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Thread: 5/8/09 Bald Mountain, Campton, NH

  1. #1
    Senior Member TDawg's Avatar
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    5/8/09 Bald Mountain, Campton, NH

    Looking for local hikes, I came across an area of public land adjacent to National Forest that included Bald Mountain, roughly due east of Stinson Mtn. Upon further investigation after taking the hike, it ended up being the 547 acre, Parker Family Conservation Easement, the second largest parcel of conservation land in Campton. Second behind the WMNF.

    Upon getting to the end of the one lane, dirt road I was greeted by a fantastic farm parcel with an even better view straight north to Franconia Notch and the surrounding ridges. Soon a car was on its way out the driveway, I waved and it stopped. An older gentleman got out and we exchanged pleasantries and he asked if I was "coming or going," I said I was looking to head up to Bald Mtn. I walked over and he shook my hand and introduced himself as the owner, he then explained the trail to me on my map, he was very friendly. This was good news because I thought it could be at least a partial bushwack to the top, so news of a defined route was welcome. I assume now that he had cut this trail because his description was right on, either that or he had grown up hiking it on his family's land.

    The way up was a pretty well defined but seldom traveled route through mixed hardwoods marked by blue surveyors tape, I had to pick my steps wisely at points to avoid stepping on all the Trout Lilies, it was incredible. There were Spring Beauties and Purple Trilliums mixed in as well. Before long the forest changed and more ledge started to appear before I came to a semi-open ledge that I deemed to be the summit. There were thick lichens and mosses covering some of the forest floor. Views were limited through the trees to Stinson and Carr Mtn. close by to the west, and Cardigan to the south.

    Poking around the summit area I found a faint herd path that led 30 yards south to a ledge with a nice view. It looked due south down over Bog Pond and the Baker River valley to Plymouth Mtn., a distant Mt. Kearsarge, Tenney Mtn., The Polar Caves cliff, and Mt. Cardigan. Newfound Lake and Loon Lake in Plymouth were also visible.



    The trail down was pleasant, I got a couple views through the trail corridor of Scar Ridge West, West Bond, and Mt. Bond. The trail crosses an snowmobile corridor then passes through a small field high on a knoll, here I saw a few White Violets. The trail picks up an old road at the far end of the field and leads downhill. After a couple hundred yards I came upon a very large stone wall that looked to be the footings to a large barn, followed by an old cellar hole.



    There were old walls everywhere as well. The trail keeps on the old road down hill and in a few hundred more yards I saw another cellar hole 50 yards off trail so I went and checked that one out, more large walls here too. Along this stretch I saw my first Hobblebush of the season in bloom, another welcome sign of spring.

    The old road dumped me out on the snowmobile corridor which I followed east to complete the loop and back to my car. The total loop was probably around 2 miles maybe with like 500 feet vertical, a nice hike to just get out and "smell the roses" on a lazy day off. Some new terrain, nice views, wildflowers, and interesting old remains of NH's farming past. A nice afternoon spent.

    Pictures of the hike
    Last edited by TDawg; 05-08-2009 at 11:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Todd . . . what a marvelous TR to a fantastic spot!!

    Ive not been to that particular Bald Mtn (yet!!), but was tempted to do so last Fall when I was travelling Ellsworth Hill Road en route to do some hiking on Mt. Carr. Not too far from the point where you headed off on the dirt road leading to Bald Mountain, I actually pulled over to the shoulder of Ellsworth Hill Road to admire the views looking northward.

    So, based upon your TR and the views that I personally experienced just from travelling Ellsworth Hill Road, youve caused me to add yet another entry on my to do list!

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    Senior Member TDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1HappyHiker View Post
    Todd . . . what a marvelous TR to a fantastic spot!!

    Ive not been to that particular Bald Mtn (yet!!), but was tempted to do so last Fall when I was travelling Ellsworth Hill Road en route to do some hiking on Mt. Carr. Not too far from the point where you headed off on the dirt road leading to Bald Mountain, I actually pulled over to the shoulder of Ellsworth Hill Road to admire the views looking northward.

    So, based upon your TR and the views that I personally experienced just from travelling Ellsworth Hill Road, youve caused me to add yet another entry on my to do list!
    Hey thanks!

    Sounds like you stopped at the pull over in front of the old Almont (I think its Almont) Hotel. And yes, that's the left turn immediately after that pull-over, Mason Rd. then a right onto Cook Hill Rd after passing through an orchard.

    Last time I was up there the hotel on EHR had a sign up, this time it was gone. Not sure if they're closed indefinitely or if it is just before their summer season starts. Or if it has always been closed and I just didn't inspect further. Either way it must have been a great spot to spend the night in the place's heyday, looks to be pretty authentic NH, barn silo and all. And like you said, the view is fantastic.

    On a side note, (which I'm sure you've discovered already) the flies are getting pretty bothersome, swarming but not biting yet. Bring your DEET.

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    Neat trip report! Just like 1HappyHiker, I've added this to my to-do list!

  5. #5
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDawg View Post
    Sounds like you stopped at the pull over in front of the old Almont (I think its Almont) Hotel.
    Yes, that is where I pulled over! It’s one of those roadside spots where you feel sort of guilty for getting such a great view without hiking to it (if you know what I mean!).
    Below is one of the many photos that I took from there last Autumn.
    Last edited by 1HappyHiker; 05-10-2009 at 08:08 AM. Reason: Word change

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    Senior Member TrishandAlex's Avatar
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    TDawg, thanks so much for posting this. This is so close to us, our family will check it out in the very near future! Much obliged!
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    Senior Member TDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishandAlex View Post
    TDawg, thanks so much for posting this. This is so close to us, our family will check it out in the very near future! Much obliged!
    You're very welcome. I think it would be a great hike for the little ones. Lots of interesting stuff around in those woods. Cellar holes, rock walls, etc...

    And the view down to Bog Pond makes me wanna take a a kayak out there after black fly season. Looks like you could make it out a ways up into the bog at the western end of the pond. Maybe find some pitcher plants and other bog flora.
    Last edited by TDawg; 05-10-2009 at 05:09 PM.

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    Senior Member grouseking's Avatar
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    That looks awesome. I never knew there were trails up there. I've hiked Stinson and Carr, but never been up that mtn before. Love the pics and the perspective! Great find!

    grouseking

  9. #9
    Senior Member TDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouseking View Post
    I never knew there were trails up there.

    Great find!
    Thanks, me neither. I went expecting a bushwack and was pleasantly surprised by the whole trip.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mohamed Ellozy's Avatar
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    Lots of folks have put it on their "TO DO" list, has anyone done it this year?

  11. #11
    Senior Member TDawg's Avatar
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    I have! A week fews back, nice afternoon out. Thousands of Trout Lilies.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1HappyHiker View Post
    Yes, that is where I pulled over! Its one of those roadside spots where you feel sort of guilty for getting such a great view without hiking to it (if you know what I mean!).
    Below is one of the many photos that I took from there last Autumn.
    Thanks for sharing that Picture John and thanks for filling us in on the name of that inn where the vista is. I drove up Ellsworth Hill Road last winter one morning and was greatly impressed with the view from fields in front of that old inn. It certainly looked like it was formerly an inn of some sort. The weather was overcast, but it was obvious that had light been better it would offer a splendid view.
    On #67 of NE67
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