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Thread: Round Trip to Square Ledge (16-Nov-2009)

  1. #1
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Round Trip to Square Ledge (16-Nov-2009)

    There are many popular hikes that lots of folks have done but I have yet to do. One of those hikes is the trek to that 2,620 foot spot on the east side of Mt. Passaconaway which is known as Square Ledge (not to be confused with the smaller cliff with the same name that's located on the east side of Pinkham Notch). I don't know why I've put off doing this hike. It's located in a real great area for hiking. With the expansion of the Sandwich Range Wilderness in 2006, the entire area around Square Ledge is protected as forever wild.

    I did this hike as a loop in a clockwise fashion, i.e. going up the Oliverian Brook Trail and returning via the Passaconaway Cutoff Trail (and of course, I took the Square Ledge Branch and Square Ledge Trail to reach Square Ledge itself).

    This massive 350 foot cliff faces eastward in the direction of Mt. Paugus (which is yet another place I've never been!). However, as I understand it, the south knob of Mt. Paugus offers a nice view of Square Ledge. But with the leaves off the trees, you get a pretty good up-close view of Square Ledge from the Square Ledge Branch trail. Also, a few weeks ago, I did a bushwhack to a small ledge on the east side of the Oliverian Brook Valley with my friend Steve, and from there we also got a good view of Square Ledge.

    Below is a composite snapshot of the off-trail and on-trail views of Square Ledge.

    And since most folks have visited Square Ledge, I'll just show a few more photos taken from this trek. Some are slightly zoomed.

    From the faint side path off the Square Ledge Trail, I particularly liked the view toward Carrigain with The Captain visible to the left and Green's Cliff visible in the foreground.

    There is a nice lower-level view in the same general direction as shown in the above photo when coming down the Passaconaway Cutoff. The snapshot below shows this view. It's looking head-on at Green's Cliff with the Carrigain Notch area in the background.

    And speaking of the Passaconaway Cutoff Trail, before I began my descent on this trail, I continued west on the Square Ledge Trail for 0.3 mile to the slide where you can get a view toward the Presidential Range with Hedgehog Mountain in the foreground. I got my Presidential view, and then retraced my route back to the Passaconaway Cutoff. Below is a snapshot of the view from the slide.

    The last photo below shows the summit tip of Mt. Passaconaway as viewed from the short side path off the Square Ledge Trail. This photo is not zoomed.

    1HappyHiker
    Last edited by 1HappyHiker; 11-19-2009 at 02:09 PM. Reason: Spelling

  2. #2
    Senior Member adktyler's Avatar
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    Looks like an excellent loop. I love hiking along and seeing headwalls though the trees!

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    Senior Member psmart's Avatar
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    The "short side path off the Square Ledge Trail" is one of my favorite spots, with a real close-up view of Passaconaway, as captured in your photo.

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    Senior Member forestgnome's Avatar
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    Excellent TR and pics, John! You do get around. Any sign of falcons in the area? I hoped to get in there to look for them this summer but I didnn't make it.

    Keep the excellent pics coming!

    happy trails

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    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    ----------------------------------
    ADK88; psmart; forestgnome: Thanks guys for taking time to respond!
    ----------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by forestgnome View Post
    Any sign of falcons in the area?
    Patrick, I didn't see any sign of falcons in the area. Are any of them year round residents, or do they spend winters in places like the southern U.S., Central & South America?

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    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    Nice trip report. Now I'm tempted to return there. Did you see the traces of mining?
    Ellen

    Volunteer Maintainer: East Pond Trail

    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

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    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erugs View Post
    Did you see the traces of mining?
    Ellen, thanks for the reply!
    Regarding seeing any evidence of mining, you will need to educate me about that! I'm just vaguely aware of some sort of mining in the Oliverian Brook area. I seem to recall something about mining of abrasive materials for sharpening of metals?

  8. #8
    Senior Member psmart's Avatar
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    There's been some mineral collecting around square ledge (there's a 3 foot deep hole in one rock face), but I'm not aware of any mining in the area.

  9. #9
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    That's what I saw, but I guess I considered it to be sample mining rather than collecting. It was interesting to see that so much work had been done so far away from the road.
    Ellen

    Volunteer Maintainer: East Pond Trail

    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

  10. #10
    Senior Member BobC's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report. I'm planning on hiking up to Square Ledge the day after Thanksgiving, if the weather forecast improves.

  11. #11
    Senior Member NeoAkela's Avatar
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    Square ledge is a really neat place. I love that steep climb angling up the side before reaching the top - been a few years since I was up there last.
    www.WhiteMountainImages.org
    At the ticking of the sun on the green bellied mountains, I'm staring high in the sky.
    In the breeze I can taste the fragrance of this moment... and I take a deep breath. - Mostly Autumn

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