East Pond Trail & Little East Pond Loop | 7/26/22
Updated: Nov 6, 2022
I’ve been doing a whole lot of notch through-hikes lately and today was certainly no exception. Liz just got back from a long trip and wanted to readjust to the Whites, and I am technically still avoiding big elevation days to ensure a linear re-strengthening. So, I did what I do best and picked a long red line on my White Mountains map.
East Pond trail starts up a wide bed with a steady grade that quickly drops you at the Southern end of East Pond. Perfectly framed by East Scar and West Osceola, East Pond immediately entered my list of best White Mountain ponds- alongside Lonesome, Shoal, and Black Mountain of course. It was hard to move on from the beauty, especially knowing that we had reached the highlight of our day just 1/12 of the way through, but we gained towards the height of land anyhow.
Though the 600 feet we gained upwards to the pond was a breeze, the next 700 to the height of land was more aggressive but not technical or particularly steep. Once we got to the “top” we were greeted by masses of ferns and genuine confusion about how people navigate to East Scar from here. Much respect to those NH 100 Highest folks.
After the fern forest, we descended towards the Kancamangus and the trail went from an ordinary descent to mossy and wet to a wide, flat trail that eventually dumped us out just before the hairpin turn. After a quick snack, we turned around and did everything again. Except we added on the “little loop.”
The Little East Pond loop was not little at all. It added 3.7 miles to our day but was well worth it as the trail moved through gentle woods and didn’t provide much challenge at all. It did, however, open to a beautiful view from Little East Pond which is framed by the Scar peaks in the background.
After the pond, we saw a bog bridge operation being put in and greatly appreciated the new ones that had already been placed. Before long, we had popped back out onto the main East Pond trail and were back to the car in about five minutes.
Final Stats: 12.24 miles, 2,648 gain, 1 frog.