A couple of friends and I took a day off work just before Thanksgiving to do a loop of two New England 4000 Footers in New Hampshire. The mountains of Hale and Zealand can be accessed by trailheads off Zealand Road, which is found just north of Crawford Notch. Two days prior I hiked Mount Waumbek and afterward drove up Zealand Road to confirm it was still open. There is a road status page online, but I’ve been burned by out of date government pages before.
We drove up early Tuesday morning, found the road still open and arrived at the Hale Brook Trail parking at 7:45 am. The weather was cold and cloudy and it was spitting snow. The Hale Brook Trail was a consistent, moderately steep hike up to the summit of Mount Hale, though it switchbacked through the steeper grade to alleviate the climb.