View Full Version : The "real" Owls Head

06-22-2004, 11:12 PM
After the discussion of where the name came from, I decided to activate my long delayed plan to visit the Owls Head, coming down from the peakbaggers summit 4025. I walked a few minutes back on the trail until it dropped off the ridge, then bushwhacked S. The ridge was distinct enough that I only looked at the compass a few times. Mostly medium softwoods but some scrub patches and blowdown areas. Found LLBean longsleeve T-shirt which I left for owner to recover. Very distinct steep col before adjacent bump, then moderate up to 3660 bump shown as Owls Head on the USGS map. There was an obvious high point at the N end as shown on the 7.5' quad, but an extra flattish bump to the S before the big dropoff. About 1.5 hours from main summit.

Then a steady descent E to where a flattish area announced the top of the 3060 bump, no real summit here but I went out to a rock at the end of the ridge beyond which it dropped steeply to the S, another half-hour to here. Circle L a little to avoid the worst cliffs, then descend E again, but the contours on the map are close for a reason. The first 20-30' cliff I went down a gully after circling L, while the next I circled R. After that they were more outcrops than cliffs and it was easy to dodge them. After about 45 minutes the grade suddenly eased up and I was in
large birch trees, but there were still a lot of rocks mixed in so had to walk carefully. The map showed Franconia Brook divided into many channels here, and where I hit it there was sort of a sandbar so it was easy to cross. Continuing in woods, I crossed 2 dry channels and 2 small wet channels, then just when I thought I was done I came to what was apparently the largest. It was too large to cross dry so I followed it downstream until there was a log across. After some of the thickest vegetation yet, I came out on the Franconia Brook Trail after about 45 minutes in the birches.

Views were just like from the peakbaggers summit - you could peer at surrounding peaks through the trees. Even the clifftops were wooded although I am told there is an outlook on the 3060 bump if you go down to the right spot. The bushwhack took me 3.5 hours of steady but slow travel, there is a guy reading this who can do it in half the time but beginners may take longer particularly if they pick a bad route down among the cliffs.