Trip report

Ethan Pond/Ripley Falls Hike

Hiking/Walk DATE: 10/18/2008 - 10/18/2008

Trip/Event Location: Crawford Notch, NH

Trip Leader(s): Gandalf

Max # People: 15

Trip Guiding / Event Fee:

Difficulty Level: Moderate

For this 12:00 P.M. start you get to sleep in a little longer and have a moderate hiking adventure to this attractive backcountry pond with views of the Twin Range with a side trip to the&nbsp2nd

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:
Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

Today's trip was a "forest with a trail through it" kind of day. The skies were deep blue with nary a cloud. The foliage though was past peak but there still were golds/rust colors and the leaves went crunch, crunch under foot.

The Ethan Pond Trail is part of the Appalachian Trail and we did an out-and-back from the Willey House Station in Crawford Notch, first stopping for a picnic lunch at Ripley Falls and then continuing to the shore of the pond. There is a shelter and numerous tent platforms at the pond, and no doubt a nice stop for the thru hikers.

After .2 mile on the Ethan Pond Trail we took a .3 mile detour on the Arethusa/Ripley Falls Trail up the deep ravine of Avalanche Brook where we viewed the impressive 100-foot plunge of Ripley Falls. It was past noon so this was a good spot for our picnic lunch.

Returning to the Ethan Pond Trail we made a gradual advance with glimpses of the Webster Cliffs on the eastern end of Crawford Notch. Like most of this hike, the trail passes through a beautiful, open forest. There are many trees here, including hemlocks, poplars, white birches and sugar maples. Most of the elevation gain en route to the pond is the first half-mile and then the grade eases significantly as we worked our way behind Mount Willey's protruding slopes. A mile after we reached the height of land, the path descends a bit and approaches a spur path to Ethan Pond. We followed the path to the shore of the pond. We shortly reached the shelter and tent platforms. The campsites are scattered among evergreens that rise in graceful tiers from the water&rsquos edge and end dramatically beneath Mount Willey's southern cliffs.

We took a leisurely break over the peaceful pond looking at Mount Zealand, Guyot and Bond in the distance. We were close to the official edge of the Pemigewasset Wilderness.

We returned the way we came. We did not see any moose but perhaps another time. We ended the day with a visit to legendary Willey House site, where the entire Willey family fled their house due to rock slide danger and perished. They would have lived if they had stayed in their house!

  There are 28 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

  • Another enjoyable GO trip. Thanks to Mike & Jon for coordinating. It's always nice to spend a Saturday outdoors with a great group of guys. :) - DaveSchumaker

Members That Participated


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Londonderry, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Manchester, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate


United States
GayOutdoors has a 25 year legacy of being the premier outdoor network for gay and gay friendly men in New England with a national reach. We are transforming lives, building a community and promoting visibility through outdoor recreation for gay and gay friendly men. We invite you to join us on our events, to post events for other members to join you and to share your adventure photos, stories and advice.