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View Full Version : Easy hikes to good foliage views on Wednesday



csprague
10-17-2016, 12:10 PM
Hello all,

I am taking Wednesday off to go for a hike out in the White Mountains, and will be joined by two friends who are inexperienced hikers. Given the wind forecast, I don't want to go anywhere with too much exposure. What I do want is a short hike (under 2000' of gain) with a good payoff at the top. If nobody replies with a better idea, the current plan is to climb Mt. Avalon. FWIW, I am coming from Gorham Maine, and my friends are coming from Montpelier, VT, so somewhere roughly half-way for each of us would be nice.

Thanks!

Chris

csprague
10-17-2016, 12:22 PM
I hate to answer my own question, but I'm adding Zeacliff to the list of possibilities. It might be less windy there as well.

skiguy
10-17-2016, 12:32 PM
Mt. Hedgehog and/or Mt. Potash.

egilbe
10-17-2016, 12:38 PM
Mt. Hedgehog and/or Mt. Potash.

That's what I suggest, too

DayTrip
10-17-2016, 12:43 PM
May be a little too easy based on your requirements but Middle Sugarloaf in the Twin Mountain area is a great hike. It's only 1.3 miles and about 900' of gain one way (or a bit longer if you add North Sugarloaf which has nice but lesser views). The top is just about 360 degree views on bare rock and should have tremendous foliage right now based on where it was two weeks ago when I did Zealand Ridge (and the Zealand outlook was spectacular so I'd definitely second Zeacliff if that is one of your choices. Please be aware though that this trail is very steep and rugged and I suspect will have a lot of slippery areas from fallen leaves. I wouldn't consider that a beginner hike. The easier climb up the Twinway to the outlook might be more appreciated by the newbies)

Another possibility would be Mt Crawford a little further down Rte 302. Has a fairly short, very steady (but not brutal) climb and the summit has great views of the notch from interesting ledges and open areas. One of my favorite "small" mountains. Lot of open ledge on the spur path approaching the summit and if you continue past summit spur trail there are also some interesting open ledges before it enters the woods for the long stretch to Stairs Mtn.

One last suggestion would be the Webster Cliff Trail. It has a steep climb up out of the notch with restricted views of Crawford Notch. It then tops out though and follows the ridge with a series of very impressive outlooks and ledges. The trail then alternates through flat areas and easy to moderate scrambles and brief climbs to progressively higher and more dramatic outlooks. It's a good trail because there are a lot of great natural "stopping points" along the way if people get tired or you could continue on all the way to Webster summit if everyone is still feeling strong (which is a nice peak). The foliage was also excellent in this area a few weeks ago so it should still have a fair amount of color.

csprague
10-17-2016, 12:54 PM
The two people I'm going with are beginner hikers, but their overall physical fitness is decent. The wife is a regular competitor in Ironman triathalons, and the husband works on cars and plays video games, but does go for the occasional long bike ride :)

DayTrip
10-17-2016, 01:05 PM
The two people I'm going with are beginner hikers, but their overall physical fitness is decent. The wife is a regular competitor in Ironman triathalons, and the husband works on cars and plays video games, but does go for the occasional long bike ride :)

Gotcha. I'd probably go with Webster Cliff Trail then. Lot of variety, views start pretty early in hike and there are may great stops and scrambles along the way which adds to the fun factor versus the boring trudge up to Avalon (which is a great summit but a very boring approach IMO, what I'd call an "all or nothing hike"). You'll be able to make the hike as short or long as you want without missing the great views. Crawford sounds like it would be well within everyone's fitness level and would be an easier hike but still have the big views. Sugarloaf probably will be too short and easy to fit the bill for your group (although still a great hike for another day or as a topper for another short hike - good sunset peak due to it's short length and bald summit).

csprague
10-17-2016, 01:37 PM
Webster Cliff is indeed a great hike, but I've done it on a windy day before and it was rather less enjoyable! Forecast for Wednesday is saying 20-30 with higher gusts.

DayTrip
10-17-2016, 04:15 PM
Webster Cliff is indeed a great hike, but I've done it on a windy day before and it was rather less enjoyable! Forecast for Wednesday is saying 20-30 with higher gusts.

I think you'd be fine for most of the hike the way the outlooks face and the amount of trees and scrub between outlooks but if you've already done it that takes some of the fun away. I did it for the first time this Summer and it quickly became one of my favorites. Mt Crawford is in the trees until a few tenths from the summit and there is plenty of scrub and trees the whole way to get out of any wind there might be, and being only 3100' or so the wind should be fine (think weather.gov forecast was calling for 20 mph at summit). Not much to look at on the way up but the summit is very cool and has plenty of nice views.

jniehof
10-17-2016, 05:05 PM
I think you'd be fine for most of the hike the way the outlooks face and the amount of trees and scrub between outlooks

People who have not done Webster Cliff in the wind underestimate it. It's nasty. Very nasty.

DayTrip
10-17-2016, 06:34 PM
People who have not done Webster Cliff in the wind underestimate it. It's nasty. Very nasty.

Really? Only did the whole length of it once and there were maybe 15 mph winds with some gusts. Thought it was harmless. I've been on the cone of Webster several times in pretty stout breezes too and it really didn't seem out of the ordinary to me. Does it swirl or blow off the outlooks? Does the wind magnify as the wind squeezes through the notch out of the NW and make winds stronger than they might be in surrounding areas (kind of like how that col where Crawford Path/Edmands Path/Mount Eisenhower Trail converges - it often is way windier here than the rest of the ridge). Just curious. Not doubting you but I'm surprised to hear that. Guess I need to pay it another visit on a breezy day.

egilbe
10-17-2016, 07:24 PM
That section of the Whites has killed people too.

TJsName
10-17-2016, 10:08 PM
Checkout Irene's Path in Watetville Valley. You can loop it from the Valley or from the with a car drop from the Kanc via Livermore Road/Greely Ponds. Just don't skip the small side trail to The Scaur. This is a fairly wooded hike, but some very nice woods!

If you want to do a mountain, then Hedgehog is a fine suggestion. I find staying lower makes the foliage more impressive. Crawford and Webster are both a bit higher (but still great)!

JustJoe
10-18-2016, 05:21 AM
Not sure if you got the beta for this one but Haystack Mtn., AKA "The Nubble is great.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/PzVItajg9fcRw1yWnR0uFBZPMu3DtGTA0rRtuStJ5Y4qmLiy1t aPUaxAUAvpUYvUaWrZ2nX0DxmHHSlc_HBQQeiX26Ny8Vr7AaI3 EPIfWDZvVgQMFylHV4P8zBQn2yt-IM9TMMdHZIoHfxz4Y2Sk-OGxUsp3G_Gq-1B55049xOZU0U5tSX5hhSb2bBq-JnFYV2W-bUG5h87kFsE81alVLvpXtypOXX7sE1aosKt2lBbfbGGHWdJKhv DTVj6CqkqcpvVSkIzeLyamcfga3gi9VR2UijUFSr1JEjiKP3Sh qmo1ikvErnHFflQdWTNIJ7uBgVgHU4Ch87zhvHElntZOUpctUX 7aTszUcOc7QLtWKpzV8GNDnLj4kwF9NXnIqTWTi_mA6qQMHQia _GvrqgLhdSE_HQ2GqfNHnhd-ojcxJu0E7hLiMOIbjLLTb0I7aeQY5qRrgZ-2EcoCRERmh2qWpIvrTTa8dX-xP7wH2P2wheF4RIyJGj_eGgmg14ul3xlf6yATnvOpTphFyGDHD DjFxXupVqCKOcd4H0S9N8lD3qLPVJXCEcU_mrN_sCgG-jjyXZfz-1Gg5V1H9pqKrHaB6vgCoiSjgU4TtktrBPVHn39p4ETrhw=w800-h500-no

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/WXT3_HcK2xBawkZ9rgpn6uKlVtg8_9R-mMfzZBG2eM3QQ1DR2AaSfWWZ_yBCdacPe81DWW4otDKh4WDX7v VqzzcIm55qA8NqPawGAgBYKcLptxuiNdp1RpuQzn2wEMFB8mNX WvcP3vD3pzXqCUcE6hGfxB_3fI3Maxdps9Z1EbFregmgFowvqh esPrhYX1qqc8tNNDY-R2AaPNh6-kyKzCgLrTTOQUVJvf1w-B83ey0zDuJxh9JXBtLQaSpHQr4FGXdfUHOhdvUk5tnkoX8__6m pELkB3yT-1wqWsm0lsDnRJFTmKoJgklEopGA4TjqsyaF3eQlt-WQPr_13mKz6FJFV0ksC6UNU26wii9NAuIgO3gDdW01e613bctE LPcn3zbRWwAUM4TZ04u5GbXsdpNqItetmLUFbLY3sYFCU26S6b ec8BCgF5eeRpjujzDRTSNyCxS6Szhszs1oShsb3R3f9InWoYlk spH6cSQ-1RyIJgTN_iiYnRhWRK3rk4egKpqpapkYGeHyyBm7fMDfjGTZxd HlHq8t-eXbQBUBodBknzoyFCpCEE4K8RuUwPO8FN30deo6nAgS8oIK4QK 7Z5WrqzhmioAWUsFdXZP2Kp1e_Lps8jA=w800-h500-no

Another in that area is Mt Oscar. Bretton Woods West Peak. Yes, they allow hiking there.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/IeipFrPzdqI1r3ktXJ3Yd0PD-K1-sDagdRIm_fagEhK6QzUnA0_d4Tv1_-riNo39RfHetBvICNdd28kSoT7ZycS8_vrAetYJj_pfTPkQvS62 xNVTeVLY0Oeu60Ghak0vo2aRQc5AIsNW9TleV8n2Hu-E0YPLG7bRH79IueRLlVn33DVTv2RujiCM2cBZ1w3BFLGQWkl9F bp9BDp96YPrltrtgat7vuQtlPSLVxRmpSvcNGczXuhviDiLI9f gQCsXDsllhoG7HRQUWMmnVJwb1eJoqHPKTo3wf04LvLtHqrF0Q vID2otLjdhZDHCDkcvW--XiJEZY2iyjMLK49naF4lVxbmQhPJ7IvfPlAl1-57ZC0gbPVAX4ZO9AO6lpmm2AwkUxc4X3LCES9BW_tyPUoaap0Y ldqePTGpWzAIckh3yXq1-8PvWWk3N8zLp3byiJIpOVkxrVQtbuZsQ-9ENju5UrZKRNEjpxrJpgdNgGzxwY1V--MW4W5kImbUr9OkBGwmcgcKXO5yUShhb79Eetq3sB3ynBYq_Pmw P33aHQDVGlXVVsrSHvcO1l7oFbbB2QHtfNjF9lAcU5NIIva7av ACqNC7KpV917oSjgcZf9jtOen_9QiA=w1000-h500-no

Mt Pemi.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/UH3C2U5D28rZmjteX61OfU9CEmJFZLM65tUt8Tmk9Xt52JiZ9I WjRKr2KkDzGgs52IOgAnErCYuaflIOAmM1b3vbGZTa1VMUMK6H whDMtTMYQKqIH-1R-EiDM-jcHFM5VnJu5fvNuN9o99ACx2yB1MPgphw01_QOmzjL5oCRgq88 T51L_qg1eUNHkX3JfbCuSPG3vuvMxS9VkbbhN3GY5Gv6BzqFIT NvX9u0FjJcUdWXfLYL03EGIrU0WX0yqXsckW5F_N4hd6Lv9fA4 RX9jsJywifZiimXgSa8wEpMpP4UGo7HlR4i3j9fuK62zH6t4CU qiamxI9NDS-hq1yd6djyBytazZgnOJ1O1IqkJscimOiSXLswnELnws6kcmWio qmCQ_aStJ08p5fLcw5gbaH5YQL6SIsN_oIZ_pzngOepoJrLNCw lbFVkSIUW2qY2dCcqJkEJkZo2RuTzjRwGrTX963gWCFgpmx512 B8f6wSK8NuhtZyoZtXMdclfYbpjsOmblZVofxCoIPYRVaCAnKq mJc27gCE387jHmGNTiWWtluZP0SJF4EpXexf6CWHKUt4NFt2EF KWM9mA-lFkiyzv7gCYoj17K8BR6-7qgBdanBWyFT8QQ=w512-h384-no

And there's always the Sugarloaf's in the same area as well. Mt Willard too. Mt Pemi's another. I think foliage looks best at lower elevations when you're reflectively close to the canopy.

The photos are from last Monday and Tuesday.

csprague
10-18-2016, 08:03 AM
Between Hedgehog and Potash, if I had to pick one, which would you do? They want to see waterfalls as well as foliage so I'm leaning towards these now, given their proximity to Sabbaday Falls.

jniehof
10-18-2016, 08:21 AM
Really? Only did the whole length of it once and there were maybe 15 mph winds with some gusts.
I wouldn't call that "windy." I did it on a winter day where the Rockpile forecast was 60 gusting 80 (and it actually wound up that way in the end). Our experienced trip leader said "no problem, it's mostly sheltered." 90% of the distance is sheltered, and when it's truly blowing you spend 50% of the time in the exposed portions. I was pretty sure we were going to lose somebody in the Dry River. Every single outlook had somebody blown over.

I've also gone dancing across on calm days and never would have noticed the weather exposure except for having been there before. Which is why I beat the drum. The WMG does mention it, but the reputation just hasn't stuck.

egilbe
10-18-2016, 09:04 AM
Between Hedgehog and Potash, if I had to pick one, which would you do? They want to see waterfalls as well as foliage so I'm leaning towards these now, given their proximity to Sabbaday Falls.

Depending on what time you start, you should be able to do both. Good views from Hedgehog. I think its one of the 52 with a view.

Stan
10-18-2016, 09:13 AM
I don't know where the peak foliage is right now but if the southern whites are convenient the Morgan Percival loop offers a good reward for beginners and also nice views of the lakes. Doing it counter clockwise presents a choice of a short scramble or a more straight forward route the last few hundred feet to the summit. That, alomg with Mt. Israel in Sandwich, has some nearby attractions worth a side trip, the potholes (waterfall with a swimming hole), ponds along Sandwich Notch Road, and Sandwich Ctreamery for ice cream and cheese. Red Hill in Moultonborough is easy and has a fire tower for further views. Welch Dickey loop on the way into Waterville Valley might offer peak foliage, too.

Can't go wrong with Potash or Hedgehog.

Someone else might chime in whether it is worth going further north for peak foliage.

sierra
10-18-2016, 11:47 AM
South Moat would fit the bill and it has a much better summit.

Pucknuts61
10-18-2016, 12:12 PM
Consider Black Mt in Benton or Mt Tremont off 302 (first preference!). Both have great payoffs with a little work.

DayTrip
10-18-2016, 01:09 PM
I wouldn't call that "windy." I did it on a winter day where the Rockpile forecast was 60 gusting 80 (and it actually wound up that way in the end). Our experienced trip leader said "no problem, it's mostly sheltered." 90% of the distance is sheltered, and when it's truly blowing you spend 50% of the time in the exposed portions. I was pretty sure we were going to lose somebody in the Dry River. Every single outlook had somebody blown over.

I've also gone dancing across on calm days and never would have noticed the weather exposure except for having been there before. Which is why I beat the drum. The WMG does mention it, but the reputation just hasn't stuck.

I wasn't calling my day windy. Was just giving the conditions when I was on it at the time. I'm sure in Winter with ice, snow and other traction hazards that trail could be treacherous with good wind gusts. One of my first Winter summits was Jackson in sustained 30+mph winds with higher gusts and driving snow and that last ledge scramble up was pretty interesting. Sat down quite a bit attempting to maintain my balance in snow shoes descending (which now that I've been Winter hiking I wouldn't have had the snow shoes on in the first place but I was pretty green at that point - maybe lazy is a better word because there was about 15" of fresh snow all the way up to the last ledge and it seemed like a waste to switch to spikes or crampons for that short pitch when I'd be back in snow shortly). I could see where the cone of Webster in that steep, talus and rocky area could be a challenge in the wind but the rest of it didn't seem that bad. It just didn't strike me as a nasty trail. I can think of many others that high winds would give me more concern. Gusty winds can be an issue even on a flat trail though. The unpredictability makes it easy to get off balance. I'll file the warning away in the old memory banks though for the next trip.

DayTrip
10-18-2016, 01:11 PM
South Moat would fit the bill and it has a much better summit.

I'd second that one as well. Fantastic hike but if wind is a concern a lot of this walk is exposed albeit at pretty low elevations so winds will likely not be as bad.

TJsName
10-19-2016, 03:31 PM
Gotta let us know how this went.

csprague
10-20-2016, 08:06 AM
We ended up climbing Mt. Hedgehog and everyone had a wonderful time. It was a great introduction to NE hiking to my two friends, who recently moved back to NE after having lived in Richmond VA for many years (and weren't into hiking when they lived here before).

The weather was fantastic, the views were great, and the foliage was very good.

A few pictures:

567356745675

Billy
10-20-2016, 12:03 PM
We ended up climbing Mt. Hedgehog and everyone had a wonderful time. It was a great introduction to NE hiking to my two friends, who recently moved back to NE after having lived in Richmond VA for many years (and weren't into hiking when they lived here before).

The weather was fantastic, the views were great, and the foliage was very good.

A few pictures:

567356745675


Wow, I'm surprised the foliage is still so good this late. This hike was yesterday?

csprague
10-20-2016, 02:05 PM
Wow, I'm surprised the foliage is still so good this late. This hike was yesterday?

Yes, yesterday. I should note though, that as soon as you cross over the Kancamagus Pass and go down the west side, there are almost no leaves at all, regardless of color.