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Day Three: Exploring Zealand Notch and Ethan Pond TrailAfter two really big days, a down day of sorts with less elevation gain and gentler terrain was welcome so Jeffrey decided to lead our guests up Zealand Trail to Zealand Notch and on along Ethan Pond Trail. The section in front of Whitewall Mountain and onto Thoreau Falls is draw-droppingly beautiful. One of our favorite places. It’s part of the Appalachian Trail, but it’s still somewhat removed from the bulk of local foot traffic thanks to the routes most hikers taken when bagging the 4000-footers.
It was a good choice, as it turns out. The trio had a fantastic day. It was evident in the voices on speakerphone during Jeffrey’s drive back with the two enthusiastic ladies. This is what we like to hear. After two big days, a more relaxed day can turn great things into greater things and that’s what we were hoping for. We really have to hand it to Jeffrey for making things awesome.
The AMC’s Zealand Falls Hut
After staying at the AMC’s Zealand Hut for a while to take a break, enjoy the atmosphere, and check out the falls, the trio continued on toward Thoreau Falls via the Ethan Pond Trail. The vistas from this old railgrade where it runs in front of Whitewall Mountain are really quite special. Through-Hikers will know this since it’s part of the Appalachian Trail (AT) but most of the regular peakbaggers miss this in favor of the higher peaks.
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