An Evolving Landscape, White Mountains

Trestle abutment at the Redrock Brook crossing along Franconia Brook Trail in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of New Hampshire. The Franconia Brook Trail follows the old railroad bed of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad. This was a logging railroad that operated from 1893 - 1948. In 2011 high waters from Tropical Storm Irene caused most of the landscape stone abutment to collapse.
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad – Redrock Brook, New Hampshire
 

An Evolving Landscape, White Mountains – It amazes me how much the landscape of the White Mountains changes over time. Many visitors to the White Mountains think of the area as being "stuck in time" because of its national forest designation. The reality is lots of change occurs naturally and by man. I thought it would be interesting to show scenes that no longer exist in the White Mountains. These scenes all disappeared over the last ten years.

Above is what is left of the old bridge abutment along the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad at the Redrock Brook crossing (Franconia Brook Trail) in the Pemigewasset Wilderness. The East Branch & Lincoln Railroad was a logging railroad that operated from 1893-1948. In 2011 high waters from Tropical Storm Irene caused most of the abutment to collapse. You can see what it looked like before Tropical Storm Irene here.

Resolution Shelter is located off Davis Path in the Dry River Wilderness in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. It was an Adirondack-style shelter that closed in 2009 because of safety issues and dismantled in December of 2011
Resolution Shelter – Dry River Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

Above is the Resolution shelter, an Adirondack-style shelter that was torn down because of safety issues in December of 2011. It was located off Davis Path in the Dry River Wilderness of the White Mountains. Every time I stayed in this shelter it was during snow storms. It was a cool shelter! See how the Resolution shelter looked when it was being dismantled here.

Pemigewasset Wilderness sign along the Wilderness Trail in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. This sign no longer exists.
Pemigewasset Wilderness Sign – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

One of my favorite trail signs in the White Mountain National Forest used to be the green Pemigewasset signs. I always thought these signs defined the character of the Pemi Wilderness. The last time I recall seeing these signs was in 2004 or 2005. I would like to see these signs come back. Maybe a group can campaign to bring them back in the future. You can compare the Pemi signs here.

2009 - Pemigewasset Wilderness 180 foot Suspension bridge. This bridge spans the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River along the Wilderness Trail in Lincoln, New Hampshire. This foot bridge is located at the Trestle 17 location of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, which was a logging railroad in operation from 1893 - 1948.
180 Foot Suspension Bridge – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

The above and below footbridges in the Pemigewasset Wilderness are now gone. Forest Service dismantled the suspension bridge (above) in 2009 and the steel bridge (below) in 2010. These bridge removals upset a few of the smaller hiking groups in New England. All I can say is thank god for the Wilderness Act.

2010 - Footbridge which crosses Black Brook in the Pemigewasset Wilderness in Lincoln, New Hampshire. This steel footbridge was located next to Trestle 16 along the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad.
Black Brook Bridge – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

The hiker in me finds some of these changes sad, but the photographer in me enjoys being able to document the ever changing White Mountains landscape. I think it would get quite boring photographing the same static environmental scenes over and over. View more scenes that no longer exist in the White Mountains here.

Happy image making..


 

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Erin Paul is a professional photographer who specializes in environmental conservation and historic preservation photography in the New Hampshire White Mountains. His work is published worldwide, and credits include; Backpacker Magazine, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and The Wilderness Society.

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