I got up early on a Sunday morning in November in order to hike Mount Cabot in the northern White Mountain National Forest. I normally like to leave home early enough to arrive at the trailhead at sunrise. But the trailheads for Mount Cabot were located beyond the Berlin Fish Hatchery, which had a gate. I found information about the gate’s hours but most of it was a few years old. Not wanting to risk sitting around waiting for the gate to be opened, I left so I would arrive at 8:00 am, when the gate was supposed to open.
I got to the hatchery at 8:00 am as planned and the gate was open. I drove around York Pond and parked at the lot for the Unknown Pond Trail. There was one other car in the lot, and the weather was cold and breezy. Although the sky was mostly clear, there were clouds sitting on top of Mount Cabot. I hiked down the road to the start of the York Pond Trail. York Pond Trail and Bunnell Notch Trail were very flat for a while but with some mud, ice and water crossings over the Ammonoosuc Brook. As the trail started to climb beside the brook, I stopped to put on my microspikes.