Trip Report – Mount Belknap, NH 1/13/2012

Today I went and took a short hike in the Belknap range to finish off the New Hampshire Fire Tower Quest program. The Overlook trail (orange blazed) follows some cross-country ski trails for a bit before entering the woods and ascending to the col between Belknap Mountain and Gunstock Mountain. It would normally have some really nice views on the way up and from the fire tower on the summit, but it was extremely foggy today.  The Belknap rage is quite enjoyable, and the Belknap Sportsman clubs offers a patch to anyone that hikes to the summit of all 12 peaks on the range. Someday I hope to try this a single day. While plotting out the route, I decided to send a few geocaches to my GPSr in hopes the trail may bring us by some. The one geocache we found was just near the summit, about 1/4 mile off trail. I hadn’t read the description beforehand, so I was quite surprised when after a few minutes of bushwhacking I came across the wreckage of a small passenger plane. More info on the plane crash cane be found here: NTSB information

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GPS/GPX link

Distance: 7.17 mi
Time: 5:22:03
Avg Pace: 44:54 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 1,710 ft

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Here is a map I am working on, I combined as many GPS tracks as I could.

belknap map

 

Here is a map with the trail blazing colors – very helpful. Thanks MBP!

BRCCFocusArea

 

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New England Hundred Highest – Mount Nancy, NH

It’s been awhile since I’ve set out to chase down another peak on the New England Hundred Highest list, so with a Sunday free and clear I decided to get out to the White Mountains. This was my 80th/100. Mount Nancy, elevation 3927ft, is located in Grafton county New Hampshire. There is no official trail to the summit, but there is a maintained trail from NH302 up to Norcross Pond, and a herd path direct to the summit from there. When doing my pre-hike information gathering, I found many trip reports and even a GPS track to follow, so I felt well prepared. Knowing it would involve some bushwhacking, I decided to go with a smaller pack. The trail begins on the eastern side of NH302 and quickly climbs to Nancy Pond at around 3,000ft, then continues on to the official trails terminus at Norcross Pond.

The trail begins on an old road of sorts, with a very gentle grade, and gets more difficult as time goes on. After a short while and several water crossings, some of which might be quite difficult at high water, I arrived at Nancy Cascades. It was running very well thanks to some rainfall in the day prior, and I spent some time here taking photos. From the cascade the trail meanders up and around to the top of the falls and steeply climbs to meet Nancy Pond, and eventually Norcross ponds. There were many sunken bog bridges between the falls and the ponds. Once arriving at the outlet of norcross pond, there is a path directly over ones right shoulder when looking at the No Camping sign. I followed this path and it soon came to a junction, to the right is a very nice campsite, to the left, the “unmaintained” trail that very steeply climbs to the summit of Mt. Nancy. Rain was threatening all day, but we did get some very nice views from the outlook.

 

 

        

 

Distance: 10.11 mi
Time: 7:33:48
Avg Pace: 44:54 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 3,210 ft

GPS/GPX Track

Trip Report: Mt. Moosilauke via Asquam Ridge 9/29/2012

I’ve been to Mount Moosilauke twice before, and had a weekend planned using the Dartmouth Outing Club’s Moosilauke Ravine Lodge as the basecamp for my group last weekend. I decided to take a new approach, via the Asquam Ridge trail over Mt. Waternomee, Mt. Jim and Mt Blue. The weather was misting and cloudy when we set out, but looked to clear up as the day went on. From the lodge the trail takes a very flat approach, following the river without gaining much elevation until gradually leaving the river on its way up to the ridge line. Our main destination was the summit of Mt. Moosilauke, so we didn’t spend the time to touch the official summits of any of the aforementioned peaks that were not on the trail, except for Mt. Jim and Mt. Blue, which has a very well defined herd path to it’s highpoint, and a canister as well. One thing I want to do next time I visit that area, is to checkout the Mt. Waternomee B18 Bomber Crash Site. We found a not-so-stealth camp site at the junction of  the Beaver Brook Trail, and stopped and had some lunch before setting out to Mt. Blue and on from there. After taking some photos atop Moosilauke, we proceeded down to South Peak and caught our only views for the day as the clouds were coming in and out. This was the first time I had been up there without any significant wind and it was a very pleasant  experience. We took the carriage road to the snapper trail for our return to the lodge. I highly recommend staying at the lodge, the food was excellent and the accommodations are more than affordable.

 

Distance: 10.11 mi
Time: 8:12:35
Avg Pace: 48:43 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 2,741 ft

GPS TRACK

 

 

 

Trip Report: Mt. Goose Eye & Mt. Carlo

 

This weekend some AMC friends and I set out to hike Mt. Goose Eye and Mt. Carlo as a loop from Success Pond Road. Mt. Goose Eye is part of the Mahoosuc Range of the White Mountains and is located in Maine, but our approach was from the New Hampshire side via the Goose Eye Trail. Mt. Goose Eye is also one of the New England Hundred Highest List, if peak-bagging is of interest to you (#77/100 for me!). The trailhead can be a bit harder to find than most, its about 8 miles in off a logging road, which was very passable by small car, you just have to take it slow. The first few miles ascend slowly up the mountain, crossing some minor streams and then pop out onto a logging road. The trail reenters the woods, and soon we found ourselves at the NH/ME border, marked only with a small marker on a tree. The trail then gains elevation quickly and we came to our first views, then a small rock scramble brought us to the summit with its 360 degree views.

After some photos and a quick lunch, we followed the Mahoosuc trail down some very steep section to the Carlo Col Trail. This section is also the Appalachian Trail. The trail again rises up through some fantastic alpine meadows before reaching the summit of Mt. Carlo.

   

 

I noticed some really impressive trail work here, some spots had great foot-holds cut out of the rocks. Finishing off the day we descended into Carlo Col, and linked up to the Carlo Col Trail. The trail here was a bit washed out after the Carlo Col campsite, but it was nice to dunk my bandanna into the cool stream that was alongside the trail for much of the remainder of the hike. The last mile of the trail was on a logging road again, which normally would be unpleasant, but this road has ample amounts of wild blackberries to snack on while waiting for the rest of the group.

Overall, a great loop hike with some really fantastic views. The Goose Eye loop is one that I would definitely recommend, and I am hoping to return to this area to attempt a Grafton Loop at some time in the near future.

 

After the hike we went for a dip in the Androscoggin River off route 16 in New Hampshire and cooled down, a perfect post hike plan.

 

Distance: 7.42 mi
Time: 6:22:05
Avg Pace: 51:29 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 3,059 ft


GPS LINK

Rhode Island’s North South Trail

     

 

I led a series of hikes in 2011-2012 for the AMC spanning the entirety of the North South Trail, a 77 mile footpath that begins at the RI/MA border and continues south to Charlestown and the Atlantic Ocean. It covers a variety of terrain from country back roads to deep pine forests, and was an excellent way to get outside close to home and see some parts of my home state I never knew existed. One thing I did struggle with was getting good information about the trail, maps, and info on where to start and end my section hikes. I decided to compile a map and create GPS/GPX tracks for each segment.

The maps were created with my handheld Garmin Unit and then with the help of my AMC friends, uploaded here.

If you want to download the tracks to a GPS, or view them in Google Earth, use this link.

I take my GPS unit on all my hikes, for secondary navigation (always have a map/compass), but also to record my travels.