The Saco River, born among the highest peaks of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, gathers feeder streams and momentum as it roars down the steep valleys. By the time it reaches Fryeburg, though, it is a tame, meandering, marshy meadow stream, ever so popular with weekend canoeists. Hundreds of people paddle this water on summer weekends. Very few of them, however, take the time to paddle out onto Pleasant Pond, which is accessible only from the Saco River.
This is their loss, because Pleasant Pond is gorgeous, with layered hills and lofty peaks of the White Mountains as a backdrop. Sitting out in the middle of the pond, gazing off at the multihued pastel layers retreating into the distance, we found it difficult to consider leaving even as the sun set over the mountains, though our delay would mean paddling back in the semidark. A magical place, indeed. Prominent fish species: smallmouth bass, white perch, and chain pickerel.
© John Hayes & Alex Wilson/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.