West Baldface and Black Mt (Jackson)

Hiked West Baldface and Black Mt in Jackson with Bill and Diane Schor and Larry Babcock on 7/7/2017. Weather forecast was for partly cloudy with a chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms, fortunately there were no showers or storms but it was extremely humid. It might as well have rained as we were soaked with sweat even though it wasn’t hot. West Baldface is just to the west of North and South Baldface and the Baldface Circle trail and Black Mountain is in Jackson north of the Black Mountain ski area on a completely separate mountain. We started the hike on the East Branch trail which is a lightly used and lightly maintained trail with quite a few mud holes to go through or around.

Old bucket on the side of the trail

We followed the trail until we came to an old logging road that showed on the map and we were hoping to be able to find it. It was overgrown but easy to follow so we followed it for about 3/4 miles before we started the bushwhack to the summit of West Baldface. We went through mostly open woods with some nice birch and fern glades.

Larry in a birch glade on West Baldface

It got a bit steep with a few cliffs near the summit but we managed to work around them and made it to the summit. We found two bottles, one very small and no cover and no register and another with a cover and the register. There was a bracket where there used to be a PVC canister but the canister was gone.

Small bottle canister with no cover
Bottle with cover, I had taken the register out to sign us in

There were nice views in all directions which we admired while we ate our PBJs.

North Baldface from West Baldface
On the summit of West Baldface

We had thought about bushwhacking in a direct line from West Baldface to Black but decided to return to the trail the same way and then follow the logging road over to the vicinity of Black. This turned out to be a good idea as following the logging road saved us a lot of time. When we got back to the trail, Diane decided to return to the car rather than continue on to Black. We followed the logging road for almost a mile over to Black before we started the bushwhack up to the summit. We encountered a few flowers in the open spots of the logging road.

Flowers growing in the open area of the road
Indian Paintbrush
Bog White Orchis

The bushwhack up to the summit of Black was fairly steep but through mostly open woods. Near the summit it flattened out a bit with lots of ferns and raspberry bushes. Unfortunately the raspberries weren’t ripe yet. There were good views from the summit although it was a bit hazy.

Larry approaching the summit
Carter Notch from Black Mt

We had a snack at the summit and then started down. Our plan was to get back to the logging road and follow that for a way and then follow an intersecting road that would take us back to near where the cars were parked. That almost worked but after crossing an old bridge near a beaver pond we couldn’t find the road so we bushwhacked back to the trail and followed that.

Beaver pond along the road
Moose leg bone hanging in a tree

We made it back to the cars before dark which is always a good thing. Only 35 peaks left to finish the New Hampshire 200 Highest list. Thanks to Larry for several of the pictures.

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