Trip Report: Seeking Seclusion at East Pond

East Pond. Livermore, NH. 2021-08-04 (Wednesday.)

Via East Pond Trail, Little East Pond Trail, and East Pond Loop. Approx 5 miles round-trip.

Clement, approx temps were in the low 80s. No real winds to speak of. 

About 2 1/2 hours, end-to-end.  

Clarity? Oh my, let me tell you…  

I got out of my car, and set foot on the trail. Something I’d not done in a few weeks… OK, at least a couple months. At once, I felt trepidation, and forgiveness, and relief, and welcoming. It had been too long. Setting foot on the trail again was therapeutic. 

Coming out of the gates, I sprinted. Indeed, my first mile was just over 20 minutes. When the book says it’s on a trail that was an old logging road, presume it’s not going to be the toughest miles you’ve ever seen. But part of that was because there wasn’t a lot to see. Let me tell you about that frustration. The flowers that I’d have seen in rude abundance — the kind that evokes Walt Whitman. 

And yet, that mile led to Little East Pond, and wow, she’s a gem. Shallow, but gin-clear. Bordered on all sides by Scar Ridge. Protected. Hidden. And not much that’s “worthy” in sight. Pro tip: leave the ‘glamorous’ peaks to the blow-ins. The real stuff doesn’t get headlines. Beauty is defined by subtlety. 

I sallied forth, heading to East Pond. And in short order, I got there. Just know, along the way, there were a couple trilliums (albeit yet to have bloomed) and a few blue-bead lilies, and Indian pipes galore to be seen alongside the trail. The pond is easily as much a gem as its little sibling. The water was inviting. Cool, but not cold. I washed up at its shores, quickly refreshed. Wow, that was restorative. I’d venture a guess that the pond is swimmable, because it seemed to be at least a few feet deep. Interestingly, there were a few rock structures that seemed man-made, likely by loggers. It was obvious that it’s worth looking at the history of the area, but it’s also abundantly obvious that logging happened at least nearby. 

On the way back, I descended by a logging road. It was easy mileage, and with the plantar fasciitis that I’ve been dealing with recently, that was a gift from the gods. This is a hike that isn’t hard, but as far as gifts for miles? Wow, you really stand to cash in with this one. 

Anyway… I could spend hours rhapsodizing about this hike. Instead, I’m going to leave you with this: go do it. The grades are fairly easy. It’s pretty short. And yet, the rewards are there. Go mid-week, when the crowds are certain to be elsewhere. Enjoy this one. 

As always, stay safe out there.

How’s this for starters?
There was a lot of little drainages like this one.
Club moss in abundance, just about everywhere, actually.
The AMC guide mentioned a skimobile-worthy bridge, and yep, looks like it.
Indian pipes! I found about half a dozen clusters, but I’d be willing to bet there were many more.
This was heading down from East Pond. Relatively tame, but it did descend pretty quickly.
Red trillium, albeit a bit late in the season.
Look at that clear water. Obviously a man-made structure, likely from the old logging days.
East Pond. Clear, and I’d venture that it’s swimmable. Certainly deep enough.
Little East Pond. Still very clear, but very shallow. You could probably wade across easily enough.
Junction to the loop trail.
Brook and trail. Serene.
Another babbling cascade. Quite a few of them about, none tough to cross.
The trail “at its worst.” Really, this isn’t a tough one.

Nuts and Bolts: The trailhead is just a couple miles off the Tripoli Road exit, off of 93. If you hit the Mt Tecumseh trailhead, you’ve gone too far. (But that mountain is a fun outing on its own.) If you hit Osceola, you’re really way past. 

Trailhead will be just past the parking area. Blazes are Yellow. 

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