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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Mt. Nancy
Harts Location, NH, Livermore, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking up the Nancy Pond Trail
Looking up the Nancy Pond Trail

Route: Nancy Pond Trail, herd path, (Mt. Nancy), herd path, Nancy Pond Trail

While I had originally planned to hike Mt. Nancy prior to the rain on Saturday, the reversed forecast resulted in me heading to Vermont. With a drier Sunday forecast, I finally set off to Mt. Nancy.

The Mt. Nancy Trail was fairly gradual with decent footing all the way to the old Bemis Trail junction (immediately after the first Nancy Brook crossing). There were a few smaller water crossings prior to it that were easily crossed, however the Nancy Brook crossing seems like it could be an issue in moderate water levels.

Thereafter, the trail steepened up and, after passing the remains of Lucy Mill, became more rough footingwise. After crossing Nancy Brook again, the trail curved around and passed by the bottom of the cascades - very impressive. From there, the trail was rather steep and rough, climbing up to the height of land. At that point, the wetlands drew out the mosquitoes. My progress was slowed due in part to swampy trail and old rotted and broken bog bridges (fortunately there were some new ones recently helicopter-dropped near the trail).

While Nancy Pond was a neat sight, Norcross Pond was much more impressive to me, as the view across the pond at the Bonds was spectacular. Unfortunately, the trail was even worse in this area - literally flooded with a foot or more of water in places due to beaver activity. Herd paths allowed someone easier passage around those sections.

Reaching the far end of the pond, the Nancy Brook Trail took a sharp left to cross the ledgy outlet of the pond. At sharp right - in other words, in a straight line with the outlet, sort of perpendicular to where I came from on the Nancy Pond Trail, the herd path to Mt. Nancy started.

Almost instantly, the herd path split - a right branch deadended at a bootleg campsite, while the left branch continued to Mt. Nancy, gradually at first.

Prior to nearly the slide, the path had pretty good footing - it seemed to be following an old logging road. Shortly after crossing a small creek (sharp dropoff to the left), the slide could be seen straight ahead. Instead of going up the slide, I followed the herd path as it paralleled to the right of it. Above there, the trail actually became steeper as it climbed by small spruce growth under a mixed canopy.

Eventually reaching the summit plateau, the herd path levelled out and weaved its way to what I found to be the highpoint, adjacent to an excellent vista. The views ranged from Mt. Willey to Kearsarge North Mountain with a tremendous view up the Dry River basin of the Presidentials. While I saw some signs of where it may have been, I didn't find the famous orange summit canister.

I took my time on the descent due to the steepness of the trail. After a brief detour to check out the views from the slide, I worked my way back down the Nancy Pond Trail, passing the time on the lower few miles by spotting old telephone poles from the Mt. Bemis fire tower telephone line.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Nancy
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Sunday, June 13, 2010
Hike Commenced: 8:05 AM
Parking Elevation: 940'
Destination: Mt. Nancy
Ascent Commenced: 8:05 AM
Summit Reached: 11:03 AM
Time Elapsed: 02:58
Trailhead Elevation: 940'
Summit Elevation: 3,926'
Vertical Gain: 3,022'
Hike Ended: 2:04 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 05:59
Hike Vertical Gain: 3,122'

The Nancy Pond Trail trailhead of US 302
The Nancy Pond Trail trailhead of US 302

Nancy Cascades
Nancy Cascades

Looking northwest across Norcross Pond at the Bonds-Twins range
Looking northwest across Norcross Pond at the Bonds-Twins range

Looking down the steep herd path to Mt. Nancy
Looking down the steep herd path to Mt. Nancy

Looking at the Presidentials from Mt. Nancy - Click to enlarge
Looking at the Presidentials from Mt. Nancy

Directions to trailhead: Take US 302 West from Bartlett. Shortly after passing Sawyer River Road (but prior to passing the Davis Path parking area), the small dirt parking area and trailhead for the Nancy Pond Trail will be on the left.

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