Tuesday July 20, 2021 Most Recent Posts:
Moose River Campground Famous Old Man Fell
Saint Johnsbury, VT Days of Frustration & Play in Northern Vermont
After my visit to the Old Man’s mountain and the hike along Portrait Lake, I got back in the car and immediately off at the exit advertising The Basin. I had no idea what that was either but I pulled into the parking lot and found out. This being surprised is turning out great. I had no idea all this was in Franconia Notch.
Again I followed a path. This one was beside the Pemigewasset River which at this point is actually a stream which flows out of Portrait Lake from which I just came about 5 miles away. Pemigewasset is an Abenaki word meaning swift. At an elevation of 1900 feet the river drains Franconia Notch and is fed by small streams flowing from the steep mountain sides that line this valley. Sixty miles from here it becomes the Merrimack River. I watch it flow lazily over large rock faces. Nothing like the roaring torrent I understand it is in the spring.
But today it is a sweet beauty and I’m lingering near it and imagining how slippery those rock faces would be to walk on.
Cascades appear all along my way.
I’m here to see The Basin. I find the sign that tells me it is a large pothole in the river , 30 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep which had its beginning 25000 years ago as the melting glaciers filled Franconia Notch. During the thousands of years that followed, sand and stones were whirled around by the force of the river causing a boring action the left the side walls of the basin smooth.
My pictures don’t do justice to how splendid it is. It makes me very happy to be here where in 1839 one of my favorite writers, Henry David Thoreau, was watching the water “cascade into the granite bowl and whirlpool around its walls.” He later wrote in his journal “this pothole is perhaps the most remarkable curiosity of its kind in New England.” Sure wish my David was here. He’d love this.
No swimming in the bowl and I know the water is freezing still there is something about it that makes me want to climb in. But instead I decide to climb the Basin-Cascade Trail.
It’s a hike up river along the stony rock faces with what seems like a small amount of water cascading along for the rain we’ve had. Maybe the rain stopped at the Vermont/New Hampshire border.
At earlier times in the year they would never be able to sit here. But it’s sweet today.
The path climbed and then went back down by the water multiple times.
The trail was rocky brushy and narrow. I was glad I had my hiking pole this time.
The little falls and cascades were all along the river. I was in heaven.
Of course they were all different and equally wonderful.
It’s a wonder it didn’t take me all day to do these 4 miles given how many times I stopped to enjoy and take pictures. This is a must return to hike for sure.
But after the “cascades” the really messy part began. Muddy, rooty, rocky and difficult.
I didn’t take nearly as many pictures of this more steep and difficult climb but I made it to Kinsman Falls and I was not disappointed.
My first view.
I figured out how to get closer
And ultimately how to get down to the foot and sit for a spell.
It was wonderful and I could have stayed much longer than the 30 or 40 minutes I spent there. But I knew I had a rough trail back and there was one more thing I really wanted to see before my day was over.
Just a couple pictures from the hike back. If you come to New Hampshire, you must not miss this hike if you are able to do it. Be aware that it is only for the sure footed, that some of it is steep, much of it is muddy, rocky and slippery. Be sure to have good solid hiking shoes and poles. As you have seen, it is worth the effort.
Amazingly this is not the end of my day in Franconia Notch. But this part was so great that I didn’t want it to get lost in what’s to come. So next post will be all about the Fantastic Flume Gorge. The place and its story are amazing.
This was so enjoyable to see the lovely waterfalls and cascades.ReplyDelete
I know you stick pretty close to the East Coast, but if you like good trails and incredible cascades and waterfalls, Minnesota's North Shore along Lake Superior would amaze you. Tons of pictures and info online. The downside is that summer is a very busy time but fall is gorgeous and somewhat less busy. One could easily spend a month without seeing it all.
Thanks for the suggestion Liz. David and I spent a summer and into the fall traveling up through the Great Lakes and spent time in the UP, upper Wisconsin and Upper Minnesota. I remember Split Rock Light House in particular and Lake Superior did amaze me. We stayed along the lake in several places. All those posts are in my previous blog Direction of Our Dreams. I would definitely like to return again and stay longer if life and so many full timers allow.Delete
Don't forget about the mosquitos !!!Delete
Yes Flowergirl we definitely ran into mosquitoes especially in the UPDelete
Glad to hear you have been on such a good trip. I will definitely go back to read about it. Hope you are able to return. If you are on Facebook, find Split Rock Lighthouse and follow it. The new manager does a wonderful job of photography and sharing information.Delete
The the Basin. Glacial features are always a treat no matter where you find them. The waterfalls and cascades are delightful as well. What a gorgeous day you had.ReplyDelete
It was a great day Sue. I'd sure love to have you with me when I see these Glacial things.Delete
What a beautiful area. Earmarking for the future, I hope! Thanks for sharing this wonderful hike!ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comment Jeannie. Hope you are still enjoying Maine. I love it there.Delete
Wonderful cascades and waterfalls. Makes me want to get out and start hiking. I do remember Franconia Notch, the Gorge and that whole area when we were there a number of years ago. Just delightful!ReplyDelete
So glad to hear that you could start hiking again. Maybe we could do some when I am in virginia.Delete
All that water! The colors of the water, trees and rocks are so appealing. I know it sounded great! There were a ton of roots at the bottom of those trees. The 2nd picture after "I was in Heaven" is my favorite. Looks like a beautiful hike- xxxoooReplyDelete
Yes Vermont is green and blue and lovely. I would definitely come back and do the hike again. You could come up and join me.Delete
What a gorgeous hike! Definitely worth the roots and rocks on the trail. I love The Basin...and I especially love knowing that Thoreau was there appreciating and writing about the beauty. That hike is going on our list for when we return to New Hampshire. What a magical day for you!ReplyDelete
I may want to locate for a month in New Hampshire. Let me know of any good campgrounds. I thought of you when I mentioned Thoreau.Delete
We loved the uniqueness of the sideways falls at the the Basin! So glad you completed that amazing trail and shared it with us. Once it got narrow and steep I turned back. Your pics are wonderful :-))ReplyDelete
Do I understand you to say you did this hike but didn't go all the way to the falls? It was rough for sure. But what a great place Franconia Notch is. Glad you got to see it in person since pictures don't do it justice.Delete
Beautiful hike and falls...reminds me of a combination of some of the Smoky Mountains and Acadia hikes we've done together. However, you found the ones without all the people!!!ReplyDelete
There were a lot of people down on the hike to the basin. I just didn't include them. But up on the trail very few.Delete
How beautiful! What a lovely day full of water and woods. Well done hiking through the mud, steep hills, and roots. Worth it, I say! So glad you found this gem of a hike and so enjoyed taking it : )ReplyDelete
It was definitely one of my best days in Vermont so far. I had no idea how fantastic Franconia Notch was going to be.Delete
I was wondering how you managed to avoid the crowds in the summer, but I see your comment to Bill/Nancy :) Such a beautiful hike you did there, calming waters and the rocky surfaces. To answer your question about hiking Franconia Notch, we did it in bits and pieces :)ReplyDelete
There really have not been a ton of people in the places I have gone in Vermont Laurie. It seems that the national parks are the places that are overrun at least this summer.Delete
Good advice on proper footwear for a hike like that. I'm amazed of the people I've come across hiking in flip flops, totally unprepared for the path ahead. Hiking in Washington state once we came across on a narrow hillside trail a couple with a baby carriage. We stepped off the trail to let them pass and inside the carriage was a DOG! :cOReplyDelete
Loved all the pictures of the waterfalls and cascades. One of my all time favorite sounds, so relaxing and enchanting.
Love your dog in the carriage story. People are amazing!Delete
OMWow, so many falls. Right up your alley for sure.ReplyDelete
You betcha. I look for them everywhere if I'm in an area where they are. Vermont is perfect. All of New England actually.Delete
I love these waterfalls! That is my favorite part of a hike.ReplyDelete
A friend who passed away last year worked at Dartmouth for many years. He loved to hike and I know he must have come there. It makes me happy to see something that Mark must have see. Thank you!
I am sorry to hear about your friend but glad I could show you something that I know he must have seen if he is a hiker relatively close to here.Delete
Great pictures, have not been in Vermont for a very long time.ReplyDelete