CASCADE & STEPHENS PONDS skiing, hiking, camping, canoeing
Mar 12, 2012 - CASCADE POND from Lake Durant. NPT. Up to 2' of snow, a bit icy in the am, softening up in the pm with temp rising to 60F - good skiing. Long break at the lean-to. Pileated woodpeckers tapping & calling. Aluminum canoe in decent shape at water's edge. Otter feeding going on & off a rock on the pond. Pond looked wet & slushy. 5 hours.
Jan 22, 2012 - CASCADE & STEPHENS PONDS loop trip. 15", topped with 2"-4" of powder, some crustiness in the mix but still very good skiing. From the E end of Lake Durant we skied across the lake to the W end with Blue Mtn peering over our shoulders. The trail to Cascade Pond climbs very steeply at 1st, drops to a stream crossing then slowly gains elevation for a time before climbing a steep pitch to height of land (less effort with climbing skins). Lunched at the newish lean-to on Cascade (E of the outlet) - snow on the pond was silky smooth. Nice series of downhills on the way to Stephens & its lean-to, just watch out for some small wet streams at bottom of hills. Some slush on Stephens, skied to N end & took the shortcut path back to the Northville-Placid Trail, then fun mostly downhill to Durant Campground. 9.7 miles, 5+ hours .
21, 2010 - STEPHENS POND & NEW SECTION OF NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL TO THE
SOUTH. From Lake Durant Campsite. Added a couple of inches
of powder to 2/17 total, very nice skiing. Trail well-used to
Stephens leanto. After 40 mins. on NPT (1.5+ miles from start)
look for an old beech on the left with red paint 10" circle. 100'
further on the R there is an axe blaze on a tree with what looks like a 5
in it - the shortcut path to Stephens Pond goes off to the L &
reaches the pond in 0.25 miles. Stopped at leanto for a
break. Broke trail S along NPT on E slopes of Blue Ridge, have to
pay attention to stay on trail. Slowly gain elevation in an up
& down way, mostly open hardwoods. Turned around short of
Brown's Brook. Out onto Stephens Pond as soon as we see it, go L
or W of island, R or E has thin ice. Intermediate skiing.
11.7 miles, 5.7 hours.
17, 2010 - CASCADE & STEPHENS PONDS from Lake Durant Campsite. NPT
packed by skiers/snowshoers; off-trail 10" base with bit of crunchy give
+ 5" powder; very nice skiing. Peaceful 1 hour relax at Cascade
leanto - somebody left an old pair of skis & boots here!?.
Crossed outlet on 2-log bridge with no guiderails, open water
underneath. Continued W. New trail connecting to Wilson Pond
Trail is marked with pink ribbons (0.5 miles from leanto when red trail
takes a turn N at signs pictured below) & I followed that for 15
mins. - not an official trail yet so has some blowdown. Lots of
downhill on way back. Took unmarked path (leaves NPT a little W of
an old beech with some fading red paint on it) over to Stephens.
Ponds have solid ice with 5" powder, did not run into any slush like I
have in previous visits. Views of Blue Mtn from Lake Durant.
9 miles, 5.2 hours.
Cross country skiing Cascade & Stephens Ponds article.