Thursday, July 21, 2016

Over Ames Mountain * Eastman Hill: 7/21/2016

I was on the second day of my week off from work so I was looking at some lower mileage hikes/bushwhacks to pass the time. The prior day I did quite a few hikes so my right knee was definitely feeling it today. I would try a few peaks and then see how I felt. I even managed to get a late start for this one so I think I hit the first peak in Gilford at about 930 a.m.

Over Ames Mountain

Mileage: 1.65 miles
Elevation gain: 460 feet
Trails used: None. Bushwhack.
Highlight(s): None.
Type of Hike: Bushwhack.
Views: Yes

I attempted to find access for this one last year during winter but I guess I didn't look hard enough. This one was actually pretty simple to do, both for access (once I found it) and actually doing the hike. I will say it was a bit of a dilemma to park where I did and do this hike as you park across from someones residence, but since there were no "no parking" nor "no trespassing" signs, it is legal to do. It was sunny, and warm when I headed out but there was a breeze that was just perfect as I made my way along the logging road to begin my hike.

This peak is unofficially named so it was called Over Ames Mountain on Over Ames Mountain is located in Gilford, New Hampshire. There are blueberry bushes on the summit of Over Ames Mountain so I spent a few minutes picking and eating them as they were ripe enough to eat. The area has been logged recently so it was a matter of picking my way through the various logging cuts to reach the summit.

I parked on the side of Trail View Drive at this logging road to begin my hike towards Over Ames Mountain.

I bushwhacked through a mixture of logging cuts that were growing in and open woods towards the summit of Over Ames Mountain.

The wooded summit of Over Ames Mountain (elevation: 1564 feet). There are slight views behind the summit area.

The views from the summit area of Over Ames Mountain looking east towards Copple Crown Mountain, Moose Mountain and Caverly Mountain.

I noticed this freshly used (possibly by ATV's) logging road heading down so I followed it a bit from the summit of Over Ames Mountain only to realize it was going in the wrong direction.

I made my way back through these logging cuts and open woods.

I came upon this deer which I watched for awhile before he knew I was there. There were actually two in the vicinity but the other one I spooked and it took off.

I also followed this Scarlet Tanager for a bit, trying to get a good picture of it. 

After stopping to watch the deer and birds for a bit, I followed the logging roads back to my car and was on the hunt for my next objective. I managed to drive around to several other possibilities but none of them panned out (sadly, I did not research anything the night before). Mainly it is trying to find access that is the issue. Other times its the length of the hike/bushwhack that raises flags for me.

Finally I looked in the Alton/Meredith/Sanbornton area, as there are quite a few peaks in that general area I have yet to do. I managed to luck out and find one and with a trail.

Eastman Hill

Mileage: 1.85 miles
Elevation gain: 500 feet
Trails used: This is My Song Trail, Hal Graham Trail, Steele Hill Resort Trail.
Type of Hike: Trailed.
Views: No

I happened upon this hike almost by accident. I thought I was going to have to bushwhack to this peak but when I drove past an old logging road and noticed the hiker sign, I backed up and parked to check it out. Score! There just happens to be a hiking trail system here although on the map the trails did not go to the high point of the peak. I figured I would take the trails in as far as they would go, and then bushwhack to the high point.

Eastman Hill, located in Sanbornton, New Hampshire is also located in the Sanbornton Town Forest. There is a kiosk with a map of the hiking trails in the area, and several different routes to take. I picked the trail off of Eastman Hill Road as it was the only trail I saw on my initial search of the area. It was getting hot as I headed out but thankfully there was a breeze and the bugs weren't that bad at this point.

I parked on the side of Eastman Hill Road near this hiker sign, and headed down this old road to start the hike towards Eastman Hill.

A map of the hiking trails in the Sanbornton Town Forest. Not on the map, is a trail that goes just around the summit of Eastman Hill which comes from the Steele Hill Resort.

The trails are signed and easy to follow, considering there are several old logging cuts that make their way across the area.

The red blazed Steele Hill Resort Trail, which circles around the summit of Eastman Hill.

The wooded, view-less high point of Eastman Hill (elevation: 1380 feet). The summit is probably less than 50 feet off of the trail.

An old logging landing that serves as part of the This is My Song Trail, where I picked up the only tick of the day in the long grass.

An old cellar hole as I neared where I parked my car and started my hike.

Two hikes and I was done for the day, so I headed home early. It was definitely hot outside but not the unbearable heat and humidity we get at this time of year. Both hikes had a stiff breeze too to keep the heat at a comfortable level. The bugs started coming out too, and one tick was found when I stopped at Home Depot on the way home.

It is always nice to see wildlife on a hike, and I had a treat on the first hike. Finding trails on Eastman Hill was a nice bonus for the hike; I went over the summit a bit to see how far the trail goes and it heads towards the Steele Hill Resort, which is nearby.

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