Cherry Pond – April 16, 2015

Pano of  Cherry Pond and Presidentials

Pano of Cherry Pond and Presidentials

We made our pilgrimage out to Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge and Cherry Pond today.   This is the start of hiking season for us and we like to begin with this one.  A great warm up hike  with amazing views of peaks we hope to summit this season, a great motivator for our summer hikes in the White Mountains.

The first 1/8 mile was ice-covered on the rail trail, the snowmobiles had really packed it down this year. After that the trail was damp, muddy in spots and some areas were dotted with mushy snow.

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sliding along the trail

The best part of the trail it is so not technical you can actually stare up at the blue sky or notice the crazy ice formations on the side, without having to be focused on foot placement.

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I always get excited when we come across this trail sign.  I just adore the Cohos Trail, because it truly is the trail less traveled.

Cohos Trail

Cohos Trail

We hit the railbed, followed it for a bit and this time just sat down, admiring the view, the warmth of the sun and the rat a tat tat of the woodpeckers.

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Closeup of Mt. Washington

Closeup of Mt. Washington

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After admiring the view, we headed over the viewing platform.  We took the shore trail over to the platform.  I was excited to see the little bench had been put back.  In October, when we last walked here the bench was gone and I was very sad to think someone might have taken it.

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The walk through this section was spring muddy and I can see it getting muddier over the next few weeks.  On the way over to the platform, I noticed dried mullins and decided to call them “New England Cacti”.

Ann's New England Cactus

Ann’s New England Cactus

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After a brief snack, we headed back to the car. Along the way we meet two birders and were “interviewed” for an upcoming birding radio show in New Hampshire.  Sadly we didn’t have much to offer, as we didn’t see any birds that stood out to us.  Oh well, adds to the adventure.

On the way back, Mike captured a few more photos of the stunning mountains.

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We spent about 2 hours out in the Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge area. The weather was perfect, little wind, no bugs and clear skies.  I hope this is a great start to amazing hiking season.

I alway