BOURN, BRANCH & STRATTON PONDS backpacking in southern Vermont.

BOURN POND, Lye Brook Wilderness, Green Mountain NF. From the end of FR 70 (2,700'), backpacked 3.5 miles to a campsite on N side of Bourn Pond (2,552') with a stop at Branch Pond (2,636', 3 loons, osprey) along the way. A little N of the west campsite is a great view to Stratton Mtn.  Loons very vocal, otherwise nice & quiet. Day 2 - hiked on the Lye Brook Trail (rocks, roots, mud, little maintenance, moose scat) to Stratton Pond (walked all the way around the pond) & Shelter - 7.5 miles, 5.5 hours. Had a nice afternoon swim back at Bourn then watched a moose feeding on the E side of the pond. Moose still there in the evening - 200-300 yards away so tough to get a good pic. A beaver approached a loon family with 2 chicks (chicks make a low mewing sound), slapped its tail but the loons seemed unperturbed. Day 3 - backpacked out.  Saw 2 guys carrying in a Krapp Kayak!  Open moldering privy - there is one at the north campsite & one near the south campsite - the west campsite is very nice, but no privy.  Interesting that you get privies in the Wilderness but not at the primitive car-camping sites on FR 70 or most of the others on forest roads.
Changes are coming to Stratton Pond.

Bluebead Lilies were plentiful along the way:

Branch Pond Trail:

Aug 24, 2008 - BRANCH & BOURN PONDS canoeing & hiking in Vermont from FR70 (off Kelley Stand Rd E of Arlington).  Both ponds at over 2,500' elevation.  3 minute carry to Branch (less than the 0.3 miles it says on sign at trailhead), only half mile long but an attractive destination.  Green Mtn NF.  Loons in Branch; moose prints & scat on trail to Bourn.  Bourn is an hour's hike (thru birch, spruce, balsam; some muddy spots) from Branch.  Peaceful.  Views of Stratton Mtn from both ponds.  5 hours.  Bell Northstar, light weight 16.5' tandem canoe - spent the morning getting it ready for "The Big Trip" - raised the seats to better accommodate kneeling, glued in kneeling pads, added CVCA bolt-on yoke pads.


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