Hike: AT Hanover to Trapper John

As the snow began to melt in Spring, I was struck by trail fever. I needed to spend some time on the trail. But I knew that too much elevation would mean old snow and ice, which wouldn’t be pleasant. So I focused my attention to section hiking the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire. With some coordination with Jeff, I selected a section from the New Hampshire and Vermont border, where on the second day Jeff could help me shift cars and we could get a couple New Hampshire 200 Highest mountains.

The first day of the hike was from Hanover, New Hampshire to the Trapper John Shelter near Dartmouth Skiway. Dartmouth College allows section hikers to park at A Lot if they call and leave info about their vehicle and how long it will be there. So I parked there and walked across campus to the Connecticut River to start. Of course it snowed the day before, so much of the day was through sticky snow that was the perfect depth to make it difficult to hike both with and without microspikes. I hardly saw anyone, just a trail crew at Velvet Rocks and a few people near South Moose Mountain. The sun was setting as I reached the vista at the top of Holts Ledge, my favorite spot for the day.

I set up in the Trapper John Shelter and had a facepalm moment as I chucked my new ultralight bear-hang kit into bear-hang tree. The paracord tangled as I threw it and I wasn’t holding or standing on the end. Every time you think you’re experienced at something, you do something stupid. I was getting ready for bed when a couple showed up, they had been following my tracks all day. We talked for a bit before they (successfully) hung their food and set up their tents nearby. The next day I would be hiking the AT to Gilman’s Corner with Jeff.


  • Parked car at A Lot Parking off Wheelock Street in Hanover, NH
  • Walked Wheelock Street to Connecticut River and back to intersection with South Main Street
  • Right on South Main Street to intersection with Lebanon Street
  • Left on Lebanon Street to intersection with South Park Street
  • Right on South Park Street to Velvet Rocks Trail
  • Left on Velvet Rocks Trail to Center Hanover Trail
  • Straight on Center Hanover Trail to Moose Mountain Trail
  • Straight on Moose Mountain Trail over Moose Mountain peaks and to Holts Ledge Trail
  • Straight on Holts Ledge Trail over Holts Ledge to intersection of Trapper John Shelter Spur
  • Left on Trapper John Shelter Spur to Trapper John Shelter



Date: 17 April 2021
Distance: 18.8 miles
Moving Time: 07:29:59
Pace: 23:58/mile
Elevation Gain: 5161′

Tracing White Mountains Trails:
Velvet Rocks Trail
Hanover Center Trail
Moose Mountain Trail
Trapper John Shelter Spur

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