Posts Tagged: hike

2017 Favorite Images, White Mountains

2017, reflection of mountains in a beaver Pond along Franconia Brook Trail in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of New Hampshire during the summer months. This trail follows the Franconia Branch of the old East Branch & Lincoln Railroad.
Franconia Brook Trail – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire

2017 Favorite Images, White Mountains – Another year is coming to an end. Can you believe it! It is that time of year when I look back on a year's worth of photography and share with you the images that stand out to me from 2017. But instead of doing my "ten favorite images of the year", like in previous years, I am going to do a year in review this year.

It has been a great year both in my professional life and personal life. But 2017 has been one of the strangest years I have ever had as a photographer. Over the last few years, I have been working on a few long-term photography projects. And one of these projects that focuses on the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad is currently being put into book format and will be published in the summer of 2018. And because of this the bulk of my field time this year didn’t involve photography, it involved mostly verifying information for the book.

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Snow, White Mountains Weather Photos

Snow scene along the Kancamagus Highway (route 112), in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA in blizzard conditions.
Kancamagus Scenic Byway – White Mountains, New Hampshire

Snow, White Mountains Weather Photos – During the winter months, the New Hampshire White Mountains come to life. Skiers take to the ski resorts, snowmobilers ride the hundreds of miles of groomed trails, and hikers explore the snow-covered trails. Winters that produce lots of snow are good for the New Hampshire economy (tourism industry), while the winters that have little snowfall can be detrimental to the local economy.

My favorite time of year to shoot in the White Mountains is during the winter season. When covered in snow the landscape of the White Mountains is transformed into a peaceful winter wonderland. Included in this blog article are a few snow scenes that showcase the winter season.

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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 – I am currently working on a project that has brought me back into the Pemigewasset Wilderness. This 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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East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, Trestle 7

Foot bridge along the Lincoln Woods Trail which crosses Franconia Brook in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Hikers enter into the Pemigewasset Wilderness on the righthand side of this bridge. Old abutments from Trestle 7 of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad (1893-1948) are used to support this foot bridge.
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad – Trestle 7 (Franconia Brook )

East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, Trestle 7 – During the days of the East Branch & Lincoln (EB&L) Railroad, there were two trestles built at this crossing of Franconia Brook (above). And each trestle serviced different areas of today’s Pemigewasset Wilderness. The first trestle built serviced the Franconia Brook and Lincoln Brook Valleys. And the second trestle, built just below the first one, serviced the area surrounding the East and North Fork branches of the Pemigewasset River.

Trestle 7 is different than most trestles along the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad because part of it is still in use today. No log trains pass over it anymore, but hikers use it on a regular basis.

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Trail Ladders & Stairs, Trail Stewardship

Franconia Notch State Park - Trail ladder along the Hi-Cannon Trail. This trail leads to the summit of Cannon Mountain in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA.
Traditional Ladder – Hi-Cannon Trail, Cannon Mountain

Trail Ladders & Stairs, Trail Stewardship – Today’s blog article focuses on a keyword search term. I chose one search term, trail ladder, and searched my image archive to see what imagery I have available that represents this area of trail stewardship. And because staircases and ladders are often considered to be one and the same among some hikers, I have included trail staircases.

Here in the New Hampshire White Mountains, we have some steep trails. And if it wasn’t for trail ladders we would have a heck of a time hiking up and down some trails. Can you imagine ascending or descending the Six Husbands Trail or the Hi-Cannon Trail without ladders? Six Husbands Trail would be interesting.

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Thoreau Falls Trail Bridge, My Viewpoint

Side view of footbridge along the Thoreau Falls Trail, at North Fork Junction, in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of Lincoln, New Hampshire. This bridge is supported by two large white pines and crosses the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River.
Thoreau Falls Trail Bridge (before Irene) – Pemi Wilderness, New Hampshire

Thoreau Falls Trail Bridge, My Viewpoint Like many in the New England outdoor community, I have been closely following the Thoreau Falls Trail bridge removal project. I have had interesting conversations as to why the bridge should be replaced, but nothing yet has changed my position, I support removing the bridge from the Pemigewasset Wilderness. I wrote about the issue of this bridge being located in a designated wilderness area back in June, and you can read that blog article here.

It has been brought to my attention that Forest Service is still accepting comments, so I want to pass that along to anyone interested in commenting. Supporters and non-supporters of the bridge removal, if you did not send in comments during the comment period, you still can send them, but do it soon. Today, I am going to share my reasoning as to why I believe the Thoreau Falls Trail bridge should not be replaced. Maybe my comments will influence you to write a letter in support of the bridge removal to Forest Service.

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Rock Cairns, Trail Stewardship

Appalachian Trail - Rock cairns near the summit of Mount Moosilauke during the summer months in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. This area is excellent for hiking.
Appalachian Trail – Mount Moosilauke, New Hampshire

Rock Cairns, Trail Stewardship – A rock cairn is a man-made pile of rocks that marks a landmark or the route of a hiking trail above tree line. They have been used for many centuries and vary in size from one foot to massive piles of rocks. The word “cairn” is Scottish and means a “heap of stones”. Cairns are found throughout the New Hampshire White Mountains, and they make great photo subjects. My favorite ones are along the Appalachian Trail on the summit of Mount Moosilauke.

For some time now there has been an increasing concern about rock stacking (random piles of rocks) on public lands. People are innocently building rock cairn look a likes along beaches, rivers, and trails, and it is drawing both positive and negative attention. Out west, rock stacking is a major problem. Here in the White Mountains, fake cairns built along the trails can cause navigation confusion for hikers, but that is for another blog article.

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