Posts Tagged: new england



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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Ripley Falls, Crawford Notch

 Ripley Falls on Avalanche Brook in Hart's Location, New Hampshire USA during the spring months. The Arethusa-Ripley Falls Trail travels pass this scenic waterfall.
Ripley Falls – Crawford Notch, New Hampshire
 

Ripley Falls, Crawford Notch – Located on Avalanche Brook in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire, the 100 foot Ripley Falls is one of the more picturesque waterfalls in the White Mountains. The Arethusa-Ripley Falls Trail passes by this waterfall. And while the waterfall is impressive, the history of Ripley Falls and Avalanche Brook is intriguing.

There seems to be some confusion on who first discovered Ripley Falls. Most accounts say Henry W. Ripley and a Mr. Porter first discovered the waterfall in September 1858. But other accounts say a fisherman found the waterfall before Ripley. And another account says Henry W. Ripley was a companion of the legendary Abel Crawford (1766–1851), who discovered the waterfall while out trapping sable.

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Random Trail History, White Mountains

Mount Washington from the Camel Trail in Sargent's Purchase of the New Hampshire White Mountains.
Camel Trail – Mount Washington, New Hampshire
 

Random Trail History, White Mountains – Think about these White Mountains history facts for a moment. Crawford Path is the oldest continuously-used mountain trail in America. Trail maker Charles E. Lowe and Dr. William G. Nowell built Lowe’s Path in 1875-1876. Nathaniel Davis, son-in-law of Abel and Hannah Crawford, built Davis Path in 1845. Nathaniel L. Goodrich (1880-1957) is considered to be the founder of peakbagging in the White Mountains.

In this era of outdoor recreation (camping, fishing, hiking, etc.) the ones who explored the New Hampshire White Mountains before us are being forgotten about. So today’s blog article focuses on random tidbits of history surrounding the White Mountains trail system.

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Happy Earth Day 2019, New Hampshire

Happy Earth Day! Cascade on Spur Brook, at Coldspur Ledges, in Randolph, New Hampshire during the summer months. This small cascade is located at the confluence of Cold Brook and Spur Brook.
Coldspur Ledges – Randolph, New Hampshire
 

Earth Day, April 22, 2019 – Happy Earth Day from the New Hampshire White Mountains! Earth Day is an annual day founded by US Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970. Many consider Earth Day to be the birth of the modern environmental movement. And the purpose of this day is to celebrate and create awareness for the environment.

Earth Day acts as an educational tool and influences all generations to care about the environment. If you have never heard about this day take some time to read up on the history and importance of Earth Day here. In the 21st-century, tourism (biking, hiking, fishing, etc.) has exploded in the White Mountains, and areas are being overused. And because of this, it is essential that we understand the impact we have on the environment. Education and proper training can help control the problem.

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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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Russell-Colbath House, Passaconaway

The Russell-Colbath homestead along the Kancamagus Highway in Albany, New Hampshire. Located in the White Mountain National Forest, this historic homestead was built in the early 1830s, likely around 1832. When the Swift River Railroad (1906-1916) moved into the area, the Passaconaway settlement became the center of logging operations, and the railroad took over most of the settlement. It is the only original structure remaining from the Passaconaway settlement.
Russell-Colbath Homestead – Passaconaway, New Hampshire
 

Russell-Colbath House, Passaconaway – The Russell-Colbath House is a 19th-century historic house along the Kancamagus Highway in an area known as Passaconaway in Albany, New Hampshire. Albany was first chartered in 1766 under the name Burton and then renamed Albany in 1833. This old house holds the fascinating story of Ruth Priscilla Russell: the grand old lady of Passaconaway.

In the early 1800s, Austin George moved his family to Passaconaway. But tough times would force the George family to abandon the homestead and move to Bartlett in 1815. Their homestead was located just to the east of where the Russell-Colbath House now stands. What became of the George's dwellings is not completely clear. Because of its close proximity to the Russell dwelling and the George family connection, the Russell house is also referred to as the George House.

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