Thursday, August 7, 2014

Exploring in Kinsman Notch 8/2/14 - Abridged Version

As the title suggests, this is going to be a short write-up.

Saturday, the weather was iffy and the skies have been pretty hazy as of late, so a view-less hike was the plan. Inspired solely by reports by Steve Smith on his blog, primarily this one Waterfalls on Waternomee, I decided to do some exploring of my own in that area. First I'd visit the B-18A bomber crash site on the east slope of Mt Waternomee which has been on my list for years. Here's a link to a good story and old photos. Bomber Crash .

On my descent I wanted to try and check out the falls and cascades referred to in the second half of Steve Smith's blog posted above.

Lastly I wanted to check out Stark Falls. A small fall on Stark Falls Brook. Located about .25 miles north of Beaver Pond on Rt. 112. There is no trail to Stark Falls. You will find a description here. Stark Falls

I started the day at 7:30 on Walker Brook Rd. A gated forest road off Rt. 118 in North Woodstock. Between the road walk, and the unofficial trail to the bomber crash site, it's about a 6 mile round-trip. The 3/4's of the hike is easy grades with the last 1/4 being a pretty steep climb. Arriving at the site was a very sobering experience. The fact the 5 of the 7 on board survived was truly a miracle. This aircraft was in dozens of shredded pieces covering a pretty large area. But the 2 engines were side by side pretty much as they were on the plane I imagine.

Next up, check out the cascades on the north branch of Walker Brook. Unfortunately, I totally had forgotten the most important part of Steve Smith's report, the elevation at which he started, (insert rolling eyes here). I wanted to be in the 2400' - 2800' range, but I descend the trail too much and whacked over to Walker Brook hitting it at about 2200' and going down to 1800'. I found plenty of cascades in this section of the brook though. Which seems to be the case on all the brooks in this area as they are through so much ledge. This is the largest of the ones I came across.

I rejoined the trail, and road and was out around 11:00 AM. I then drove back to Rt. 112 and headed up to the Beaver Pond Parking area where I'd start my trek to Stark Falls from. I could have driven closer to Stark Falls Brook but I love Beaver Pond, and there are some cool cascades at the outlet which is the beginning of  the Wild Ammonoosuc River I believe.

Now the link above indicates that Stark Falls is about 1/4 mile in off Rt. 112. So I figured I'd just whack from the Beaver Pond area north, to try and hit Stark Falls. Miss #2 on the day. I hit the brook about .4 miles in and missed the falls. :(  I only went up the brook about .1 mile. The going was a little tough and wasn't seeing anything major and figured I'd gone too high. I did see a good half dozen nice cascades. This one being the last I came to at 1800'.

I ended the day having lunch on the ledgey outcrop in the middle of Beaver Pond. I do love this spot.

Even though I missed the water features I'd set to see, it was still a productive day. No complaints.



  1. Very cool report, Joe! You got some great cascade photos - are you carryin' a tripod? I've added the lower part of that north branch of Walker Brook to the list - you found some beauties in there! Been meaning to head farther up Stark Falls Brook, too - looks like it will be well worthwhile. Thanks for posting.


  2. Thanks Steve. Kinsman Notch seems to be the place for ledgey cascades. Yes, when I plan on hiking to falls and or cascades, I carry a tripod and neutral density filters. The tripod is just a $20 one I picked up at Walmart that compresses down to less than 12" and weighs 1 pound. Perfect for this application.