Saturday, April 23, 2016

Round Mountain (Milan) * Location Hill: 4/23/2016

I would be heading out solo today, so I had a few peaks on the radar that I wanted to get done. I have seen the first mountain I wanted to do in Milan many times and have always had the urge to hike/bushwhack to it so today was the day. After asking my friend Keith about some information on access the night before, I made the long drive north Saturday. Another reason I was heading in this area was to look for moose antlers. The further north you go, the better your chance at finding moose sheds. I set out rather later than I usually head north but made it to Berlin in decent time. I think it took longer to drive down the old forest road to the place where I would park and begin my hiking day.

Round Mountain (Milan)

Mileage: 3.95 miles
Elevation gain: 995 feet
Trails used: none. road walk, bushwhack.
Highlight(s): register on the summit of Round Mountain.

I had heard there was some sort of bootleg trail or herd path that went to the summit area of Round Mountain, but I wasn't sure exactly where it started. I knew where I needed to go to start my search for it though, and it was an area in which Brian and I tried to get to several years ago but were stopped by misinformation and various closed gates. This time there were no gates closed and I managed to make it all the way to the old forest road that I would use to either find the trail, or bushwhack to the summit. I grabbed my backpack and headed up the forest road so I could try and find the bootleg trail.

Round Mountain is located in Milan, New Hampshire. There are no trails that go to the wooded, view-less summit of Round Mountain so it so it requires a bushwhack to reach its high point.

I drove down Forest Road 105 off of York Pond Road, to Forest Road 106 which I would use to hike towards the summit of Round Mountain.

The only water crossing of Fogg Brook, which was flowing nicely but easy to cross.

I made it to this old logging landing in between Deer Ridge and Round Mountain. I headed towards a boggy area on the way to the summit of Round Mountain and found a moose antler.

The woods on the summit of Round Mountain were a mixed bag but it was mainly like this.

The views from some ledges below the summit of Round Mountain looking towards the wind turbines on Jericho Mountain.

The pill bottle register on the summit of Round Mountain (elevation: 2181 feet).

I bushwhacked my way down from the summit of Round Mountain through these open woods, looking for more moose antlers. After finding nothing, I hit Forest Road 106 and hiked back out to the car.

I never did find the trail that runs to the summit of Round Mountain, nor did I see any trace of where it possibly could be. Regardless, walking back out on the forest road was quick. Once back at the car, I threw my backpack in and after a quick restroom break I headed off towards my next hike. It was nearby so in a short 15 minutes I was heading up the road and to my destination. The gloomy skies at this point turned into sunshine so it was going to get a bit warmer for this next bushwhack.

Location Hill

Mileage: 2.45 miles
Elevation gain: 935 feet
Trails used: none. road walk, bushwhack.
Highlight(s): register on the summit of Location Hill.

I saw a report from this over the winter so I decided to give it a go, since what little snow we received was all gone. The only issue was that I knew at some point I would probably pass through a clear cut area, and sometimes that means pricker bushes and slash leftover from the loggers, as well as muddy sections. I arrived at the spot where I parked my car and heard the local landowner cutting down some trees so I grabbed my backpack and headed into the woods. The sun was partially out so the heat of the day was going to be a real challenge for this hike.

Location Hill is located in Stark, New Hampshire. There are no trails that go to the wooded, view-less summit of Location Hill so it so it requires a bushwhack to reach its high point.

I parked at the end of Short Road, before it went to a private residence and began my bushwhack towards the summit of Location Hill. I came across this recent logged area which I picked my way through (massive amount of pricker bushes).

The views from the top of the logging cut looking towards the Long Mountain area, with North Percy Peak and South Percy Peak to the left.

After the logging cut, I walked through mostly open woods towards the summit area of Location Hill.

The pill bottle register on the summit of Location Hill (elevation: 1980 feet).

Open woods bushwhack all the way back to the car.

Finding another moose antler on my first hike was a neat find. Open woods bushwhacking for both of these peaks made for a nice time outdoors. I probably had time for another hike or two in the area but decided to call it a day and head home. Since I hike solo a lot now, it is kind of boring hiking all day like I used to and getting home late. It still beats working or staying at home, any day.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Ames Mountain: 4/11/2016

Mileage: 4.30 miles
Elevation gain: 1480 feet
Trails used: none. roadwalk, bushwhack.
Highlight(s): register on the summit of Ames Mountain.

I had an appointment in the afternoon so I decided to check out a few peaks in Wentworth, New Hampshire mainly because I was informed a full moose skull and rack were found here a day or two prior, so while I was going for the summit I would be doing a quick check in the area for any more antlers. I didn't want to spend too much time out in this area due to the rain and wind but using a bulk of a recent logging road to reach the summit area was too enticing to pass up. Worst case I wouldn't be in the woods long enough to get soaked from the rain.

Ames Mountain is located in Wentworth, New Hampshire. There are no trails that go to the wooded, view-less summits of Ames Mountain so it requires a bushwhack to reach its high point. There are ledges around the summit of Ames Mountain which could provide views.

I parked at a gated logging road off of East Side Road in Wentworth and took it almost all the way to the summit of Ames Mountain.

The logging road was still in relatively good shape, as it passed by more recent logging cuts.

With recent ATV tracks and this fire ring below the summit of Ames Mountain, it looks like it gets some use from the locals. Sadly, there were no views today due to the rain though.

The jar register on the summit of Ames Mountain (elevation: 2060 feet).

I started the descent towards Currier Hill, which is close by but seems so far away.

I decided to head back down as soon as I made it here in between Ames Mountain and Currier Hill, mainly due to the cold rain/drizzle.

While the rain wasn't coming down hard, it was drizzling enough to make it on the cool side and uncomfortable for hiking for too long. Hence the reason I bailed off of Ames Mountain and decided not to go to nearby Currier Hill, which is a bummer since it is a nice open area to explore. I will have to go back when the weather is nice and use the same route I took to get up to the summit of Ames Mountain with a slight variation.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Hall Mountain: 4/10/2016

Mileage: 2.15 miles
Elevation gain: 475 feet
Trails used: Hall Mountain Trail, bushwhack.
Highlight(s): jar register on the summit of Hall Mountain, geocache on the summit of Hall Mountain-Northwest Peak.

The weather was supposed to be nice so why not go out on a Sunday morning for a quick hike. I figured we could do something quick with little elevation gain that would be close by or that I could do, and then do errands afterwards. I had done Bear Hill before a few years ago so why not visit the high point in Bear Brook State Park. We managed to drive into the Hall Mountain Trailhead parking area off of Podunk Road and basically got out of the car and started the hike, without backpacks.

Hall Mountain is located in Candia, New Hampshire and also in Bear Brook State Park. Hall Mountain is also the highest point in Candia. There are no trails that go to the wooded, view-less summit of Hall Mountain so it requires a combination of trails and a bushwhack to reach its high point. There are no views, or diminishing views, from the summit of Hall Mountain-Northwest Peak.

The Hall Mountain Trailhead parking area located off of Podunk Road. The Hall Mountain Trail starts between the two boulders.

The Hall Mountain Trail starts off as an old woods road, then changes into a snowmobile trail (in winter) that skirts around the high point of Hall Mountain.

The pill bottle register on the high point of Hall Mountain (elevation: 941 feet).

We decided to bushwhack to Hall Mountain-Northwest Peak instead of using Hall Mountain Trail (mainly because we didn't know it went to the lower summit).

The summit area for Hall Mountain-Northwest Peak. The Hall Mountain Trail runs over this summit and continues on. There are barely any views up here.

The high point of Hall Mountain-Northwest Peak (elevation: 920 feet).

The geocache on the summit of Hall Mountain-Northwest Peak. Make sure you bring something to write with.

Although there isn't much for views from either summit, I did manage to get this picture of Fort Mountain from a random bump during the bushwhack to the Hall Mountain Trail.

We made it back to the Hall Mountain Trail for a quick round trip start to finish. This was a nice hike in the woods and the bushwhack was as easy as it gets in New Hampshire. We only did the route from Hall Mountain and Hall Mountain-Northwest Peak but the Hall Mountain Trail continues on, and there are more trails in the park to explore (possibly at a later date). 

Yes, Derek you did make the high point this time. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Fairington Cemetery Peak * Mount Anthony: 4/2/2016

I had planned to hike in Vermont this Saturday and Brian messaged me about possible hiking plans (he had other plans he was sorting through). We threw some idea's back and forth of hikes we could cobble together, and a rough plan was hashed out. We would stick to Vermont though, and try to make a day of it. Unfortunately, the weather was not going to play nicely and as we drove into Vermont, it started off rather dreary. It rained a bit before we got to the area where we would start this hike, and it was a bit on the cool side so let the adventure begin.

Fairington Cemetery Peak

Mileage: 6 miles
Elevation gain: 1675 feet
Trails used: none. road walk, bushwhack.
Highlight(s): none. 

I have looked at this peak for some time, and drove by it quite a few times wondering exactly how to access it. Its tough due to the wind turbines that reside along the ridge line, although snowmobiles used to have access to the area. I found a recent report that mentioned how the person managed this one so I thought we could finally give it a go. Brian was okay with this being a first hike as it should be a quick out and back, but as usual, since it is Brian and I plans don't work out like they should. We headed past the gated road to start the days hike.

Fairington Cemetery Peak is located in Readsboro, Vermont. There are no trails that go to the wooded, view-less summit of Fairington Cemetery Peak so it so it requires a bushwhack to reach its high point.

Fairington Cemetery Peak is on the Vermont One Hundred Highest List, the Vermont Two Hundred Highest List and the Vermont 3K List.

We parked besides the Fairington Cemetery and walked behind the gated road, where we would take a combination of woods roads, bushwhack and access roads towards the summit of Fairington Cemetery Peak.

We walked down an old road but realized it was going in the complete wrong direction, so we ended up bushwhacking. We came across these gnawed on trees. This one (although not pictured) was about 10+ feet high roughly and gnawed pretty much to the top.

As we continue the bushwhack towards Fairington Cemetery Peak, I looked back to get the views of Fairington Cemetery Peak-West Peak and Route 8.

The peak to the northwest of Fairington Cemetery Peak that I mistakenly thought was the high point, which is the peak to the southeast. We searched for a jar for a good ten minutes before I realized my error.

The open woods as we bushwhack to the col in between the two summits.

We followed a recently cut ATV road over towards the summit of Fairington Cemetery Peak, where these old pipes (possibly for an old wind gauging tower) were lying right off of the path.

The only view we managed to get as we are near the summit area of Fairington Cemetery Peak looking towards Mount Greylock, in Massachusetts. 

Brian checking out the register (which might be a total loss, I am trying to dry it out to save it) on the summit of Fairington Cemetary Peak (elevation: 3110 feet).

We made it back to the wind turbine access road as it started snowing, fairly heavily. It stopped by the time we got back to the car.

We made a hasty retreat down the wind turbine access road and back to the car in a wintry mix. We decided to try another hike, even though this hike took longer than expected due to my route finding blunder and we still had time for another hike or two depending on the weather. Sometimes things work out the way you want them too; but sometimes you get frustrated and it becomes more of a job and less of a fun pastime. 

Mount Anthony

Mileage: 3.8 miles
Elevation gain: 1540 feet
Trails used: unknown. bushwhack.
Highlight(s): none.

We had a couple of other peaks in mind, but after a route finding blunder on the first hike and the snow/rain we encountered, we looked for something possibly easier to do. I managed to make the hike to Fairington Cemetery Peak longer than it needed to be, thus I was frustrated and not really in the mood to continue with the cold and rain/snow. While Brian drove, I looked in the Vermont Gazetteer and noticed, since we were passing through Bennington anyways and the peak I was seeing on the page looked like it had a trail to it, we decided to check it out. I looked up information on my cell phone and got a rough idea where the trail head would be. When we arrived at the trailhead parking area on Southern Vermont College, we geared up and checked out the map before we headed towards the summit of Mount Anthony.

Mount Anthony is located in Bennington, Vermont. There are trails that got to the summit of Mount Anthony, although they can be a bit confusing as you can find yourself hiking along old logging cuts and not the actual trail system. There are no views from the wooded, view-less summit of Mount Anthony.

Brian is all geared up for the hike up to Mount Anthony. We parked on the campus of Southern Vermont College and tried to make sense of the hiking trail map.

Possibly an old well or some sort of architecture as we begin the hike on what we think was the Summit Trail, but due to the lack of blazes we were not sure.

The trails in the area are mainly old logging roads, like this one so it made it hard to figure out if we were on an actual trail or just using an old road.

There were no views from the summit of Mount Anthony but there was this communications array which explains the tower we thought we saw up here.

The actual high point area for Mount Anthony (elevation: 2340 feet).

Hiking back down an old logging road. At some point, we missed the turn for the trail off of the summit of Mount Anthony and just ended up bushwhacking back to the car pretty much.

This weird headless statue was on the way back to the car.

Defeated by the weather and the hikes themselves. Both of these hikes were a royal let down, especially Mount Anthony where we were teased with possible views only to find a wooded summit with a communications tower with zero views (unless you looked through the trees). I guess the only good thing about the second hike is that the weather improved enough to at least have some sunshine and warmer temperatures.