HENDERSON LAKE, PRESTON PONDS & DUCK HOLE canoeing.
Aug 4 & 5, 2013 - HENDERSON LAKE, PRESTON PONDS, DUCK HOLE canoe camping, from Upper Works trailhead Sunday: Wheeled canoe & gear (incl. comfy chair) 0.3 mi. to the put-in on Henderson Checked out all 3 designated campsites (none occupied) before deciding on the southeasterly one. Campsites have fire ring & thunderbox. The site on W shore is further S than shown on the map at the put-in - it's lousy anyway. After setting up camp explored Santanoni Brook (ducked under a fallen tree & dragged over a sandy shallows before giving up) & southerly inlet (over 2 beaver dams). Windy out on the lake & quite a few kayakers out (no canoes). Stunning views with mountains in every direction, Wallface especially impressive looking. Loons (calling night & early am); lots of cedar waxwings flitting about; some horseflies but mosquitoes mysteriously absent. Monday: Strong N wind created whitecaps. Paddled to NW end of Henderson & carried to Upper Preston Pond - the trail (rocks, roots & mud!) gains over 400' in 1.5 miles before dropping a bit to the pond. Again, great mountain scenery & loons. Short carry to Lower Preston Pond, water level higher than previous trips thanks to beaver dam at the outlet. More loons & impressive views of the Sewards to the W & Sawtooth Range to the N. Left the canoe & walked a path on N side of the outlet 10 mins. to waterfall with view of Duck Hole. Rock-hopped the stream above the falls & picked up a path to DH. Since the dam went out the water level is down 6' exposing a different kind of shoreline with old logs and rocky areas. I could see one of the lean-tos across the other side. On the way back I left my yoke at the NW end of Upper Pond & got to the other end before realizing it - having to paddle back into a strong headwind was not fun. Thankfully the wind had died down a bit by the time I had to paddle down HL.
Sep 21 & 22, 2008 - HENDERSON LAKE, PRESTON PONDS, DUCK HOLE. Easy 0.25 mi. carry from Upper Works to Henderson Lake put-in next to dam. Leanto + 3 new campsites (map near put-in). Paddled around S end , took a short walk to Masten House, then N with super view of Wallface & other mountains. Muddy landing near leanto then pick up trail for 1.8 mi. carry to Upper Preston Pond - very rough in many spots with rocks, roots & mud; gain over 300' most of which occurs a little over a mile in. Mountainsides come steeply down to Upper Preston Pond. Narrow 100yd carry S of outlet (there is an old oar marking the spot) to muddy landing at Lower Preston Pond. Lined the outlet thru shallows/rocks (Chota Mukluks very useful; for the muklukless, there is also a rough path on the right) to a narrow 100' carry on L which drops steeply around a 12' falls to Duck Hole. Moved into one of the leantos near dam. Very good fall colors, superlative mountain scenery; clear waters. Morning mist. Hiked Northville-Placid Trail (very easy smooth old road; Cold River, Moose Creek & 2 leantos along the way) 2 miles to Mountain Pond, had to bushwhack short distance to get to its S shore - pretty, view of Sawtooth Mountains. From Duck Hole paddled up Roaring Brook (one liftover) to within sight of hiking trail. Took our time heading out, hardly a cloud in the sky, colors & views were outstanding. Bell Northstar, a 16.5' tandem canoe.