Trip report

Nancy Brook and Norcross Pond

Full Day Hike DATE: 11/04/2023 - 11/04/2023

Trip/Event Location: Harts Location -- Crawford Notch, NH

Trip Leader(s): nhclimber03264

Max # People: 25

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Nancy Brook and Norcross Pond: elevation (highest point) 3120ft, distance to highest point 4.3 miles, total trip distance 8.6.

This trip is considered MODERATE. Some steep grade and distance are

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

Group will meet at 8 am and depart up the trail at 8:20 am Sharp.

Where to meet:  At the trail head parking area along Route 302 in Harts Location. The Trail parking is on the south side of the road. The trail head is 9.5 miles east from the AMC Highland Center and 5.2 miles west of Bartlett Village. Notchland Inn is less then a mile west of the trail head.

Because of trip preparation the trip leader is unable to provide a ride for this trip.

Cell service is inconsistent. GPS will get you your quickest route to the trailhead.

Trip Report/Photos

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...”

? Henry David Thoreau

Why do these trips? What is there to gain from wandering through the woods?

At 8 a.m. Saturday, November 4th a small group ventured into the forest just off route 302 in Harts Location NH. Partly cloudy skies and seasonably moderate temperatures, the hikers followed the Nancy Pond Trail along the property lines of a few private camps before connecting with the road from a long ago and forgotten era. The moderate grade came to the first stream-crossing with ice that had formed on logs and stones, indicating that winter would soon arrive. Once across with dry feet, the group took on a steeper grade passing the ruins of the logging camp that once dominated the area. At about two and a half miles and another stream crossing the group reached the incredible Nancy Cascade, with contrasting colors of ice and algae.

At this point, the trail follows various switchbacks up the steepest grade and the top of the never-ending cascade. Cresting the knoll, travelers enter a boreal forest that has already begun its long winter nap. These rare areas are among the world's leading purveyors of ecosystem services, including carbon storage and clean water, and they harbor significant wildlife populations. Mud and ice mingle together trapping the footprints of wild residents passing along these trails days before. Reaching approximately four miles is the first of three ponds, Nancy Pond. Melting and shifting glaciers carved out the small pockets for these upper ponds to form in. A gentle breeze makes the slightest ripple upon the water's surface in areas the ice has not seized for the winter doldrums. Crossing several wetlands and bogs on raised wooden trails, the group passes a second, unnamed pond tucked away in a protected marsh area.  A few more quick twists and bumpy knolls the hikers pass into the Pemigewasset Wilderness (USFS) and look down and across the third body of water, Norcross Pond. A slight hint of the majestic view on the western shore peaks through the trees and across the cold water. After a quick scramble, the small group emerges from the tree line onto a granite ledge that is holding back the pond from slipping down into the vast wilderness below. The view from the water level west shows the Pemi Wilderness, Franconia Ridge, and more. Incredible site to behold.

Here on the ledge, the group warms up with more layers, snacks, and thoughts about the day's adventures and fun times of the past. It is noted (several times) by some that the leadership failed to bring warm beverages for everyone to enjoy as other trip leaders had done on cold hiking adventures. That said the group had an amazing adventure into a quiet world not traveled by many. Everyone had a great hike, and the woods were left to the moose and birds to guard through the winter.

So why do we do it? Some seek out these adventures for personal goals or challenges. For some, it is seeking a closer bond with nature which is difficult to do in a more urban environment. The most common reason is seeking a comradery with like-minded travelers. Feeling a part of a greater whole. It is these fellow hikers that we build our friendships and families on. Through these adventures, we seek to become better people, build better communities, and strengthen our relationships with those we travel through life with. Everyone brings smiles, stories, jokes, and encouragement. Some even bring warm beverages to share with everyone. If you were not on this trip, you were definitely missed.

“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”

? Rene Daumal

  There are 38 photos in Album (Note: Move mouse pointer over larger pic and click on NEXT for better viewing)

What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event

  • Captivating trip report with beautiful pics. An adventure begins with a single step. Be inspired and explore the world around you. - JDNnh

Members That Participated


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Plymouth, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Lancaster, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Lancaster, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Bristol & Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro, Panamá, NH

United States
Hiking, backpacking, camping or vacation adventures, GayOutdoors [GO] has been the LGBTQ outdoorzy community leader for the last 22 years. We are an informal group of diverse hiking enthusiasts in the United States with a shared love of the mountains who prefer hiking with friends. We invite you to join us on our hikes, to post hikes for other members to join you and to share your hiking photos, stories and advice.

Become A Member

If you find it invigorating to hike along a mountain trail with friends not knowing what’s just around the corner, to get some fresh air, to stop and soak in the views on a summit, and to soak your feet in a mountain brook after a hike, give us a try!


Powered by - ColdFusion Experts