For cartographers the first maps of Otis held an amusing surprise. There in the middle of the map was a slender stream, somewhat reminiscent of a wire nose-bridge. At either end of the stream was a small lake, which appeared like glassy eyepieces. Viewed together the arrangement of lakes and stream looked like an old-style pair of spectacles aligned north to south. In a flush of poetic abandon, the two ponds were named Upper and Lower Spectacle Ponds. At least that’s the story. If you actually look at a map, the ponds look like spectacles only if you afford yourself a very large dollop of imagination. What is even nicer than the story is the subtle beauty of Upper Spectacle Pond itself.
The pond is wonderfully isolated and wild, with no shoreline development. Plus there is an island in the middle of the lake which begs to be explored. The pond, at an elevation of 1,443 feet, occupies a narrow north-south valley pinched on either side by rounded hills. The prominent ridge of Filley Mountain rises 1,732 feet to the east, while a lesser mountain to the west tops out at 1,617 feet. The island in the pond is hilly as islands go and rises about 30 feet above the surrounding water. Upper Spectacle Pond is entirely within Otis State Forest and offers privacy as well as relaxing beauty.
© Charles W. G. Smith/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.