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
Tamworth, NH, Albany, NH
Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking up the Skull Cairn Trail below the entrance to the chimney
Route: Old Mail Road, Skull Cairn Trail, Hammond Trail
Trails were initially dry, however rain moved in much sooner than forecasted. Old Mail Road was generally smooth sailing.
We left Old Mail Road at Blacky's Flats onto an old roadbed (crossing into the WMNF almost immediately), and followed that for maybe 10 minutes. We then took a right onto the foot trail.
The Skull Cairn Trail was generally easy to follow, thanks in part to all of the gray paint the Forest Service used to cover up old blazes. The infamous chimney was still fairly dry when we went up it, but wouldn't be fun if icy. Possible bypass if one goes around left.
A little confusing up at a small pond (headwaters for Stony Brook?), but the trail can be picked up sort of on the back side of it, a little further on the left.
A few blowdowns just before popping out onto the Hammond Trail (just below the Liberty Trail junction). A large blowdown cut with a chainsaw, adjacent to a large rock, sort of marks the top of the Skull Cairn Trail. Neat trail...superior to some of the 'open' trails in the area.
The upper Hammond Trail had some areas of ice and a dusting of snow. We were able to get by without traction, however if today's drizzle freezes, light traction could be a must on those ledge areas. Snow line appeared to be around 2,200 feet or so.
Getting To Trailhead:
||Minimal (due to weather)|
||November 17, 2013|
|Hike Vertical Gain:
The Bolles Reserve trailhead on Scott Road
Looking down the Skull Cairn Trail above the chimney (moose skull hanging from a tree)
The pond at the top of Stony Brook
No views in the rain on the Hammond Trail from Bald Mountain. Excellent views available in good weather via a very short northerly bushwhack.
Directions to trailhead: Take Route 16 north from West Ossipee. Shortly after passing Chocorua Lake, take a left onto Scott Road (very small sign, large boulder on the right side of Route 16 at the junction). Head down the dirt road. The Hammond Trail mini parking lot and trailhead will be on the right.
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