This is part 2 of my trip report up the East Branch Pemigewasset River (the Pemi) to scout a second river crossing at Stillwater Junction and beginning of the Shoal Pond Trail which links Carrigan Notch to the Ethan Pond Trail. I’ll be passing through this way on my White Mountain Challenge Route and since I’ve never hiked in this area, I wanted to make sure it was a viable route.
That might sound like an odd concern, but some White Mountain trails are frustratingly difficult to find either because they haven’t been maintained regularly or because their routes have been diverted but not updated on existing maps. In addition, the quality of the signage in the Whites can be a bit dodgy and the quality of blazing is often poor to nonexistent. I’m not complaining about poor blazing, mind you, but it’s one of the “features” of the White Mountains that you need to factor into route planning and decision-making when hiking in the more remote sections of the National Forest. This will become more apparent later in this trip report and one of the main reasons why I took this scouting trip in the first place.