Shoal Pond Peak

Hiked Shoal Pond Peak on 6/28/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor and Larry Babcock. Weather was forecast to be clear in the morning with a chance of showers in the afternoon. We had one brief shower in the¬†morning and another in the afternoon. This was a long day with 5 miles of trail before we started the bushwhack then a 1.5 mile bushwhack with a few twists and turns. We had been warned about some bad Hobblebush and even worse spruce and they weren’t wrong. We started out hiking up the Zealand trail which except for the reroute portion is an old railroad bed which is pretty easy hiking.

Zeacliff and beaver ponds from Zealand trail

At the end of the Zealand trail we started on the Ethan Pond trail which is another old railroad bed and pretty easy hiking.

Zeacliff from Ethan Pond trail
Shoal Pond Peak from Ethan Pond trail

You can see from the picture that Shoal Pond Peak has a pretty flat summit which sometimes makes it hard to find the actual high point. We followed Ethan Pond trail to the junction with Thoreau Falls trail and continued on Ethan Pond trail until we crossed over North Fork on a bridge and started the bushwhack.

North Fork from the bridge

We only had to gain about 500 feet in elevation over 1.5 miles so there weren’t any steep parts to have to deal with but a few sections of thick Hobblebush. Hobblebush grows about 8 feet tall and has thin stems and grows in thick patches. Now that it has leaves you can’t see your feet and you get all tangled up in the stems, makes for slow going.

Bill coming out of the bushes into the ferns

We also had some very nice stretches of open woods with no obstacles. We reached a point that could have been the summit, it was the right elevation, but GPS indicated we had another .1 mile to go. It was awful, dense spruce with blowdowns covered with slippery moss. We didn’t get to the summit until after 1PM, which is pretty late to eat our PBJs. We all got pretty scratched up, luckily there weren’t any bugs and a cool breeze was blowing.

Summit canister
The four of us on the summit

We decided we didn’t want to go back the same way we came up, so we bushwhacked down to the Thoreau Falls trail and followed that back to Ethan Pond trail and back to the car. It was kind of steep going down but no thick spruce and no Hobblebush. It was better going but added a mile or so onto the total trip.

Taking a break and getting water from the stream

There were lots of pink and white lady slippers along the trail, must be a good year for them.

White Lady Slipper

We reached Thoreau Falls but didn’t linger as it looked like a thunderstorm was coming. Fortunately all we got was a brief shower. We met some other hikers who had been on Zealand who got soaked.

Thoreau Falls

After Thoreau Falls it was a 5 mile walk back to the car. It was along tiring day but we made it back. Only 37 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Bushwhack portion of our hike

Chandler Mt

Hiked Chandler Mt on 6/25/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor and Larry Babcock. Weather was forecast to be nice with a chance of afternoon showers. We were done around 1:30, too early for showers. Chandler Mt is sort of in the middle of nowhere. It’s in the town of Jackson but nowhere near the actual town. The start of the hike is at the end of Slippery Brook Road which branches off Town Hall Road in Bartlett which is found off Route 16 just north of the Ragged Mt store. We started up FR17A and followed that for about a mile. The mosquitoes were fairly hungry for the first part of the hike but they eventually disappeared, it was also prime tick country. There was one large stream crossing near the start that Diane wasn’t happy about but made it across with dry feet.

Diane and Bill at the stream crossing

At the end of FR17A we headed uphill through some nice woods to the summit. We went through some nice birch glades and some steep spots but nothing really thick that would slow us down. As we approached the summit there were some nice views to the north.

Carrigain off to the north

We reached the nice open summit and signed into the register and ate our PBJs even though it was only 11AM.

Moose antlers on the summit
View of Mt Sable off to the Northeast
Looking south from the summit

We left the summit on a slightly different track that looked easier but it turned out to be about the same.

Larry disappearing into the ferns

It was nice walking through the birch glades and all the ferns but with all the ferns you couldn’t see where you were putting your feet. That was a bit of a problem. We reached the cars and picked the ticks off and headed home. Only 38 peaks left complete the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Lots of yellow flowers near the parking area

Duck Pond Mt

Hiked Duck Pond Mt on 6/22/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor and Larry Babcock. Weather was forecast to be partly sunny with a chance of afternoon showers which fortunately didn’t happen. We hiked almost 3.4 miles on the Nancy Pond trail before we started the short bushwhack to the summit of Duck Pond Mt. The trail is pretty easy until you get to the base of Nancy Cascades and then the trail goes up rather steeply. There were a few interesting artifacts along the trail on the way up to the bushwhack.

Larry’s scraped up legs before we started the hike
Bill and Diane crossing a stream
Some rusted metal remains and an old foundation

After 2.5 miles of trail we reached Nancy Cascade which is pretty tall.

Nancy Cascade

After another mile we reached Nancy Pond and finally started the bushwhack.

Nancy Pond

The bushwhack started off with a few nasty blowdowns and some thick spruce but eventually gave way to fairly easy and open woods. Then near the summit it got bad again and gave us a few problems in finding the summit. It was a small summit that didn’t stand out and was in a thick spruce area. We found it and ate our PBJs which we shared with a few black flies and then started down.

Summit canister

We took a slightly different route down which turned out to be more open and we went through a small boggy area which had some nice flowers.

Labrador Tea
Bunch Berry

We made it back to the trail and headed back to the parking lot. Only 39 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest List.

Mt Kineo and Kineo East

Hiked Mt Kineo and Kineo East on 6/8/2017 with Bill and Diane Schor and Larry Babcock. Weather was predicted to be clear in the morning and a 30% chance of showers after 2PM. It did cloud up some but never any precipitation. These 2 peaks are in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest just west of the town of Thornton. Not sure what sort of experiments take place but we saw lots of trees with orange flagging and one game camera. We drove in quite a ways on a dirt road and eventually reached the trailhead for the Mt Kineo trail which unfortunately doesn’t go to the summit. We saw a game camera near the trail which I assume is motion sensitive and takes a picture whenever an animal or hiker walks by. We hiked about a mile to the height of land and then bushwhacked over to the summit of Mt Kineo through mostly open woods with only about 300 feet of elevation gain.

Game camera near the trail
Summit area and canister

The tree on the summit that had the canister had snapped off and was leaning against another tree. It may not be tall enough in the winter to stick above the snow.

Bill and Diane, Bill with his bug net on

The black flies were swarming all around but didn’t seem to be biting. Repellant didn’t seem to work.

View from the summit

We signed into the canister and then went back to the trail where we ate our PBJs and then started the bushwhack over to East Kineo. This was a longer bushwhack and we had to go over several bumps to get to the summit. After about a mile we came across an old road and were able to follow it to about .1 miles from the summit, that was a pleasant surprise.

Oddly shaped tree
East Kineo canister

We went back to the old road and followed it as far as we could and then bushwhacked back to the trail and then back to the car. We found a structure that we couldn’t figure out what it was for, it could have been a deer stand but it was in the middle of a clear area which didn’t make sense. It must have been part of some forest study.

Unknown purpose structure

We made it back to the cars and escaped the bugs. Only 40 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Dorset Peak

Hiked Dorset Peak ¬†in Dorset, Vermont on 6/3/2017. Weather was forecast to be clear but it was pretty cloudy in the morning and better in the afternoon. Temps were in the low 50s to start and warmed up to the low 60s. Pretty cool for June. No bushwhacking today all old logging roads, jeep trails and trails. Started up a logging road which turned into a jeep trail and eventually just a plain old trail. The logging road and jeep trail followed a stream for most of the way up. Shortly after starting up I met a hiker and his dog coming down. The dog was in the lead and started barking and snarling at me and then rushed at me. I tried to be friendly but it didn’t work. The hiker said don’t look at him he doesn’t like that. Well when a dog is attacking you, you tend to look at him so you can fend him off. The hiker apologised for the dogs behavior but it was a bad start to the day.

Stream and logging road
Waterfall near the jeep trail

I reached the height of land and took a left onto a trail and headed towards the summit.

Dorset Peak summit canister and pitcher

I then followed a path along the ridgeline to the shorter summit that was the site of an old firetower. On the way over a I saw the famous doorknob tree, don’t ask me why someone did that.

Doorknob tree
Firetower remains on the second summit
View to the north from the firetower site

I ate my PBJ here after putting on a long sleeved top and fleece vest, it was windy and quite cool. After eating I headed back to the car. Only 17 peaks left to finish the New England 100 Highest.

South Flat Mt

Hiked South Flat Mt on 6/1/2017 with Bill Schor. Showers were forecast off and on during the day but we had sun most of the day with one very minor shower. South Flat Mt is in Sandwich, NH near Sandwich Dome. We started up the Flat Mountain Pond trail for about .3 miles and then continued on a Forest Service road which went through some rather swampy areas. The mosquitos were ferocious at times.

Beaver dam and pond with a foggy view in the background

We continued along the road where we had a good view of Sandwich Dome.

Sandwich Dome

We continued further until the Forest Service road ended in a large open area. We turned left onto a logging road but it soon wasn’t going in the direction we wanted. So we bushwhacked heading toward the summit and found another logging road going in the right direction which we followed for quite a ways. The road eventually stopped going in the right direction and again we started bushwhacking to the summit. It was mostly open woods with nothing steep until the last 50 yards where there were some blowdowns and some thick spruce.

Approaching the summit

We found the summit and the small summit bottle.

Summit bottle

We brought with us a new canister to install. The canister was supplied by Larry Babcock who had been here a few weeks ago and noted the lack of a canister. Bill went to work doing the installation while I took a few pictures of the job.

Installing the bracket to the tree
Attaching the ring clamps to the bracket and canister
A little grimace while tightening the clamps
The final product

After that was done we ate our PBJs and looked at the views and then headed down.

Looking towards Mt Carrigain

We took a slightly different route down which was even easier than the route up. A very nice day except for the mosquitos. Only 42 peaks left to complete the New Hampshire 200 Highest list.

Our track