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Thread: A Week's Worth of Day Hikes

  1. #1
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    A Week's Worth of Day Hikes

    Back in May during a discussion of the congestion on Franconia Ridge and the newly implemented parking ban in the notch I said "I will do my part and hike less traveled trails on my visit." For the most part, I have kept my promise. The week just flew by and I was intentionally disconnected most of the time so this report is a bit after the fact. I was in NH from August 16-23, hiking every day but one from 8/17-22. Just a few showers now and then but overall amazingly consistent good weather.

    So the exception on both counts was probably the 1st day, Saturday when I had planned to do Success with the KMan. We have been hiking together for 35 years and he is about the only person I trust enough to hike with other than my wife. The forecast that Am was for early Pm thunderstorms so we backed off and did Welch/Dickey since neither one of us had ever done that hike. The lot was crowded but not full and there were Trail Stewards at the trailhead. It's a great little loop and we enjoyed the open ledges. Sunday, we had to remove a fallen birch tree from the pond and cut it up. Canoeing, loon interactions, and swimming off the floating dock consumed the remainder of the day. KMan went home and back to work while I stayed on at the cabin.

    Monday I did the North Moat/Red Ridge loop which I had asked for advice about on another thread. This was the longest hike of the week and also the most strenuous. I definitely beat the crowds at Diana's Baths by arriving first at 6:45 Am. It's a long 4.3 miles up to North Moat summit and some of the ledges were quite slippery. A lone hiker passed me on the ascent, a young woman traveling rather fast. There are two significant drop downs as you leave the summit and head down the ridge. They had my attention but I negotiated them without mishap. Stopped for lunch at the Red Ridge junction and met only the second hiker of the day. It was kind of funny because we each staked out one of the 2 large boulders at the spot. I would only meet 4 other people all day as I descended Red Ridge. It was hot on the open ledges but the views were great.

    Tuesday I finally hiked Success. I have written elsewhere about my impressions of Success Pond Rd. It took about 20 minutes to drive the 5.5 miles from Berlin to the trailhead. I have seen worse roads (like in Guatemala). Its a steady climb to The Outlook which is just a fantastic viewpoint especially looking southwest at North Bald Cap with the Presidential Range as the back drop. I met a guy along the way whose father had been part of the search party that rescued the survivors of the 1954 plane crash. On the summit, about half a dozen NOBOs were lounging and eating lunch when I arrived. Those are the only people I saw all day. It was just me and the trail descending.

    Wednesday I went up to the Nash Steam Forest and did Sugarloaf. Its only 2.1 miles to the summit but it gains 2200 feet so it kind of starts out steep and stays that way. It's mostly an eroded fire road leading to the old fire warden's cabin site (grown over). The trail looks like it disappears there but its just overgrown with wildflowers and if you push through it the trail becomes obvious on the other side. Some joker had lugged an old stove from the site up to the summit. Nice views south and east of the Nash Stream Valley and the Percy Peaks. I did not see another person all day. It was fun to be that far removed and entirely on my own.

    Thursday I did West Royce. Pretty steep climb up to the East Royce junction. I passed on East Royce for several reasons. I wanted an excuse to come back but I was also feeling the cumulative effects of 5 hikes in 6 days and was focused on getting West Royce. The area in between the 2 peaks is pretty cool and there are still some limited views from the tiny summit area. Once again, I did not see another hiker all day.

    Weekly totals were 30.2 miles and 11,050 feet of elevation which I know is roughly equivalent to a Pemi traverse that some of you can do in a day! Not bad for me though. I will try to post some photos later.
    Last edited by Grey J; 08-28-2019 at 11:26 AM.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

  2. #2
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    1. Broad Ledges on Dickey. 2. Descending Red Ridge with views of Kearsarge North. 3. North Bald Cap from The Outlook. 4. Spruce Grouse off Success Trail. 5 Sugarloaf summit.
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    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

  3. #3
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    1. Nature's art on Welch. 2. Chocorua from Moat Mt trail nearing Red Ridge junction. 3. Mahoosuc Trail (AT) leading south from Success summit. 4. Royce Connector Trail. 5. Sunrise at Streeter
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    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey J View Post
    Thursday I did West Royce. Pretty steep climb up to the East Royce junction. I passed on East Royce for several reasons. I wanted an excuse to come back but I was also feeling the cumulative effects of 5 hikes in 6 days and was focused on getting West Royce. The area in between the 2 peaks is pretty cool and there are still some limited views from the tiny summit area. Once again, I did not see another hiker all day.
    That area is really neat! I'm guessing you came up Laughing Lion?

    If you come back for East, I'd suggest coming in from the Burnt Mill Brook trail (from Wild River). It's a really pretty trail that plops you right into the interesting area. If you wanted to make a bigger day of it, you could backtrack a bit an loop it with the west side of the Basin Trail by continuing south down the ridge. A car/bike drop would save the road walk, but as road walks go, it's not too bad. Cone could Camp at Blue Brook if they wanted to do it as an overnight.
    | 63.0% W48: 19/48
    Trail Adopter of the Guinea Pond Trail

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