NE 4,000 Footers
NE 100 Highest
NH 4,000 Footers
NH 100 Highest
NH 52 With A View
NH Belknap Range
NH Ossipee 10
Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Heading up the Firewarden's Trail to the Pleasant Mountain summit
Route: Fire Warden's Trail
My original plan, in trying to get out and do a small enough hike to not hurt my back but at the same time get a work out and write a quasi run on sentence, was to hike Burnt Meadow Mountain, either by the traditional trail or by the snowmobile trail. Since I couldn't find a place to park at either due to excessive snow banks and narrow roads, I decided to do Plan B - Pleasant Mountain.
Though to date my favorite trail is the Ledges Trail, I decided to give the Firewarden's Trail another try. In my previous ascent, I incorrectly beared right near the trailhead and went on a long side trip to nowhere in logging land.
Arriving at the trailhead, I was surprised to see a parking area had been plowed. I was also surprised to see that the trail was a snowmobile trail. In addition, I was surprised (lots of surprising, eh?) to see a small sign on the trail with a map and distances - a welcome addition!
The benefit of the snowmobile traffic was that the trail was well packed to the summit - easy snowshoeing. The disadvantage, however, was that I would have to step aside half a dozen times to let groups of sleds go by. Ah well.
Fortunately I had done this hike before - about 25 minutes into it, I came upon a fork in the trail - a well travelled path continued straight while a lesser path went to the right, over a tiny bridge. While I often cannot remember what I had for dinner a day earlier, I was able to recall which way I went about 10 months ago (right, over the tiny bridge, then eventually left).
The trail never gets more than moderate in pitch - though it covers over 1,500 vertical feet, it does so over the course of 2.5 miles.
The views from the summit ledge were great as usual - the Evans Notch and Pinkham Notch areas were a bit obscured by clouds, however most of the key peaks to the west and north were easily identified.
The descent wasn't particularly noteworthy - I was just thankful my back injury wasn't hampering my stride as much as it had in recent days. I'm glad it's seeming to get better, but I wish it'd heal a lot faster! Insert HGH joke here.
Getting To Trailhead:
||Sunday, February 23, 2008|
|Hike Time Elapsed:
|Hike Vertical Gain:
Fire Warden's Trail trailhead
Looking northwest from the Pleasant Mountain summit at Kearsarge North Mountain
Directions to trailhead: From the New Hampshire border, take Route 302 to Wilton-Warren Road (a right). The road will turn to dirt. The trailhead and small parking lot are on the left just after an old wooden bridge.
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