Friday, July 30, 2010

Stone House Pond 7/29/10

See the pics HERE

Upon reading an article about Stone House Pond in Barrington, NH and seeing the picture of the large chunk of granite that sits on the pond's bank, I was eager to check it out. I had my monthly lunch with my Grandmother in Epsom and decided to take the US 202/NH 9 route home. This would bring me right by there! I passed the road once, noting an unmarked dirt road next to a white house. Upon back tracking I noticed a fallin' apart wooden sign that read Stone House Pond. Turned around again and headed down this road. You immediately pass an open gate and down a pleasant woods road reaching the parking lot along some large boulders. There is a NH Fish and Game sign here that only gives boat launching directions and nothing else.

I walked around the large chunk of granite and to the lakes shore and looking across could see the magnificent tower of ledge. There was a kayaker fishing off to the Western side of the pond. The trail was easily seen to the left (clock-wise)across the lakes outlet stream. The only method of crossing is by a difficult rock hop or a tricky jump across the small dam structure. The trail was surprisingly well worn and easy to follow. It curves around the lake shore to another slab of rock with a wonderful view directly across the lake to the ledge.

Continuing on the trail breaks away from the pond and becomes somewhat steep and loose as it climbs the banking. It then drops back down to the shore and follows it rather closely. It was somewhere on or after the steep section that a well defined trail broke left. I almost took this thinking it might be the way to the ledge. I opted to stay right which turned out to be the correct way. I am not sure where the other "trail" went, perhaps to a boulder or something? I didn't see it connect back to the main trail either further down, so something I will have to explore next time.

Back to the main trail now, again you follow the shoreline until you reach the bottom of the ledge. You then climb along side it up a steep, loose trail and around the back and easily up over to the top of the Stone House Ledge, about 150 ft. Such an amazing feeling for such little effort. You stand majestically over the pond, the ledge dropping steeply in front of you. You can see a few area hills, Blue Job and I'm guessing Parker Mt. Also there is a cell tower "disguised" as a tree, but looks more like a cruddy old artificial Christmas tree! It's the thought that counts I guess! Oh, and I was surprised to see Jack pine's atop this area too.

I went back down the way I came since the trail around the Western side of the lake was barely visible and I had read that it could be very wet. I easily made my way back stopping to capture a picture of a butterfly and a large "wood" moth who showed off a pretty orange under his wings when flying from tree to tree. Over all I believe this was half a mile with 160 ft. elevation gain round trip. Nestled discretely around the larger areas of Pawtuckaway State Park, Nippo Lake and Scrutton Pond it would appear this pond stays rather quite. Not a single speck of litter was to be found, a little graffiti on the rocks looked faded and despite the well worn trail, the top of the ledge looked to have been grown in where beaten paths once existed. Thank you to the Trust for Public Land for purchasing this land and making it a permanently protected area!!

See the pics HERE

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