AT Sections North of Hanover

Hiked Moose Mt, Holts Ledge and Dorchester Road trails that are part of the AT north of Hanover on 3/26/16. Bill Cronin joined me for this hike. Weather was predicted to be bright and sunny with temps in the high 30s and no wind. It started out cloudy and actually spit some snow briefly but quickly changed to what was predicted. We didn’t do all of the Moose Mt trail as I had done that earlier this winter. We drove to the end of the unmaintained portion of Wolfboro Road and then hiked the .6 miles up the abandoned part of the road to Moose Mt. trail. We very quickly got to the Moose Mt shelter which is maintained by the Dartmouth Outing Club.

Moose Mt Shelter
Moose Mt Shelter

We continued along the trail which had quite a bit of ice on it that had fallen off the trees from an ice storm the previous week. It made things a little bit slippery but we never put any traction on our feet.

Fallen ice on the trail
Fallen ice on the trail

We made our way over the wooded summit of Moose Mt and eventually got to the only view on the summit.

Smarts Mt from near the summit of Moose Mt
Smarts Mt from near the summit of Moose Mt

We continued descending the trail and soon came to Goose Pond Road which we crossed and started up Holts Ledge Trail. There was a very extensive beaver pond and dam which we crossed on bog bridges.

Beaver pond on Holts Ledge trail
Beaver pond on Holts Ledge trail

We continued up the trail and walked along the ridgeline. The cliffs dropped off several hundred feet. Peregrine falcons nest here on the cliffs. There were good views to the east and north from the cliffs.

Looking east from Holts Ledge
Looking east from Holts Ledge
Looking north to Smarts Mt from Holts Ledge
Looking north to Smarts Mt from Holts Ledge

You can just barely make out the firetower on Smarts Mt in the picture. We continued down the trail and soon came to the Trapper John shelter which is also maintained by the Dartmouth Outing Club.

Trapper John Shelter
Bill resting in Trapper John Shelter
Chimney at Trapper John Shelter
Chimney at Trapper John Shelter

I guess Trapper John had a cabin here at some point in the past. The only thing that remains is the chimney. We soon reached the end of Holts Ledge trail and crossed the Grafton Turnpike, not as impressive as it sounds, and hiked the section of trail that parallels Dorchester Road.

Right where the trail cosses the Grafton Turnpike is the Dartmouth Skiway which is run by Dartmouth College.

Dartmouth Skiway and pond for snowmaking
Dartmouth Skiway and pond for snow making

We had encountered many old stone walls along the trail in what would seem to be unlikely places for them as it was steep and very rocky.

Old stonewall along the trail
Old stonewall along the trail

Near the end of the trail was a granite post with the mileage to Mine on one side and the mileage to Georgia on the other side. I had never seen one of these anywhere else along the AT in New Hampshire.

Mileage to Maine
Mileage to Maine
Mileage to Georgia
Mileage to Georgia

The final stream crossing for the day, still had a little bit of ice.

The final stream crossing
The final stream crossing

Only 32.3 miles left to go.

Advertisements

Ranger, Daniel Doan and Sunday Mountain Trails

Hiked the Ranger, Daniel Doan and Sunday Mountain trails all north of Hanover, NH on 3/19/2016. The Ranger and Daniel Doan trails connect to the Appalachian trail. We spotted a car at each end so we didn’t have to do any back tracking. Bill Cronin joined me for these hikes. It was a perfect day for hiking, bright and sunny and cold enough so that there wasn’t any sweating involved. We got a sort of late start as we had to get cars in the right place and it took longer than we thought. Went up the Ranger trail to the summit of Smarts Mountain. It was bare ground at the start but around 2500′ there started to be ice on the trail and eventually a lot of ice but we managed to navigate it without any problems. At 1.9 miles in on the trail was the old Fire Wardens garage and also the only major stream crossing.

Abandoned garage for Fire Warden
Abandoned garage for Fire Warden
Only major stream crossing on the trail
Only major stream crossing on the trail

At the junction with the Appalachian trail there was a lot of ice on the trail.

Ice at the trail junction
Ice at the trail junction

It was .6 miles from the junction to the summit where there is a fire tower, tent sites and a cabin. The fire tower is closed for repairs but we were able to climb up part way for the views.

Looking at Killington over in Vermont
Looking at Killington over in Vermont
Cabin on summit of Smarts Mountain
Cabin on summit of Smarts Mountain

It was 12 degrees on the summit and a 19 MPH breeze so we didn’t linger too long. The upper part of the Daniel Doan trail also had a lot of ice and we spent quite a bit of time off in the woods to avoid the worst of it.

Ice on the Daniel Doan trail
Ice on the Daniel Doan trail
Bill navigating the ice
Bill navigating the ice

We enjoyed our PBJs part way down the trail, Bill actually had a huge Bologna sandwich. After reaching the bottom we had to go collect the car we had left at the start of the trail and then position cars at the 2 trailheads for Sunday Mountain. We went up the west side of Sunday Mountain and had a pleasant hike up to the summit with no ice, but some slippery leaves.

Summit of Sunday Mountain
Summit of Sunday Mountain

There were very limited views from the wooded summit but a good view a bit down from the summit.

Looking toward Moosilaukee
Looking toward Moosilaukee

We continued down to the bottom and had a long drive home. Only 41.5 miles left. July 16th is the scheduled completion date for this and two other lists.

Trails in Evans Notch

Hiked the Mt. Meader, Basin Rim, Meader Ridge and Bicknell Ridge trails. Mike Lynch joined me for this long day of hiking. The weather was perfect for hiking, sunny not too hot and enough of a breeze to keep things comfortable. We started up the Mt. Meader trail which started off pretty flat on old logging roads before it got steep for the final push to Mt. Meader. The trail was pretty icy initially but eventually the ice was gone as we got to some slopes that faced south and received lots of sun.

Patches of ice on Mt. Meader trail
Patches of ice on Mt. Meader trail
Small waterfall
Small waterfall

When the trail turned steeper it also got icy again so the traction went back on the feet and stayed on for most of the rest of the hike. We finally got to the junction with the Basin Rim trail and started down that to the Rim Junction. We lost a total of 800 feet and it was very icy. Many times we went off trail to avoid the ice and have trees to hang onto. We made it to Rim Junction and had our PBJs and a well deserved break.

Rim Junction lunch spot
Rim Junction lunch spot

Unfortunately after lunch we had to turn around and go back up the same icy trail we had just came down and regain the 800 feet we had just lost. It was a little easier going up the ice than coming down it but still time-consuming.

Mike negotiating some of the ice
Mike negotiating some of the ice

After regaining the summit of Mt. Meader we continued along the ridge to Eagle Crag. The trail alternated between ice, bare ground and knee-deep snow, it was a very time-consuming 2 miles of tough conditions. There were good views from Eagle Crag.

View of the Carter Range from Eagle Crag
View of the Carter Range from Eagle Crag
North and South Baldface from Eagle Crag
North and South Baldface from Eagle Crag
Washington behind the Carters from Eagle Crag
Washington behind the Carters from Eagle Crag

After leaving Eagle Crag we descended the Bicknell Ridge trail back to the parking lot. It was quite steep and rocky at the top with some interesting patches of ice. Eventually we got to bare ground and were able to take the traction off. Then we had two interesting stream crossings that we managed to get across without getting wet. One involved using a downed tree to get across. Then it got icy again and the traction went back on. It was fun day and my knee didn’t complain much. Only 53.1 miles left to go.