Elevation gain: 2260'
Trails used: Cherry Mountain Trail, roadwalk.
We had two choices to pick from today that we possibly wanted to do, mainly due to the amount of snow dropped by the last two snow storms and I needed to get home sooner than later. Our choices boiled down to Mount Martha or Mount Passaconaway. We knew it was going to be bitterly cold (which is the norm lately) and very windy. The only unknown is where we would be able to start this hike. The usual summer trailhead parking areas on the NH 115 side are not plowed in winter and from the looks of them, have seen very little use over the last few storms.
Mount Martha,or Cherry Mountain, is located in Carroll, New Hampshire. Cherry Mountain consists of the main summit, Mount Martha, and its northern sub-peak, Owlshead. The Cohos Trail runs over its summit.
Mount Martha is on the New Hampshire 100/New Hampshire 200 List, the New Hampshire 3k List and New Hampshire Fire Tower List.
We parked at a pullout just before the gate for Cherry Mountain Road (northern side) and began the road walk to the summer trailhead for the Cherry Mountain Trail.
Heading up the Cherry Mountain Trail, which is used by snowmobiles in winter to reach the summit of Mount Martha.
We brought the snowshoes but never really had to use them as the Cherry Mountain Trail was packed down enough from the snowmobiles that went up to the summit throughout the day.
The trail junction for the Cherry Mountain Trail. One part of the trail is for the eastern trailhead off of NH Route 115, which looked like it has seen very little activity recently.
The views of the Presidential Range that I have been denied twice before on prior hikes to the summit of Mount Martha. It was cold where we were and we could just see the winds blowing snow around on Mount Washington so we could only imagine how cold it was there.
Looking north from the summit of Cherry Mountain (elevation 3573').
Cannon Mountain, Franconia Ridge, the Twin Mountain Range and the Bretton Woods ski area from a ledge just below the summit of Mount Martha.
The southern edge of the Presidential Range, Crawford Notch and Bretton Woods ski area from the ledge just below the summit of Mount Martha.
Coming off of the summit of Mount Martha through this snow tunnel. You have to be careful hiking on this trail in winter due to the snowmobiles that go to the summit. They obviously have right-of-way.
We decided not to head over to Owl's Head, even though the views are much better from there than they are on the summit of Mount Martha, mainly due to time and the length of the hike already (it's another 1 mile one way to the summit area for Owl's Head). So we headed back down for the long 5+ mile hike back to Brian's car.
View success from this summit! While this is the long way to do Mount Martha it never felt too tough and although it was bitterly cold, I think we were spared the high winds we could have gotten on other higher peaks.