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