|Mt.Nancy from Norcross Pond. It may not look that steep, but it is!|
The Nancy Pond Trail begins flat, and stays that way for a while. It crosses over Halfway Brook and Nancy Brook in the beginning, and follows the old fire warden road that ascended Mt.Bemis. The trail turns off of it, and we came across the ruins of what might have been a cabin, right on the trail.
|A blurry image of the ruins. It was a bit dark for a clear photo.|
The trail left the road, and my dad theorized that it was due to a washout, as the road kept following Nancy Brook. This rerouted section ascends and descends the steep side of the brook, but it soon lowers back down to the brook and crosses it. Ahead, my dad and I could see Nancy Cascade. The trail winded up to the lower section of the falls, which is 45 feet tall. The upper section can also be seen, and it's around 80 feet tall.
|The lower portion of the cascade.|
|The upper portion of the cascade.|
From here, the trail begins a steeper ascent up to the plateau area. This plateau area is quite scenic, as many narrow brooks flow quietly as they zigzag through the forest. We thought for certain we would see a moose, but we didn't. As a warning, a few of the larger bog bridges are broken. We soon came to Nancy Pond.
|Mist rising from Nancy Pond.|
This area is very scenic and tranquil. We only saw two other people on our entire trip up there. Sure it was a bit cloudy, but that didn't take away from it. We passed some makeshift tent sites on Nancy Pond. The trail soon came across the larger Norcross Pond, where we saw Mt.Anderson rising above us.
|An ominous photo of Norcross Pond. Mt.Anderson can be seen on a clear day to the left.|
To find the herd path that ascends Mt.Nancy, follow these instructions: The Nancy Pond Trail crosses Norcross Brook, but right before the crossing, there are a few tent sites. When the trail first comes to this area, a wide flat path leads to the right (northeast) to a clearing with two herd paths. The one on the right leads to a campsite with a large fireplace, and the other path is the trail. From here, the herd path ascends very steeply up the side of the peak, and I would not recommend doing it on a wet day like we did. The trail flattens out on the summit and we came across the viewpoint and sign.
|The summit sign.|
|This was our view when we first arrived.|
The view was cloudy in the beginning, but we soon were able to see Mt.Bemis and a bit of the Twin Range. On a clear day, you can see Mt.Washington and the Mt.Crawford area. This is a very impressive viewpoint, and I'm surprised an official trail doesn't exist.
|Mt.Bemis from Mt.Nancy.|
The descent was especially slippery, as many branches were hiding the slick roots and rocks on the trail. Once we got back to the trail, we visited the Norcross Brook ledges, which offer a grand view into the Pemigewasset Wilderness and the Bonds. We could also see Mt.Nancy and Mt.Anderson above the pond.
|The cloud-capped Bonds from the Norcross Brook ledges.|
There are many things in the area that share the name of "Nancy" and there is actually a story behind it. Nancy Barton was one of Colonel Joseph Whipple's many servants on his large estate in Jefferson. Nancy happened to fall in love with Jim Swindell, another servant on the estate. When Colonel Whipple found out about the love, he had Jim transferred to Portsmouth. Nancy found out, and pursued his transport carriage. So in December, 1778, Nancy ran all the way out to Nancy Brook and froze to death, crying. It is said you can still hear her cries in the brook.
|One of many tributarys to Nancy Brook.|
|The falls and ledges of Norcross Brook.|
|Notice how the ledges appear to drop into oblivion.|
|Mt.Bond obstructed by rain and clouds.|
|Mt.Anderson, Vose Spur, and Mt.Hancock all seen from the herd path.|
If you're looking for a quiet, tranquil hike with very unique views, I would highly recommend this hike above all others. On a clear day, you can achieve some great views and visit some scenic ponds, along with the waterfall. This is one of the three New England 100 Highest I've bushwhacked so far (others being Mt.Fort and Big Jay), and there are many still to come! Also, if anyone has information on the easiest way to access Border Peak or Elephant Mountain, feel free to comment below.