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Thread: Long Drive for a short hike - Diamond Peaks Trail

  1. #1
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    Long Drive for a short hike - Diamond Peaks Trail

    One of the advantages of hanging out with redliners is I do get to visit territory I wouldn't normally visit. Over the years I have driven by the second college grant on the way up to visit Mt Aziscohos or over to the Rangeley and Eustis area. Its a long drive from anywhere and even from Gorham its about 1 and a half hours. Non Dartmouth alumni have to park at the locked gate just off Rt 16 near the Maine border although there is no prohibition from mountain biking up the road. The walk up the road is quick and is mostly along the Dead Diamond River. The college cabins were busy with the overflow in tents. The trail is well marked where it leaves the road at a cluster of cabins. The trail up to the peaks is well graded through a hardwood forest, there were several large blowdowns when ascending the ridge. The Diamond Peaks is part of a ring dike formation, similar to Cape Horn in Lost Nation but distinctly more jagged. The area is an active peregrine falcon nesting area closed until August 1st most years. The peregrines were definitely in the area and along one part of the hike one of them most likely the mother was distinctly unhappy with our passing on the way to the summit but far quieter on the way back. The views along the ridge are partially blocked by an adjacent ridge but the string of mountains that hold the AT from Goose Eye to Bemis are in full view. Thankfully the Millsfield Wind Farm is also blocked by the nearby Windy Ridge so the illusion of remoteness is maintained until the new proposed wind farm north of Grafton Notch up the spine of NH comes back to life.

    After a long break we headed down. The overall distance is about 7 miles, mostly road walk. It would have been easy to add in Aziscohos Mountain as it is not that much farther north on RT 16 but some folks in the group had had long hot day the day before. For views Azicohos is superior as its has 360 degree view. I expect for most folks this is definitely not a day hike due to the distance they need to drive. There is nice campground in Wilson Mills that would make for a convenient base to grab these two hikes in a fairly easy day.

    Of minor note is there has been a lot of publicity that the Errol area has had cell coverage installed and the cell antenna is visible from town. Despite that my Verizon phone had zero signal. It could possibly be an ATT exclusive but its quite rare that Verizon does have service from a rural tower. We stopped at LL Cote to pick up a car in the afternoon. It was swarming with ATVs, boats camper and motorcycles. No special events in town, its just the new normal for this area on summer weekends.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Vermonster's Avatar
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    Actually the Errol cells (I think there are two now active) are a Verizon exclusive. It seems to be working about 90% of the time, but does go down more than service south of the notches. There is also rumor of Sprint but I don't think that is active yet. It will only work with a newer 4G phone--and I think the phone must also support Verizon's HD Voice. There are more details here: http://www.wireless-partnersllc.com/...sitePrimer.pdf

    I have found that sometimes one's phone does not pick up coverage properly, but if you briefly turn airplane mode on and off it seems to connect. The coverage is only good right in "downtown" Errol. There is also a new site in Dummer or Millsfield that provides some additional coverage to some of RT16 between Milan and Errol.

    The College Grant has been particularly busy this summer as it's the first year of a decade long climate change study that has a lot of researchers living on the property at times. https://forestadaptation.org/ascc-nh

  3. #3
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    Interesting, those mini cell sites are popping up all over the north country. For the price of a conventional tower they can put in several of these internet based towers. Northern Pass spent a bundle on contributing to the cost of a conventional tower way up on a hill in Groveton. Once the regional planners saw the final cost they switched to the new tech.

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