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A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-05-2004
    Location
    Newtonville, MA
    Age
    65
    Posts
    47

    Default Ethan Pond Shelter and campsite

    Not surprised that no one has written up Ethan Pond yet. First, it's just a few miles from NH 302 and various accommodations, including amc's Highland Center. Second, it is run by the amc and has a caretaker and $8 charge from June till Oct 15.

    To me, it's most interesting as a winter destination. I tried visiting it in deep snow last Feb and found the pond but not the shelter! Turns out that the blue blaze trail (which is mostly unblazed but easy to follow) leads straight to the pond and apparently into the pond. That's because the trail then goes out about 10 feet into the water and follows rocks to where it cuts into the woods again, leading to the shelter. (All this was buried in snow last Feb.) So, if you go in winter, follow the trail to the pond and make a hard right, following the shore till you can see the trail going up thro' the trees.

    This is how the amc describes it: "Adirondack Shelter, three single platforms, two double platforms, composting outhouse, dishwashing area, metal food boxes for bear protection." The shelter sleeps 8-10. No fires. Separate cooking area away from the shelter--there were no mice in the shelter the other night. The pond is very nice--just frozen over with an inch of ice when I visited Oct 18 (no coincidence that this was just after the caretaker moved out for the winter!) Very pleasant, quiet spot. I used it as a base to climb Mounts Willey and Field the next day, which could easily be done as a day trip but I wanted to sleep outdoors and check out this site. The Ethan Pond trail (part of the AT) had not been broken out last Feb (3 feet of base snow, another 8-12 inches of fresh powder on top) and I found it fairly easy to follow to the Pond. If you're going on to Zealand Falls, the trail gets trickier a bit past the pond, as the terrain flattens out and the trees become more spaced out.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-02-2007
    Location
    east killingly, ct
    Posts
    1,196
    Images
    270

    Default

    ethan pond is a neat spot too stay..i did the same trip during may one year and ran into lots of snow after ethan pond. the day we went was 70 degrees and the snow was geting softer thruout the afternoon. as we kept hiking the snow would give way and we were postholing waist deep at times. my buddy frenchie went thru around a spruce snag and the only thing that caught him was his backpack. there was water flow under where he went thru so that his feet were dangling above the water..freaky feeling when not prepared.we had lost the trail and he went where it was just not safe. needless to say we shortened the hike and returned to the vehicles late that day. also the day we showed up at ethan pond there was a helicopter bringing in supplies to the hut. it was another week befor they would open..

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