High Water at the Lower Falls of the Swift River

High Water at the Lower Falls

After leaving Sabbaday Falls I headed east on the Kancamagus Highway. The Swift River runs parallel the the Kancamgus  on your left as we headed down the mountains. The water was high and really rushing. I actually drove right by the Lower Falls because I wasn’t expecting to be able to see them right there from the road. A but further down the Kanc I found a place to turn around so I could back track.

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Kayaking The Swift River

On my way back to the Lower Falls I passed a trail head with a number of trucks and vans parked by the road. Some had kayaks piled next to them but I didn’t see anyone around.  A couple of corners later I could see the  Lower Falls ahead and the kayaks were explained. There were at least a half dozen brightly colored kayaks being put in just below the Falls. They must be putting in here then kayaking downstream to meet the vans. I hurried to park because I wanted to get some pictures but in the few minutes  it took me to pull in the kayakers were long gone and out of sight.

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Lower Falls Picnic area

The parking area is beautifully maintained, fully paved and lined. There is a large visitor center with restrooms. The trails are really just short paths over to the river bank. A large wooden deck extends over the river providing a great view of the falls. During low water in the summer people swim here. But clearly the wild water from the spring run off makes it too cold and the current too strong for swimming at this time of the year.

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If You Go

The lower falls are not a world class waterfall by any stretch of the imagination. They are made up of a series of ledges and steps. In low water there are lots pools and beaches and people flock here to swim. It was fun to see the water volume giving these quiet, gentle falls a bit of life and energy. Definitely needs a return trip in summer or fall to see a different side of this popular destination.

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Sabbaday Falls on the Kancamagus

Sabbaday Falls, White Mountains , NH

Sabbaday Falls is a pretty little waterfall nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The trail head is located off the scenic Kancamagus Highway. A gravel pathway and wooden steps leads you to the edges of the falls. The .5 mile walk to the falls is a slight incline but not too bad. There are benches along the way to stop and catch your breath and take in the surrounding beauty of the New Hampshire wilderness.

Sabbaday Brook

The stream that feeds the falls in called Sabbaday Brook. It bubbles , burbles and roars its way along beside the trail keeping you company as you climb to the falls. The handicapped accessible trail takes you to the top where the “Best viewing” area is located. I’ve been here twice ans still don’t know where you start the handicap accessible trail. Since it ends at the top of the falls I thought I’d walk it back this time but it was closed due to ice. Looks like I’ll need a return trip to work that out.

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Speaking Of Ice

Spring arrives later in the mountains. It was close to 80 in Lincoln but had dropped to the 60’s by the time I reached the parking area for Sabbaday Falls.

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There was still snow  under the trees and much of the trail was covered with ice. Step carefully! I was carrying camera and tripod and one trekking pole. Believe me when I say I would not have made it over the ice without the pole.

Finally, the Falls

After a last push up the one steep section of trail I was over the top and starting downward to the base of the falls. The brook was definitely running high making the treacherous scramble to the ledge to see the falls even more slippery. I looked at the passage with some trepidation, wishing I was either younger or didn’t have a bad hip. But it was a moot point anyway. That photographer that was in such a hurry had beat me to the ledge.

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He was set up. It didn’t look like his would be a quick shoot. I poked around downstream trying to get an angle that showed  the falls but no, luck and the first guy wasn’t budging.

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Summertime Photos of Sabbaday Falls

Since I couldn’t get an pictures of the actual falls this time, I dug back in my archives and found a few from my visit in 2011. There will be other trips, maybe even this year.

If You Go

Keep in mind that snow melts later in the woods and spring will be a week or so behind the valley at this elevation. If you wait to go the stairs to the viewing platform will likely be open.

 

 

A New Hampshire Adventure, What’s Joe Got to Do With it?

What’s Joe Got to Do With It?

My good friend Joe is 13 years younger than I am. He refuses to believe that I’m not as spry as I once was and cuts me no slack. I can’t wait until he’s my age and see how much his joints hurt! That being said, Joe is headed back to Sunny Florida. He was up in the Northeast for 2.5 months  on a job search. During that time he got a reminder of what the weather is like 8 months out of the year…cold, gray, snowy, rainy. But before he left he sent me another challenge. http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/new-hampshire/waterfall-roadtrip-nh/

The Ultimate New Hampshire Waterfall Roadtrip

Everyone knows that you need water to have waterfalls and what better time of the year in the Northeast than after the spring rains and snow melt? Saturday was a beautiful day with temps predicted to hit the 80’s. I looked at Joe’s Ultimate New Hampshire Waterfall challenge and decided I’d tackle at least part of it. Since its a 5 plus hour drive to even get to the White Mountains I knew I wouldn’t be able to get in more than 2 or 3 stops. I didn’t follow the stops as outlined in the article as I’ve been to some. I wanted the easiest stops since time was limited.

Lincoln, NH

I arrived in Lincoln, NH at just about noon. Although I wasn’t really hungry I knew my first stop would be Sabbaday Falls and I didn’t want to chance having my blood sugar drop after hiking up to the falls and back. (As a diabetic you have to be aware if these things)  For a cheap, quick stop I grabbed a cheeseburger at MacDonald’s. I know yuck.

Time to head up the Kancmagus Highway.

Finding Sabbaday Falls

Even though it has been 6 years since my New Hampshire vacation, the Kancamagus still felt  like an old friend. I recognized so many places along the way to the  Falls. As I drove the Kancamagus rose, eventually reaching an elevation of just under 3,000 feet at its highest point at Kancamagus Pass on the flank of Mt. Kancamagus near Lincoln, NH.

Sabbaday Falls is on the downside after you pass this high point. Coming from Lincoln you’ll see a sign for the Falls and Picnic Area on the right.

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It’s a Nice Walk

The parking area was packed with cars and as I prepared to hike up to the falls I met lots of dogs  and their people, families and serious hikers. One photographer with his tripod over his shoulder charged past me in a big hurry. I’d soon see why.

 

 

 

Jackson NH

You’ve seen the pictures now here’s the story. dsc_4055-copy

I had a vision of horses running through the snow and pulling a sleigh. Now I really didn’t care if it was a one horse, 2 horse or a whole team but to get this “vision” captured in a photo I had to go in search of snow and snow with horse drawn sleighs. christmassleighride1920x1200

I did a google search and came up with a few places but the one that caught my eye was the Jingle Bell Chocolate tour in Jackson, NH.

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This is a Holiday event in the elegant resort town of Jackson, NH.

For a small fee you are driven in a sleigh drawn by a team of Austrian draft horses around Jackson to different inns and locations. Some mentioned are the Wentworth, the Snowflake Inn, The Riverwood Inn and Flossie’s General Store.

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At each stop you get to sample a chocolate treat. You also receive a holiday bag for leftovers and a jingle bell.

The catch is that you have to be staying at one of the Inns. The sleigh rides start and end  at Nestlenook Farms.

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I figured I might as well drive up because the photo I wanted wouldn’t be from in a sleigh anyway.

It was a 4 hour drive but it was a beautiful day. When I left Taunton it was sunny and the sky was blue however as I approached Jackson the weather began to change. It started to get really cold and clouds began to roll in. It even started to spit a little snow. I was also getting a little discouraged as I passed through North Conway. There was absolutely no snow on the ground! How would I ever get the picture I wanted?

Jackson and North Conway are in the White Mountains and the White Mountain National Forest so you can imagine how scenic the ride was.

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Arriving in Jackson you drive over a one lane covered bridge, (Covered Bridge #51) also known as the Honeymoon Bridge. Originally built in 1876  it has had improvements and upgrades over the years. The name “Honeymoon Bridge” comes from a tradition of lovers kissing under it for good luck.

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In the end I did not get my “vision”.  It will have to wait for another day and different conditions but I enjoyed my explorations, Jackson Falls, The Honey Moon Bridge and the horse drawn sleighs on wheels.

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If any of my readers are from the New England area and know of winter sleigh rides, please leave me a comment. I’m still looking for someplace to get that photo and now we have SNOW!