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Thread: Three Low Elevation Hikes in the Whites

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cumulus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Vernon, Conn.

    Three Low Elevation Hikes in the Whites

    Over the holidays I spent three days hiking in the Whites. I've done this most years for quite a while now, but this time was different for two reasons. One is that I didn't summit any peaks (due to a wind chill forecast of below -20F). The other is that my girlfriend Maure was with me. Maure hadn't done much winter hiking before. Most of her Xmas present, in fact, was getting geared up to do so.

    Friday, 29 Dec. 2017: The Basin and Kinsman Falls

    The first day we did a quick hike from the Basin, in Franconia Notch, up to Kinsman Falls (via Basin-Cascade Trail) and back. The Basin-Cascade Trail is one of my favorite low elevation trails, especially in the winter.

    It was only a little over a mile total. The trail was very well packed down and we were fine on microspikes. The weather was fine, except for being very cold. This was kind of a shakedown hike for Maure's winter gear, and we determined that she needed a balaclava, which she got before the next hike.

    Saturday, 30 Dec. 2017: East Pond Trail

    On Saturday I hiked solo. I broke out East Pond Trail for about three miles, starting at the Kanc. This was my first time on East Pond Trail. Even though it hadn't been broken out and doesn't have very many blazes, EPT was very easy to follow. I got offtrail once, at the brook crossing, but I figured it out quickly.

    East Pond Trail was never very steep for very long, but still, breaking trail for four and a half hours made me feel I'd gotten my exercise.

    I saw a set of moose tracks and two sets of bear tracks.

    I think I went most of the way to the height of land where the trail starts dropping down to the pond, but I had set a turnaround time and I was a good boy and turned around when the turnaround time came. Going back was much easier; it only took two and a half hours.

    Sunday, 31 Dec. 2017: Arethusa Falls

    On Sunday we both went to Arethusa Falls. Neither of us had been there before. The trail, like Friday's, was very well packed down, and perfect for microspikes. Arethusa Falls Trail goes 1.4 miles, mostly uphill, from Crawford Notch to the falls. Maure reported that the balaclava helped a lot. The weather was clearer than the other two days, but just as cold.

    Arethusa Falls were frozed solid. They were very impressive. I recommend it for a moderate winter's hike.

    Here are the pictures for the Basin and Kinsman Falls.
    Here are the pictures for East Pond Trail.
    Here are the pictures for Arethusa Falls.



    NE111 in my 50s: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2)
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  2. #2
    Senior Member KV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    South of the notches
    Thanks for the tr Cumulus. I am the trail maintainer for EPT from the Kanc to the height of land. Work and the flu (and the cold temps) have kept me away so far, glad to see there isn't too much to clean up. We knew about that nasty blow down.

    It's easy to miss the crossing...that arrow is faint and if there are no tracks it's quite easy to just keep on trekking on that side of the stream.
    Life is a trip. Pack Accordingly.

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