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04 August 2018

Unnamed Cascades along Burnt Brook (near Bethlehem, NH)


The primary purpose of this brief blog posting is merely to present some information, plus a few photos, regarding a series of unnamed cascades that are present along Burnt Brook.

Burnt Brook is located within the White Mountain National Forest near the village of Bethlehem, NH.  It has been a named feature on maps since at least the early 1900s.  This brook is a tributary of the South Branch Gale River which flows into the Gale River which empties into the Ammonoosuc River which empties into the Connecticut River which eventually empties into Long Island Sound.

Regarding the origin of Burnt Brook’s name, I have been unable to find any references as to its origin.  In 1903 there were major forest fires in this general vicinity, and so perhaps the name “Burnt” might have something to do with that fire event.

Burnt Brook is in a remote location and there have never been any hiking trails or logging roads along its banks.  The only way to access it is by bushwhacking.  Its remoteness and absence of trails are the likely reasons why the cascades along this brook have never been named.

Below is a map showing the location of Burnt Brook.


A) This report only includes photos of four cascades, all of which are located along the lower half of Burnt Brook.  There are additional cascades on the upper half.  However, I have thus far made only one visit to the brook’s upper portion, and it happened to be during a dry period when the cascades had very little water was flowing over them.  At some future point, when water levels are high, I hope to make a return visit to the upper portion of the brook and photograph those cascades in all their glory.

B) The photo shown below is my favorite cascade along the lower portion of Burnt Brook.  Although it has no official name, I personally refer to it as Moose Antler Falls since I found a moose antler in the nearby woods on one of my visits.
Moose Antler Falls

C) Shown below are three other cascades along the lower portion of Burnt Brook.


It is with mixed feelings that I post this report.  In some ways I am reluctant to divulge the “secret” of Burnt Brook.  But in other ways, I feel that Mother Nature would want to have her artful creations shared and enjoyed by others.

And so, my thoughts about posting this report remain conflicted.  However, it is comforting to know that these unspoiled cascades can only be reached by an experienced bushwhacker.  And generally speaking, this type of individual is respectful of places they visit, and they tread lightly.


Matthew Marchon said...

Amazing! I knew there'd be something special along that brook but haven't made it there yet. And Moose Antler Falls is a perfect name. Can't wait to see photos of the upper half when you make it back in higher water.

1HappyHiker said...

Matt, thanks for reading my blog and posting your comments!

As I know you know, there are a number of “trail-less” brooks here in the Whites, many of which have some magnificent unnamed cascades, including the one that you recently explored, i.e. the Halfway Brook drainage (south of Nancy Brook). Further regarding Halfway Brook, it has been many years since I’ve bushwhacked along that drainage. Your recent report brought back fond memories of the numerous cascades that are located there. You have inspired me to consider making a return visit to Halfway Brook!

Happy trails,

One Day in America said...

While everything out here looks truly "burnt" this year, the cascades you photographed look so green and refreshing.

And I love the fact that the only way to reach these gorgeous cascades is by bushwhacking, and not by hiking an established trail. Here in the west it seems as though every scenic trail has been discovered, and then snap-chatted and you-tubed and face-booked to tens of thousands of people, all of whom have shown up to hike it!
I much prefer the "trail-less" brooks like the ones shown in this post.
Even if I never get to see them, I take comfort in knowing that they exist, and that they're not being loved to death!

Great pictures and interesting report, as always, John!

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rita,

Thanks for your comments. Much appreciated, as always!

It was very gratifying to read your statement “Even if I never get to see them, I take comfort in knowing they exist . . .”
That concept played a large role in my decision to reveal the “secret” of Burnt Brook. Somehow it seemed fitting to generate a blog posting about these cascades so that others could at least experience some vicarious pleasure from this fine example of Mother Nature’s handiwork.

And lastly, regarding your location in the Western region of the U.S., I’ll keep fingers crossed that weather patterns will soon change so as to erase the “burnt” appearance of your natural surroundings.


Matt M said...

Hi John,

I appreciate you writing about your trip reports. I enjoy reading about unspoiled or hard to reach places. Like you said, only experience bushwhackers would be able to get there and they are usually the best at leaving no trace and/or being respectful.

1HappyHiker said...

Matt, I appreciate you reading my blog and posting your comments. Thank you!