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.
The Zealand Trail
Route: Zealand Trail, Twinway, Lend-A-Hand Trail, (Mt. Hale), Lend-A-Hand Trail, Twinway, Zealand Trail
With a decent, but windy, day forecasted below treeline, I decided to take advantage of Zealand Road still being open and head up the Lend-A-Hand Trail.
The Zealand Trail was covered in a dusting of snow and the rocks at water crossings covered in ice. The steeps on the way to the hut, as well as on the Lend-A-Hand Trail were icy as well, requiring the use of light traction. The Lend-A-Hand Trail itself was less than pleasant on this day, as much of it was covered in puddles and running water with a breakable ice crust on top. Add half an inch of snow on top, and it was hard to figure out what you'd be stepping into.
After a few brief steep sections and a few false heights of land, I eventually reached the summit of Hale in the middle of a light snow squall. With that, the normally mediocre at best views were zilch, resulting in a very short stay on the summit.
Upon reaching an open, marshy area where the Lend-A-Hand Trail first clears a ridge, I weighed going to South Hale. Though originally my objective for the day (the cliffs especially), it seemed less than desirable in dropping temperatures, limited visibility, and increasing winds. Thusly, I decided to keep descending and instead settled for a break at the Zealand hut.
Upon reaching the Zealand Trail below the hut, the clouds and snow started to move out, resulting in a nice, partly sunny afternoon with decreasing winds.
Getting To Trailhead:
||Minimal (due to weather)|
||Saturday, November 20, 2010|
|Hike Time Elapsed:
|Hike Vertical Gain:
The Zealand Trail trailhead at the end of Zealand Road
The upper Lend-A-Hand Trail
A lack of views from the Mt. Hale summit
Directions to trailhead: Take US 302 west from Bartlett past Bretton Woods Ski Area. A few minutes after, take a left onto Zealand Road. The Zealand WMNF fee parking area and Zealand Trail trailhead are located at the end of the road.
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