Hike: Big Bickford, Lafayette & Eagle Cliff

Jeff, Richard and I headed to Franconia Notch on a relatively warm November day to ascend a few New Hampshire 200 Highest peaks. We also redlined a couple of trails and hit Mount Lafayette because it was in between. Big Bickford Mountain and Eagle Cliff didn’t have trails and were about as opposite as bushwhacks could be. Big Bickford was a fairly level and wide open bushwhack. While Eagle Cliff was shorter, it was much thicker and basically a cliff scramble in places. Due to mashed potato-like snow underfoot, the trip took longer than expected, and we finished the bushwhack and hike out by headlamp.

ROUTE

  • Left car at Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway parking lot on Tramway Drive, Franconia, NH
  • Started at Skookumchuck Trail parking off Route 3 in Franconia, NH
  • Hiked up Skookumchuck Trail to point at level with col between trail and Big Bickford Mountain
  • Bushwhacked north to Big Bickford Mountain and back
  • Continued left on Skookumchuck Trail to intersection with Garfield Ridge Trail
  • Turn right on Garfield Ridge Trail to Mount Lafayette summit
  • Turn right on Greenleaf Trail to gap at Eagle Cliff
  • Bushwhacked west to Eagle Cliff and back
  • Turn right on Greenleaf Trail and continued to trailhead near Tramway Drive

PHOTOS

STATS

Date: 12 December 2020
Distance: 12.2 miles
Moving Time: 06:59
Pace: 34:17/mile
Elevation Gain: 4628′

Tracing White Mountains Trails:
Greenleaf Trail
Skookumchuck Trail

Contact Me

maine.wanderlust@gmail.com

Hike: Mount Shaw

For my birthday, Lindsay and I drove to New Hampshire to hike Mount Shaw, a 52 with a View peak, near Lake Winnipesaukee. It was a good climb up to Black Snout where we stopped for lunch. The hike was easy from there, though clouds and flurries had rolled and obscured the views. The descent was steep but pleasant and the sun came back out for the end of the hike. He stopped at Back Hill Brewing in Rochester to pick up a growler of their double IPA before heading back to Maine.

ROUTE

  • Parked at Shaw Trail parking on Mountain Road, Center Tuftonboro, NH
  • Hiked up Shaw Trail to intersection with Italian Trail
  • Right on Italian Trail to intersection with Big Ball Mountain Trail
  • Left on Big Ball Mountain Trail over Tate Mountain to the intersection with High Ridge Trail and Black Snout Spur Trail
  • Left on Black Snout Spur Trail to the summit of Black Snout and back
  • Left on High Ridge Trail to summit of Mount Shaw
  • Return down High Ridge Trail to intersection with Shaw Trail
  • Right on Shaw Trail back to parking lot

PHOTOS

STATS

Date: 28 November 2020
Distance: 7.7 miles
Moving Time: 03:48
Pace: 29:38/mile
Elevation Gain: 2527′

Contact Me

maine.wanderlust@gmail.com

Hike: Royces

In the seemingly never-ending pursuit to hike the New Hampshire 200 Highest and to red-line the White Mountains National Forest trails, I headed to one of my favorite areas to hike: Evan’s Notch. I originally planned to hike on both sides of the notch, starting with the Royces, and then heading over to Speckled and Blueberry Mountains on the east side. But, black ice on the trail slowed my pace, and my feet hurt (endless battle with plantar fasciitis). So, I bailed after East Royce to get done before dark. Plenty of waterfalls to see on this hike, and the view on East Royce was surprisingly excellent.

ROUTE

  • Parked at Basin Pond on Basin Road in Chatham, NH
  • Hiked Basin Trail to intersection with Hermit Falls Loop
  • Left on Hermit Falls Loop to Hermit Falls and around to Basin Trail
  • Right on Basin Trail to red-line and then up to Rim Junction
  • Right on Basin Rim Trail to West Royce and continued to intersection with Royce Connector Trail
  • Left on Royce Connector Trail to intersection with East Royce Trail
  • Left on East Royce Trail to summit of East Royce and back to intersection
  • Right on Royce Connector Trail to intersection with Royce Trail
  • Left on Royce Trail to trail head on Route 113
  • Right on Route 113, then right on Basin Road, and back to parking lot

PHOTOS

STATS

Date: 27 November 2020
Distance: 11.5 miles
Moving Time: 05:00:46
Pace: 26:10/mile
Elevation Gain: 3570′

Tracing White Mountains Trails:
Basin Trail
Hermit Falls Loop
Royce Trail
Royce Connector Trail

Contact Me

maine.wanderlust@gmail.com

Hike: Paugus and Chocorua

I hadn’t done Mount Paugus, and had a whole bunch of Tracing the White Mountains Trails to do, so I joined Jeff and Yudi for a hike. Not only did we enjoy the view at the south peak of Mount Paugus, but we also made the gnarly bushwhack out to the true summit for our New Hampshire 200 Highest lists. After Paugus, we continued to the always wonderful Mount Chocorua to finish up a few trails on its western side. It was a long but great day in the woods.

ROUTE

  • Parked at Liberty Trail parking on Chocorua Mountain Road, Albany, NH
  • Hiked up Chocorua Mountain Road to Whitin Brook Trail
  • Left on Whitin Brook Trail to Cabin Trail
  • Right on Cabin Trail to Lawrence Trail
  • Right on Lawrence Trail to south peak of Mount Paugus
  • Bushwhack to Mount Paugus true summit and back
  • Left on Old Paugus Trail to intersection of Bee Line Trail
  • Left on Bee Line Trail to Brook Trail
  • Left on Brook Trail to intersection with West Side Trail
  • Left on West Side Trail to Three Sister’s Trail
  • Right on Three Sister’s Trail to summit of Mount Chocorua
  • Down Liberty Trail to parking lot

PHOTOS

STATS

Date: 21 November 2020
Distance: 15.1 miles
Moving Time: 06:47:48
Pace: 26:58/mile
Elevation Gain: 5021′

Tracing White Mountains Trails:
Liberty Trail
West Side Trail
Bee Line Trail Chocorua Branch
Bee Line Trail Paugus Branch
Whitin Brook Trail

Contact Me

maine.wanderlust@gmail.com

Hike: Engine Hill and Isolation

Jeff and I took advantage of a mid-November day with no snow on the ground to do some Tracing White Mountains Trails. We headed to the Dry River Wilderness where I traced 4 trails, got Mount Isolation for the 4th time on my Grid, and we bushwhacked South Engine Hill, adding it to our New Hampshire 200 Highest lists.

If you reproduce the bushwhack I highly suggest taking our western return route, it was wide open birch glade, while our more eastern route was thick spruce. head beyond the Engine Hill height of land and down to 3050′, head south until you are west of the peak and just climb uphill to the semi-clear summit.

ROUTE

  • Left car at Rocky Branch South Trailhead on Jericho Road, Glen, NH
  • Started at Rocky Brach North Trailhead of Pinkham Notch Road, Jackson, NH
  • Hiked up Rocky Branch Trail – North to height of land near Engine Hill
  • Bushwhacked south to South Engine Hill and back
  • Continued left on Rocky Branch Trail – North to intersection with Isolation Trail – East
  • Right on Isolation Trail – East to intersection with Davis Path
  • Left on Davis Path to intersection with Mount Isolation Spur
  • Right up Mount Isolation Spur to Mount Isolation and back to Davis Path
  • Left on Davis Path to intersection with Isolation Trail – East
  • Right on Isolation Trail – East to intersection with Rocky Branch Trail – South
  • Straight on Rocky Branch Trail – South to intersection with Stairs Col Trail
  • Right on Stairs Col Trail to intersection with Davis Path and back to Rocky Branch Trail – South
  • Right on Rocky Branch Trail – South to Rocky Branch South Trailhead

PHOTOS

STATS

Date: 15 November 2020
Distance: 23.4 miles
Moving Time: 09:03
Pace: 23:15/mile
Elevation Gain: 5145′

Tracing White Mountains Trails:
Stairs Col Trail
Rocky Branch Trail – North
Rocky Branch Trail – South
Isolation Trail – East

Contact Me

maine.wanderlust@gmail.com

Hike: Passaconaway & Square Ledge

Lindsay and I hiked our first New Hampshire 4000 Footer together on a beautiful October weekend. After hitting Mount Passaconaway and its viewpoint, we headed out to Square Ledge to check out the retired 52 with a View.

ROUTE

  • Parked at Ferncroft Trailhead parking on Ferncroft Road in Albany, NH
  • Hiked up Old Mast Road to 4-Way Intersection
  • Left on Walden Trail to summit of Mount Passaconaway
  • Left on Passaconaway View Spur to viewpoint and back
  • Left back down Walden Trail to intersection with Square Ledge Trail
  • Left on Square Ledge Trail to Square Ledge and back to 4-Way Intersection
  • Left on Old Mast Road back to parking

PHOTOS

STATS

Date: 04 October 2020
Distance: 10.9 miles
Moving Time: 06:06:08
Pace: 33:32/mile
Elevation Gain: 4058′

Tracing White Mountains Trails:
Old Mast Road
Walden Trail
Square Ledge Trail

Contact Me

maine.wanderlust@gmail.com

Trail Run: Eastern Belknaps

This summer I attempted to run all of the Belknap Range mountains in a single run, but bailed because I didn’t bring enough water. I returned to run the mountains I missed for a long training run. It was a beautiful day and the trails were runnable.

ROUTE

  • Parked at Straightback Mountain Trail on Jesus Valley Road in Alton, NH
  • Hiked Straightback Mountain Trail to Jesus Valley Trail
  • Straight on Jesus Valley Trail to Main Trail
  • Ran right on Main Trail to Mount Major and then back to Quarry Spur Trail
  • Right on Quarry Spur Trail to Quarry Trail
  • Right on Quarry Trail to North Straightback Mountain, East Quarry Mountain, West Quarry Mountain, Mount Rand, Mount Klem, and back to intersection with Red Trail
  • Right on Red Trail to Mount Mack and Mount Anna
  • Left on Blue Trail to Straightback Mountain
  • Right on Straightback Mountain Trail back to parking area

PHOTOS

STATS

Date: 27 September 2020
Distance: 10.1 miles
Moving Time: 03:08
Pace: 18:33/mile
Elevation Gain: 2958′

Contact Me

maine.wanderlust@gmail.com

Trail Race: 2020 Beast of the East

Not surprisingly, the races I planned to run this year were cancelled due to Covid-19. So I was pretty pumped when I heard that the Beast of the East half marathon was going to happen. It had been on my radar for a couple of years, so I signed up for it right away. Bibs were sent out to runners and the start was done in heats of 50 people socially distanced by cones with bib numbers on them spaced out six feet apart. I was grateful for some normalcy and the day was perfectly cool and dry for a race.

ROUTE

  • The race started from the beach at Echo Lake
  • Ran south on Echo Lake Trail to Bryce Path
  • Turned left on Bryce Path to Bryce Link
  • Turned right on Bryce Link to Cathedral Ledge Road
  • Followed an unnamed trail along Cathedral Ledge Road to top of Cathedral Ledge
  • Jumped on Bryce Path to White Horse Ledge Trail
  • Turned right on White Horse Ledge Trail to White Horse Ledge and on to Red Ridge Link
  • Turned right on Red Ridge Link to Red Ridge Trail
  • Turned left on Red Ridge Trail to Moat Mountain Trail
  • Art the top of the ridge, turned right on Moat Mountain Trail to North Moat Mountain summit and continued down to Red Ridge Trail
  • Crossed the river to take Red Ridge Trail back to Red Ridge Link
  • Turned left on Red Ridge Link back to White Horse Ledge Trail
  • Continuing right on White Horse Ledge Trail to Bryce Path
  • Turned right on Bryce Path and headed back toward Echo Lake Trail
  • Continuing left along Echo Lake Trail to the beach at Echo Lake and the race’s finish

PHOTOS

STATS

Date: 20 September 2020
Distance: 13.1 miles
Pace: 16:30/mile
Elevation Gain: 4429′

Time: 03:35:13
Place: 81/130
M40-49: 20/31

Tracing White Mountains Trails:
Red Ridge Trail
Red Ridge Link
Bryce Link

Contact Me

maine.wanderlust@gmail.com

Trail Run: Mount Israel

I needed a long mountainous trail run for my training schedule, and Jeff came along to try out some trail running. We decided on Mount Israel to knock off a 52 with a View peak and do a little Tracing White Mountains Trails. It was a cloudy day so we had no view, but we saw some bears. A cub crossed the street on the drive in, and I spotted another while we were running along Guinea Pond Trail heading toward Sandwich Notch Road. In all my years running and hiking in the White Mountains, it was only the second time I’ve seen a bear.

ROUTE

  • Parked at Mead Base parking
  • Hiked up Wentworth Trail to Mount Israel Summit
  • Ran down Mead Trail to Guinea Pond Trail
  • Turned right on Guinea Pond Trail to Guinea Pond Side Path and Guinea Pond and back out
  • Turned right on Guinea Pond Trail following it to High Water Bypass and on to Sandwich Notch Road
  • Turned left on Sandwich Notch Road to Bearcamp River Trail
  • Turned left on Bearcamp River Trail to Beede Falls and back to Sandwich Notch Road
  • Turned left on To Lower Falls Trail to Lower Falls and then back to Bearcamp River Trail
  • Turned right on Bearcamp River Trail past Cow Caves to Mead Base parking

PHOTOS

STATS

Date: 09 September 2020
Distance: 9.4 miles
Moving Time: 02:33:09
Pace: 14:16/mile
Elevation Gain: 1973′

Tracing White Mountains Trails:
Guinea Pond side path
Mead Trail
Wentworth Trail
Bearcamp River Trail

Contact Me

maine.wanderlust@gmail.com

Hike: 2020 Pemi Loop

In early September, Jeff and I did a Pemi Loop. It was my 4th Pemi Loop, but I went because I rarely pass up the opportunity for this epic hike, and to fill out some of my September Grid. It was Jeff’s first 24-hour attempt of the loop, which is required for the Northeast Ultra 8 list. We parked the evening before and hiked up Eastside Trail and camped in the woods to get a nice early start on the hike (and we were unable to get a campsite in the area). It was a fabulous day full of hikers and runners doing the loop, many of which we saw multiple times and cheered each other on.

ROUTE

  • Parked Lincoln Woods Visitor Center on Kancamagus Highway, Lincoln, NH
  • Hiked Lincoln Woods Trail to intersection with Osseo Trail
  • Left on Osseo Trail to Mount Flume and Mount Liberty
  • Continue on Franconia Ridge Trail to Mount Lincoln, Mount Lafayette
  • Continue on Garfield Ridge Trail to Mount Garfield and Galehead Hut
  • Right on Frost Trail to Mount Galehead summit and back
  • Right on Twinway Trail to South Twin and to intersection with Bondcliff Trail
  • Continue on Bondcliff Trail to Mount Bond, Bondcliff, and down to Wilderness Trail
  • Right on Wilderness Trail to Lincoln Woods Trail
  • Continue on Lincoln Woods Trail back to parking

PHOTOS

STATS

Date: 05 September 2020
Distance: 29.6 miles
Moving Time: 12:48:29
Pace: 25:59/mile
Elevation Gain: 9273′

Contact Me

maine.wanderlust@gmail.com