Kilkenny Ridge (August 8, 2020) - 7 hours

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White birch forest.  The Horn.

Peter Wyatt and I did the little-used northern end of the Kilkenny Ridge Trail, ending up at the South Pond terminus. We spotted a car at South Pond and drove up Mill Brook Rd. to the start of the Unknown Pond Trail. I had previously done that stretch of the Unknown Pond Trail with Alex to go to Mt. Cabot. Midway up there is a nice stretch of white birch forest (left). Unknown Pond is wild and beautiful and has a great view toward the Horn (right). Peter and I were previously there last year when we climbed Mt. Cabot from the other end of the Unknown Pond Trail.

Kilkenny Ridge Trail.  Bog bridge crossing a wet area.

From there we turned north on the Kilkenny Ridge Trail (south goes to Mt. Cabot) and went down the ridge. The trail was severely overgrown (left) although the tread was fine and it was fairly easy going. Eventually we reached a swampy plateau, of which our first sight was a beautiful bog bridge crossing a wet area (right).

Roger's Ledge.  Roger's Ledge.

The bog bridge provided nice views (left and right) including of Roger's Ledge where we were headed.

Kilback Pond.  The Horn.

Soon after we reached Kilback Pond, which is remote and beautiful (left). There's a bog bridge crossing the outlet but it was broken. It wasn't hard to manage though. There was a nice view looking back toward the Horn (right)

The Presidentials and Carter Notch.  Mt. Hutchins.

We then climbed to Roger's Ledge, which was an easy climb with some great rock staircases. Roger's ledge has a 180-degree view to the south, very unique and stunning. We looked back at the plateau that we went through with the Presidentials and Carter Notch in the background (left). The view to the west took in trailless Mt. Hutchins (right).

Devil's Hopyard Trail.  Devil's Hopyard Trail.

We then hiked the long way north from Roger's Ledge to exit at South Pond. On the way we took the side trip on the Devil's Hopyard Trail, which is well worth it. The trail takes you up a narrow gorge by way of mossy and slippery boulders, so it took some care, but it was a very wild scene (left and right).

Sheer cliff face.  Sheer cliff face with horizontal grown trees.

At the end of the trail there was a sheer cliff face (left), and on that cliff was a bunch of trees growing horizontally (right), which was amazing. Soon after we saw the "end of trail" sign, so we retraced our steps and exited at South Pond for a great swim!

See also: 2020 Hikes