Elevation gain: 385 feet
Trails used: None. Bushwhack.
Highlight(s): Rock climbing area.
Type of Hike: Bushwhack.
I had to work Saturday so Sunday would have to be my day for hiking. Unfortunately, the rainy weather Saturday carried over into Sunday but I only thought it would rain in the morning and then clear up by the afternoon. This is New Hampshire weather after all so I was wrong to have hope. Yet, I still looked for something to do that was preferably a trail or trail system.
I had thought of possibly doing something in the Belknaps, but with the cloudy/rainy weather, most of the ones I wanted to do involved views of some sort. I also tried finding two trailheads for hikes in the Ossipee Range, but with no cell service, I only managed to drive around looking for them to no avail. After wasting much of the morning driving around looking for things to do I went to my usual fail safe: look at the gazetteer to see what was in the area, look for access and attempt to do it.
I settled on Rines Hill, which is located in Alton, New Hampshire. When I drove down Rines Road I spotted a few recent logging roads that would make good ascent points so I picked one so I could use it to reach the summit area. I threw a long sleeve shirt on (I forgot my rain coat) and headed up the steep but short logging road. I was surprised to find a rock climbing area when I made it towards the summit.
I parked on the side of Rines Road and took this recent logging area up towards the summit of Rines Hill.
Eventually the logging cut faded away so I had to bushwhack through open woods towards the summit of Rines Hill.
I found a faint but obvious trail that made its way to this rock wall, where people rock climb.
Unfortunately, I had to find a way up or I had to skirt around the bottom of the rock wall so I made my way around the bottom.
Evidence of rock climbing consisting of carabiners, cams and quickshafts bolted into the rock. I actually don't know much about climbing.
I found this rope hanging down so I used it to pull myself up towards the summit of Rines Hill. The rock was very slippery from the rain.
The wooded, view-less summit area of Rines Hill (elevation: 1020 feet). You can see the herd path climbers use to move around the top of the climbing area.
A view looking over the ledge of the climbing area on Rines Hill.
I made the decision not to go down the rope section (due to the rain) and made my way around the cliff to find a safer way to get done. I made my way back to the faint climbers trail and followed it until I lost it in the recent logging cuts that run through this area. I then made my way through a logging cut and then it was a short road walk back to the car.
I found out later, after researching this peak, that the local landowner doesn't want people using his property to reach the rock climbing area so the preferred way of reaching this is from the Knights Pond Conservation area parking lot. If rock climbing is your thing, this might be the spot for you.