Date of Hike: Oct 12, 2014

Trail Conditions: We ascended via Weeks Brook Trail, purposely leaving late and going this way to avoid the crowds. The trailhead for Mt Kearsarge North Trail was jammed packed as we expected so we dropped one vehicle road-side and made our way over Hurricane Mountain Road towards the other trailhead. That one had one car. The trail was a little difficult to follow in places, but this is surely the result of leaves on the ground. There were some yellow blazes, among the collection of other markings for logging, boundaries, and whatever else, so that helped. The trail was in good shape and the grade pleasant and soon we made it to Shingle Pond. A nice little spot for a snack in the sun. From there we soon climbed and noted one blowdown we went around. Not big, but definitely in the way. We quickly made the summit, encountering no further challenges. We met the couple who had the car in the lot. After some food and views on the summit -- which we shared with five people for the first ten minutes then had it to ourselves -- we descended via Mt Kearsarge North Trail. This was as I remembered it. Good condition, one or two large step-over blowdowns down low, easy. There is a new blowdown higher up that should be cut. It's at gut level and is more difficult to get past. Despite prior reports on yellow jackets on this trail, we had no negative experiences. Perhaps the wasps have been beaten back by the hordes that hike this one. We saw one additional person, a backpacker, headed up as we came down in the evening.

Special Equipment Used: Trekking poles, but not needed, per se.

Comments: I hiked this one with Steff just for fun (she hadn't been up this one yet and being practically in my backyard I just had to show it off) and of course the exercise. Took Weeks Brook Trail to avoid the crowds and it worked. It just so happens I also needed that one for red line so that's done. Having done both, I think I do like the Mt Kearsarge North Trail better, but the Weeks Brook Trail was very remote feeling so that made it really sweet.

Highlights: On the way in we saw a bob cat running in one of the higher timber areas the Weeks Brook Trail bisects. That was really cool! A first for both of us! Later, on the summit, just as we were descending, we spotted a rabbit who kindly let us photograph him.

Mike "Tramper" Cherim
North Conway NH