Monday, June 20, 2011

The Kanc

Last weekend we returned to our friend's cabin off Bear Notch Road at the edge of the White Mountain National Forest. We were joined by my sister's family including my two young nieces. They are just getting into hiking and "roughing it" so we picked shorter hikes along the Kancamagus Highway. My youngest niece prefers "walks" to "hikes" so we picked mostly level trails rather than climbs, although she did well on one tough climb through a boulder-filled woods.

The cabin is a stone's throw from the Swift River and The Kancamagus Highway - known as "The Kanc." The river has wide sand and gravel bars and shallow, swift, cold water, enticing on a warm day. The cold water and pesky mosquitoes kept us moving quickly. Tiger swallowtails gathered on the gravelly shoals then floated off as we approached.

The Kancamagus Highway is a one of the most scenic roads in the northeast; popular during fall foliage, yet just as beautiful in early summer. It offers breathtaking scenery as well as interpretive sites of the farming, logging, and geologic history of the Passaconaway Valley.

We were impressed with the trails, bridges, and interpretive signs developed and maintained by the U.S. Forest Service along the Kanc. Each natural or historic site was worth a leisurely walk on the trails. We visited,

the Russell-Colbath historic site,
with its restored 1830s home and history of farming and logging

Rocky Gorge and accompanying 1-mile loop trail around scenic Falls Pond,
bordered by bog-loving plants including flowering pitcher plants

The dramatic Sabbaday Falls, a place of geologic beauty and of contemplation

On the Kanc you are never far from rushing water and stunning views

The view above from our cabin -- Hedgehog Mtn on the left; Tripyramids to the right.

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