Posts Categorized: Mountains



Pemigewasset Wilderness, Random History

One of the stone abutments that support the abandoned Trestle No. 16 in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of New Hampshire.
Trestle No. 16 (2010), East Branch & Lincoln Railroad – Pemigewasset Wilderness
 

Pemigewasset Wilderness, Random History – This designated wilderness is the result of one the greatest conservation laws ever passed; the Wilderness Act, which has protected over 109 million acres across the United States. While the history of New Hampshire's Pemigewasset Wilderness mostly revolves around the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, the railroad is not the only interesting piece of history surrounding this unique region of the White Mountains. This blog article features random tidbits of history about this one of a kind designated wilderness area.

One of the grandest pieces of New Hampshire logging railroad history, trestle No. 16 (above) collapsed in late May or early June 2018. Spanning Black Brook, it stood for over 100 years and became a favorite attraction among outdoor enthusiasts. Logging railroads were built to be temporary and its remarkable that this trestle stood for as long as it did. The last log train rolled over this trestle most likely in the summer or fall of 1946.

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Presidential Range, Random History

Presidential Range from Eisenhower Wayside Park along Route 302 in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA. Mount Washington is off in the distance snow-capped.
Presidential Range – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Presidential Range, Random History – The Presidential Range in the New Hampshire White Mountains is known worldwide for having some of the worst weather in the world. And the main attraction of the range is the mighty Mount Washington. At 6,288 feet, Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. And with the famed Appalachian Trail traveling through this scenic mountain range, it is a busy area.

The first recorded ascent, Darby Field in 1642, and fatality, Frederick Strickland in 1849, on Mount Washington has been well-publicized and is known among outdoor enthusiasts who play in the White Mountains. And because of the significance of these events, some of the history surrounding the Presidential Range is overlooked. So included here are a few tidbits of history about this fascinating mountain range.

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Mount Tecumseh, 4000 Footers Hiking List

The village of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire during the autumn months. Mt Tecumseh is in the background. This mountain is named for the Shawnee chief, Tecumseh  (c.1768–1813).
Mount Tecumseh (2012) – Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
 

Mount Tecumseh, 4000 Footers Hiking List – On the same day that I publicized my Owl’s Head, Conserving Wilderness article, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) posted an article about some of the mountains on the White Mountain 4000 footers hiking list may not be over 4,000 feet. Being over 4,000 feet is one of the criteria for a mountain to be on the list. While our articles focus on different mountains on the hiking list, they both suggest that the time is coming for the AMC 4000 footer club to reevaluate the hiking list.

Lidar, a laser based technology, is currently being used to remap the White Mountains. This technology is very accurate at determining mountain elevations. And it was made public that the Lidar data is indicating that at least one mountain, Mount Tecumseh, is under the 4,000 foot criteria. According to the data Tecumseh is 3,995 feet (see footnote for actual new height), not 4,003 feet. Will the Lidar data reveal that Mount Isolation (4,004 feet) and Mount Waumbek (4,006 feet) are also below the 4,000 foot criteria?

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Owl’s Head, Conserving Wilderness

Owls Head and the Pemigewasset Wilderness from the Franconia Ridge Trail in New Hampshire.
Owl's Head from Franconia Ridge, New Hampshire
 

Owl’s Head, Conserving Wilderness – This remote 4025-foot mountain in the western region of the federally designated Pemigewasset Wilderness creates much debate. The controversy isn’t really about Owl’s Head its more about wilderness management. Hikers unhappy with the management of the Pemigewasset Wilderness use Owl’s Head as a stepping stone to criticize the Wilderness Act.

Established in 1984 under the New Hampshire Wilderness Act, the 45,000-acre Pemigewasset Wilderness is managed under the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Wilderness Act. Considered to be one of the greatest conservation laws ever passed, the Wilderness Act has protected over 109 million acres across the United States. And yet some are against the Wilderness Act.

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Random History, White Mountains

Mount Monroe with Mount Washington in the background from the Appalachian Trail (Crawford Path) in Sargent's Purchase, New Hampshire during the last days of summer.
Darby Field, First Ascent – Mount Washington, New Hampshire
 

Random History, White Mountains – My work as a photographer has allowed me to explore and document many historical sites in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. And it really has changed the way I view the White Mountains. It amazes me that Darby Field made the first ascent of Mount Washington in 1642. And farming settlements and grand resorts were scattered throughout the region in the 1800s.

With outdoor recreation at an all-time high in the White Mountains, it is important to create awareness for the region's history. The more history we outdoor enthusiasts know about an area, the more attached we become to the area. And because of this connection, it inspires us to get involved with conservation. And yes, there will always be some that feel the history is insignificant, but that is for another day. Today’s blog article consists of a few random tidbits of history.

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Definition of Wilderness, White Mountains

Definition of Wilderness, Owls Head from the Franconia Ridge Trail (Appalachian Trail), near Little Haystack Mountain, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the last days of summer.
Owls Head – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

Definition of Wilderness, White Mountains – The Pemigewasset Wilderness is governed under the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Wilderness Act of 1964. And because it is designated wilderness, it has the highest level of protection for federal lands. The recreational opportunities, historical value, and educational platform the Pemigewasset Wilderness offers will educate outdoor enthusiasts for many years to come. It is important that visitors to the region know that the six designated wilderness areas in the White Mountain National Forest are managed differently than the rest of the National Forest. This is where the Wilderness Act comes into play.

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Cannon Mountain, Franconia Notch

Franconia Notch State Park - Cannon Mountain during the late autumn months in the White Mountains, New Hampshire.
Cannon Mountain from Artist Bluff – White Mountains, New Hampshire
 

Cannon Mountain, Franconia Notch State Park – Located just south of Bald Mountain in Franconia, New Hampshire, which I wrote about last week, is the centerpiece of Franconia Notch State Park, the state-owned Cannon Mountain ski area. Franconia Notch State Park would be much different today if Cannon Mountain wasn't included in a land purchase back in the 1920s. Rich with ski history, Cannon offers world-class skiing.

Did you know that the 6,440-acre Franconia Notch State Park, which includes Cannon Mountain, was privately owned up until the 1920s? The Profile and Flume Hotel Company owned most of it. The Flume House was located in the southern section of Franconia Notch and wasn't rebuilt when it burned down in 1918. And the Profile House was located in the northern section of Franconia Notch, and it burnt down in August of 1923. Each of these grand hotels lasted for about 70 years.

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Bald Mountain, Franconia Notch State Park

A hiker on the summit of Bald Mountain in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Franconia Notch is in the background.
Franconia Notch from Bald Mountain – Franconia, New Hampshire
 

Bald Mountain, Franconia Notch State Park – Located a short distance from Echo Lake in Franconia, New Hampshire is another great location where photographers will have no problem creating images. Even though some hiking has to be done to reach the summit of Bald Mountain the views of Franconia Notch are worth the short hike.

Back in the 1800’s a carriage road lead to just below the summit of Bald Mountain. The 1859 second edition, of “The White Mountain Guide Book” (Eastman's White Mountain Guide) references that a carriage road had been built the “present season” from the highway, north of the Profile House, to the summit of Bald Mountain. The same description also states that the mountain had been little visited up until that point.

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