ledges, so what is the easiest bushwhack you know of in the Whites? I've wanted to start bushwhacking for a while, but I want to start out on an easy one. Thanks in advance!

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Evan,

Like so many things in life, what is easy for some folks is difficult for others, and vice-versa. And so, perhaps the best advice I can give is to begin by learning the basics of off-trail travel. There are several online resources about basic bushwhacking skills. One such resource is at this link:

Once you have studied the basics of bushwhacking, then start out small by doing several short off-trail hikes. The destinations don’t need to be anything special. They can be any land feature shown on a topographic map, like a brook, a beaver pond, etc. Then, once you feel comfortable with off-trail navigation, you can set your sights on more distant and complex off-trail targets.


One Day in America said...

I enjoy reading about, and seeing, all the photos from those ledges. You've been to so many of them!
The views from these ledges—and your photos—are inspiring. It was nice to see that Mt. Washington still sports a few snowfields.
I also like your advice to Evan about bushwhacking. It's definitely best to start out small, as it's easy to become disoriented in the dense woodlands of the northeast!

1HappyHiker said...

As always Rita, my thanks to you for following my blog. I appreciate your thoughtful comments, and the feedback you provide.