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 Bridalveil Falls and East Pond Loop 7-2-16 
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 Bridalveil Falls and East Pond Loop 7-2-16
Work has been a bit busy lately, so I did not get to put as much effort into my weekend planning as I normally do (what, you mean you don't do all your hike planning at work? :D ). I threw a hail Mary and decided I was going to do Moosilauke from Benton trail, but though I departed home under bright blue skies, by the time I got to Kinsman Notch it was dark, ominous, the summits were in the clouds and the wind was howling. Sitting at the parking area for the Benton trail I debated if I really wanted to possibly get blown around in a viewless void (alas, with Moosilauke I can claim no views and high winds 3 times, so I wasn't in the mood for a fourth). In the end I decided that it was not worth it, but thankfully I had some good options for a back-up plan that would get me some more redlining. So I drove up the road and started my day by doing Bridalveil falls, which was a smart choice as the previous night's rain made everything flowing gorgeously.

The trailhead parking is right off of 116 on Coppermine Road. The road past the parking area is private and only allows hiker foot traffic.
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In short order the trail diverges to the left off the dirt road and picks up an older logging road.
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The trail is in great condition over most of it's length to the falls with only a few washouts and other troubling spots. The grade is mellow for virtually it's entire length.
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The best part of this trail is it spends most of it's time alongside Coppermine Brook, which makes for some great water shots.
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You do have to cross the brook, but thankfully there is a bridge to aid you along.
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Below the falls is a shelter, which is in pretty good shape and probably sees a decent amount of visitors. No one had stayed out the previous night so it was empty when i got there.
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And just a tad further along is Bridalveil falls. This shot actually does not do it justice. It was rather impressive, though not nearly as tall as some more famous falls in the Whites.
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There was a couple with a dog when I got there, but no one else. They left right about when I got there so I enjoyed the falls alone for several minutes before returning the way I came. I made the 2.5 mellow miles out passing the crowds starting to come in and got back to the car after expending only about an hour and a half for the 5 mile round trip (did I mention it was a mellow grade trail? :D )

So back in the car it was time to wrap up another loose end I had wanted to do for a while, the East Ponds loop. The skies had returned to a welcoming bright blue, though it was still crazy windy, so this would work out perfect. I drove up through Franconia to pick up the highway (rather than drive 116 to 112 all the way back to Lincoln/Woodstock) and jumped off at exit 31 to head down Tripoli road, which was shockingly crowded with campers. Some single tent tentsites had 3 or 4 tents up with several cars parked. It made navigating the road an absolute chore and the people walking all over the place did not help matters.

Anyway, I drove up to the East Pond loop parking lot, which thankfully is signed as "hiker parking only" and as such I was the only one there.

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The trail starts out as an old logging road that shines bright green in the early afternoon sun.
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At the lower junction I decided to head to East Pond first.
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Eventually you cross a wide wooden bridge that has a little waterfall above it.
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The upper junction for the loop is just about at East Pond.
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And the pond itself?.....actually it was pretty neat.
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I poked around a bit and found a commando camping spot around to the right of the pond. With my photos taken I returned to the main trail and kept pushing to the height of land since I needed to redline this section. I had already done from the Kanc up to there (when we did the nasty winter whack to East Scar a few years ago) and while nothing to write home about it did have it's quaint points.

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My new friend. I shall name him....Greg Jr. (you have to admit, the likeness is uncanny! :twisted: )
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I came to this spot which had some through-the-tree views. Now, again, I am not sure how I feel about viewscaping, but with some trimming this spot right here would probably be a 3.5 out of 5 on the view scale.
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So once at the height of land I doubled back and returned to the upper loop junction, turned right and headed for Little East Pond. Again, nothing to write home about on this section, mostly a means of connecting the two ponds. When I got to Little East there was a family of four and their delightful dog Lila. They apologized for being in the way, despite the fact they were not really, and I enjoyed some light conversation with them as I snapped a few quick photos.

Compared to East Pond Little East was just so-so. Better backdrop, but the pond itself was pretty dry and muddy as opposed to East Pond and it's eerily emerald green water.
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It was back out to the main trail again, and a continuation of the loop. It was the usual story here, nothing to write home about. A means to an end.
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And with that ended the day for me. Between Bridalveil Falls and this loop I managed to knock out an easy 11+ miles of easy trail. Both destinations were worth it, in my humble opinion, so all in all a day well spent. Considering it started gloomy, things turned around nicely for a bright and crisp finish to the day. The breeze blowing stiffly made the temps feel reasonable, and the best part is it kept the bugs at bay. Not one single sight nor bite to be had. And that, my friends, is the sign of perfection. :D

Brian


Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:36 pm
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 Re: Bridalveil Falls and East Pond Loop 7-2-16
New Hampshire wrote:
Image

I'm a sucker for time exposed water shots. LOVE this one.

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Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:53 pm
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 Re: Bridalveil Falls and East Pond Loop 7-2-16
I have been lucking out on most of them. I keep forgetting my tripod, so all of the above were handheld with my Finepix 4600. While the settings are flexible, they are nowhere as flexible as my dslr (this would be apparent in the shot of Bridalveil Falls which I could not get anywhere near proper timing without overexposure). To be honest, if you go full screen you can see some blurring from being handheld, but at thumbnail size it looks good. :oops: With the tripod I get much better results.

Brian


Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:00 pm
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 Re: Bridalveil Falls and East Pond Loop 7-2-16
Haven't done either of these yet, but the ponds hike has been on the list for a while and looks good. Thinking a nice foliage hike perhaps? Especially if the ponds are still. Is Kathy the maintainer for these trails? I can never remember. Something to do with Little East Pond I think. :?


Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:35 pm
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 Re: Bridalveil Falls and East Pond Loop 7-2-16
Loved brdalveil falls when i did it, couldnt get excited about the east ponds though. Beautiful pics Brian! How much redlining left?


Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:27 am
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 Re: Bridalveil Falls and East Pond Loop 7-2-16
Granite Guy wrote:
Thinking a nice foliage hike perhaps?

Not too sure. They are fairly high elevation ponds and thus mostly spruce and fir, not a lot of hardwood, so color, if there would only be spotty I think.


Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:19 am
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 Re: Bridalveil Falls and East Pond Loop 7-2-16
hiking lady wrote:
Loved brdalveil falls when i did it, couldnt get excited about the east ponds though. Beautiful pics Brian! How much redlining left?

I can't say for sure as I use the down and simple way of keeping track by map and hi-liter. I can rough guess it and say somewhere between 2/3rds and 3/4 is done, but closer to the 2/3rd than 3/4 (if that makes sense :D ) My biggest gaps are in the Wild River/Speckled/Caribou area. Probably will take a while to get that all finished up....I would say I am on the 5 year plan. :lol:


Last edited by New Hampshire on Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:21 am
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 Re: Bridalveil Falls and East Pond Loop 7-2-16
2 hikes. believe it or not, I've yet to do. :roll: Probably because I'll spend 2 hours at Bridalveil just plating around with the water shots. :? 8)

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Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:08 am
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 Re: Bridalveil Falls and East Pond Loop 7-2-16
Granite Guy wrote:
Is Kathy the maintainer for these trails? I can never remember. Something to do with Little East Pond I think. :?

I am the maintainer for the trail from the Kanc side. A M-U-C-H longer approach. Gotta get back out there. Tough to find time, you know, with all my 4K peak bagging going on. :wink:

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Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:09 pm
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 Re: Bridalveil Falls and East Pond Loop 7-2-16
JustJoe wrote:
2 hikes. believe it or not, I've yet to do. :roll: Probably because I'll spend 2 hours at Bridalveil just plating around with the water shots. :? 8)


Just don't pull a Jim. He said he got too close to the top of the lower part of the fall, slipped and went for a wet ride. That will teach the midget! :lol:

Also, I realized on the return trip that it looks like you can actually circle around the entire East Pond as I saw a herd path that looked to be on both sides of the pond.


Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:32 pm
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 Re: Bridalveil Falls and East Pond Loop 7-2-16
Granite Guy wrote:
Haven't done either of these yet, but the ponds hike has been on the list for a while and looks good. Thinking a nice foliage hike perhaps? Especially if the ponds are still. Is Kathy the maintainer for these trails? I can never remember. Something to do with Little East Pond I think. :?


We went last fall on an overcast day. While it is mostly evergreen, there was some color in the lower spots.


Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:09 pm
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