As we approached Wallface Ponds, things got a little more nasty. The wetness on the trail gradually increased, and very close to Wallface Ponds, the trail goes completely underwater. A pretty trod-down herdpath has emerged on the left to bypass this section. I could see from the matted-down areas of vegetation that this was much worse when the water was at normal levels - we were getting off relatively easily.
Once past this section, we saw what had caused this: A beaver dam had been constructed right across the trail, and the pond created behind it had inundated a large section. A break in this dam would probably drain most of the worst areas of water-logged trail.
Just minutes after this dammed section, we arrived at Upper Wallface Pond, and the end of the maintained trail. Nice, reasonably sized lake. Above it, we could see the forested summit of MacNaughton.
MacNaughton and Wallface Ponds
The herdpath continues on where the trail ends. It is reasonably distinct as it followed along, roughly parallelling the southeast shore of Upper Wallface Pond. It leads past a couple of nice lakeside campsites, finally arriving at the narrow neck of water that joins Upper and Lower Wallface Ponds.
Here, the beavers have helped. What would otherwise be a hip-wade across about 25-feet of water has been eliminated by a beaver dam that crosses the neck. It is sturdy and wide, and it is a snap to hike across.
Once on the other side, there is a brief bit of nasty bushwacking, and then a reasonably distinct herdpath leads towards MacNaughton. After a few hundred metres (yards), it unfortunately peters out into nothing at all distinct, and from here on it is continuous bushwacking up the Northeastern aspect of the moutain to the summit ridge. To its credit, though, most of the bushwack up is actually relatively open. I was surprised and pleased. The only really nasty bit is a band of thick stuff just as you reach the summit ridge.
We aimed our track such that we arrived on the southern end of the summit ridge. The crest of the ridge has a relatively distinct herdpath that leads along its entire length. We stopped at a nice westward-facing lookout first, and had our lunch there. Then, we continued northwest along the ridge's herdpath, following its gentle undulations until I was sure it would end and the elevation would start dropping. We had not yet encountered the summit sign, and I was beginning to think there was no longer a sign. Jenn doesn't like bushwacking at the best of times, and I could tell from the sharp increase in cursing that she was nearing her limit.
Finally, though, at the very northwestern end of the summit ridge, we found the MacNaughton summit sign (which actually reads 'McNaughton'), and a limited lookout to the northwest. Good stuff! The 47th peak has now been visitied!
Limited northeastern view
We decided to bushwack off the summit in a more direct line back to the lake, in order to save a few hundred metres of extra bushwacking (I'm sure Jenn approved of this idea). Again, the first section near the summit ridge was thick, tangled, and a general PITA. Below that, though, we again encountered relatively straightfoward bushwacking, and we made it back down from the summit to the end of the maintained trail in about an hour.
View to Lower Wallface Pond
The hike back was a brisk one - we didn't want to get back home too late, and we had a lot of ground to cover. It was still a pretty nice walk, though - the solitude of the trail, combined with the nice meadow views (including some nice ones over to the MacIntyre Range) made it quite enjoyable. It has a nice 'not-super-beaten-down' kind of feel to it, too.