View Full Version : a trip to Zeacliff and a question

08-02-2009, 03:31 PM
Oddly, my husband and I had never been to Zeacliff. Odd because we've been hiking for a very long time, and we're all about the views.

Here are two photos taken 7/28.


I'm guessing the "line" across Whitewall Mt is the Ethan Pond Trail - the old path of the Zealand RR bed???

Looks like it would be a short hike from the Zealand / Twinway / Ethan Pond Trail junction. How are the views from that section of the Ethan pond Trail? Worth a special trip back that way in the fall?

08-02-2009, 03:58 PM
I think you’re asking about the views from the Ethan Pond Trail from the base of Whitewall Mountain? If so, then there are some fine views near the point where the Ethan Pond Trail junctions with the Zeacliff Trail. Others on this forum can probably provide additional information plus additional photos, but below are 2 photos from my collection taken from that vicinity.

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_jMddpAdzX0E/SiZ4HeabvDI/AAAAAAAAEQs/pekma1j0t50/s400/WhitewallMtn.JPG http://lh5.ggpht.com/_jMddpAdzX0E/SiZ4LnxIEFI/AAAAAAAAEQ4/VInCThPBZi4/s400/S_Vu_Jct.JPG

08-02-2009, 04:53 PM
The Zeacliff trail is very steep and eroded as you approach (or leave) the stream valley, but not that difficult. The section between the stream and the Ethan Pond trail is very beautiful, and especially so in the fall, with blueberries turning brilliant red against the gray tumbled boulders. The whole area is just plain magnificent. It's worth taking some extra time to visit Thoreau falls and Shoal Pond as well. Clambering up the Whitewall slide for a short distance will give yet another perspective on the notch. If you enjoy slide climbs, this one is excellent, but caution is needed for the loose rock, especially where the slide enters a bottleneck up high. Another attraction is the Whitewall birch glades which were written up here by a few of us last year, accessed from the A-Z trail.

Can you tell I love the place?

08-02-2009, 09:38 PM
In my opinion, it's one of the best VFTB you can find anywhere. And only little further along more easy walking is another great "view from the bottom," Thoreau Falls.

Also, I really enjoyed the Zeacliff trail. The section of lush undergrowth and birch glade just below Zeacliff is beautiful. And it's nothing a reasonably in shape person couldn't handle in terms of steepness.

08-02-2009, 09:41 PM
I'm guessing the "line" across Whitewall Mt is the Ethan Pond Trail - the old path of the Zealand RR bed???

To answer the second part of your question, yes it was the old railroad bed. Most of Eathan Pond trail follows what was the old railroad bed, so not only is it scenic, but historic too!


08-03-2009, 12:09 PM
I'd say it's worth a trip out that way if you're looking to put in a few miles with very little elevation gain. I did a trip in May from the Zealand trailhead, over to the Ethan Pond trail, and out to Thoreau Falls, then back the way I came. The views from below Whitewall mountain and over towards Zeacliff were really stunning. I thought that the whole area had a kind of eerie beauty, where there were a lot of large boulders at the bottom of the Whitewall slide.

08-03-2009, 11:14 PM
I was there on Saturday. Ethan Pond Trail to Thoreau Falls would be a very nice low elevation hike. I plan to return. Ethan Pond at the base of Whitewall is a like a trail clear through a rockslide. Piles of rocks above and below with nice views through the notch and to Zealand-Guyot-Bonds.

Here a few photos

Looking up at Whitewall from Ethan Pond Trail

http://inlinethumb63.webshots.com/42174/2359530080101118228S425x425Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2359530080101118228jURtVi)

Carrigain Notch from the top of Whitewall

http://inlinethumb30.webshots.com/42717/2355447280101118228S425x425Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2355447280101118228tfXZxc)

The birch glade

http://inlinethumb37.webshots.com/9316/2014863990101118228S425x425Q85.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2014863990101118228SwgNrm)

08-04-2009, 10:17 AM
Great pictures! Thanks for all the info.

I was fascinated that the trail appears clear of rock, although it cuts across the talus slope. I would guess that someone does a great job of trail maintenance. Definitely worth the trip back.

08-04-2009, 10:56 AM
Since there is so little elevation gain out to Thoreau Falls and beyond, it makes for a gorgeous XC ski route into some lovely areas. Don't forget the extra distance since you need to ski in on the access road in winter, but all worth it. You really do feel isolated, in a good way.

08-05-2009, 06:03 AM
I second the skiing, though when it's icy, it can be mighty dicey. The Spruce Goose trail parallel to the road is a lot more fun than the road but of course will be much slower if you are aiming to put mileage on your skis.