Mount Stanton Trail

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DayTrip

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Trying to come up with an "off the beaten path" option to hike this coming weekend (preferably for an overnight) and one area I keep coming back to on the maps is the Mount Stanton Trail. Looks like an interesting ridge on the map but I've never done any hiking in that area. Couple of questions for anyone who has been in that area:

1) Is that a popular hike? According to the WMG the trail head parking is along the roadside. Will that be a problem on a holiday weekend for this area?
2) The WMG mentions places that can be hard to follow, particularly after the "Crippies". I'm assuming at those elevations the snow is gone but is the tread that bad? Is it blazed? Can't be worse than a wilderness area I'd assume. Curious for a "comp" of that section versus other areas in the Whites. Plan would be to take the ridge all the way to Mt Parker.

If anyone has any input on the parking situation and the trail in general it would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 
Parking is limited at the trailhead on Covered Bridge Rd. No parking signs have gone up at certain spots in recent years; I believe this was a result of the covid hiking boom.

NETC also has a report for this ridge from two days ago that may help.
 
It's been 6 years since I've hiked that ridge but I remember parking at the Stanton end was very limited, room for maybe 2 cars roadside in a condo development. Mt Langdon trail has room for probably 4 cars with a plow turn around across the street that has room for more. I don't remember having any difficulties following the trail. I'm sure you're aware the shelter is gone. As for a comp, maybe similar to Basin Rim with views of development instead of Wilderness. I don't remember seeing anyone on that trip done in mid summer.
 
I did it 30 years ago. It was definitely less a used trail then except for the day hike up from the development to the ledge on Stanton. There are some nice red pine stands along the ridge. I do remember it was loaded with wood ticks long before many white mountain trails. Ticks migrated north via rivers and the Saco is nearby.
 
Hiked Langdon to Stanton loop first year of pandemic when I was trying to avoid the mobs on the NH4s. Spotted my bike at the Stanton end for ride back to Langdon end but if I do again will ride bike at beginning instead of end of day as the riding along Rte 302 is scary.

Parking in the neighborhood at Stanton end can be crowded with rock climbers on White’s Ledge, which is on the south flank of Stanton, and climbers scramble to the top of Stanton to hike down the trail, hence it is more heavily eroded than the rest of route.

I saw only two guys staying at the Langdon lean-to, since removed; we were surprised to see one another, as the route is quiet. Lots of PUDS across the crippies but all good.

Edit: The side trip up Cave Mtn at Langdon end a must do.
 
1) Is that a popular hike? According to the WMG the trail head parking is along the roadside. Will that be a problem on a holiday weekend for this area?
2) The WMG mentions places that can be hard to follow, particularly after the "Crippies". I'm assuming at those elevations the snow is gone but is the tread that bad? Is it blazed? Can't be worse than a wilderness area I'd assume. Curious for a "comp" of that section versus other areas in the Whites. Plan would be to take the ridge all the way to Mt Parker.

If anyone has any input on the parking situation and the trail in general it would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

That is one fine trail, once you get up on the ridge, and up through the Crippies. After that, up to Langdon, it loses its charm a bit, in my opinion. We did it a month ago as an out-and-back from the eastern end, looking for a nice snow-free hike, and there was no snow until just shy of the summit of Langdon and then for at least 0.1 miles beyond. I would wager that the entire trail is now snow-free.

And, yes, the trail can be tough to follow in some places after the Crippies -- sparsely blazed, and some open sections where a corridor is not obvious -- but that shouldn't prevent you from doing it.

Finally, it could be a popular hike this weekend, at least for folks going just to Mt. Stanton, just enough so that parking near the trailhead might be an issue. Another option -- one we chose -- would be to park on the WMNF road just north of the ridge and bushwhack south ~0.5 miles to the trail, through the mostly open woods. The road starts out as Allen Road, I believe, and parallels Rocky Branch. It then crosses the WMNF boundary and becomes a Class VI road.

Just tick-proof yourself.
 
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Thanks for the feedback. May have to save this one for another time if the parking is that tight. I don't usually get to the trailheads until 9-10AM when I'm doing an overnight.
 
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