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Thread: Belknap Range Eastern Circuit 4/24/10

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    Senior Member loanshark's Avatar
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    Belknap Range Eastern Circuit 4/24/10

    With all the chatter about the Belknap Range lately and wanting a spring hike James and I decided to see what this range was all about. We were not dissappointed. We started our hike at the popular Mt. Major trailhead. Most of the hikers were taking the trails on the right. We decided to take the Boulder trail up. The summit came quickly, and the views did not dissappoint. We gazed out over the lake for a while, took the usual summit photos and continued on. Next stop was Mt. Straightback. This section had some nice ledges and more views. The best part was the crowd started to thin out. The summits came pretty fast as the trails were all dry and very well blazed. In no time we had gone on to Mt Anna and then to Mack. The woods changed some here, more hardwoods with a couple of stream crossings. Spring started to become evident. Near one of the streams we noticed some skunk cabbage and almost stepped on a snake sunning itself on some rocks. I was amazed at the condition of the trail. No mud and no blowdowns. Mt mack had some great views. Alot of open ledges. We stopped for a few minutes to take in the scenery and to have a snack. Next stop was Mt Klem. Just before the top we ran into a large cairne. At first we thought this might be the summit, but it did not seem right. We continued on for a short distance and broke out into a great viewpoint to the north. The lake with Mt Washington in the distance took our breath away. The trail at this point headed west, so I figured we had gone bye the true summit. We backtracked and found the summit a short way into the woods. The trails to this point were pretty easy to follow. Things were about to change. We took the Quarry trail from here. There was a sign that stated the Quarry trail was new and not as used as the Belknap trail. It was also not as well marked. At times it resembled a bush whack. The markings alternated between white blazes, tape of different colors and sometimes nothing at all. At the Quarry was a sign giving us some insight to it's history. Much of the granite ended up in Laconia and Concord as cobble stone streets. Some of the cables and turnbuckles used in the 1800's were still there. James being a History Teacher was very interested. You could tell the trails didn't receive alot of traffic. They were mostly soft, and not all bare rock like the Whites. Also there was much more animal life. Alot of song birds and moose rubs from last falls rut. We also started to see some Trilliums and Hobble bush. The remainder of the hike went thru some logged over areas that made staying with the trails some what difficult but more fun. The remainder of the day saw us reach Rand, West and East Quarry and North Straightback finishing the loop back at Mt Major. 9 summits, about 12.5 miles and maybe 3,700 ft of elevation gain It took about 6 hrs. It was very enjoyable.
    http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/5...vhost=outdoors
    Last edited by loanshark; 04-26-2010 at 07:25 PM. Reason: pictures

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