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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Mt. Wonalancet, Hibbard Mountain
Albany, NH, Waterville Valley, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.

The Wonalancet Range Trail near the Old Mast Road intersection

Route: Old Mast Road, Wonalancet Range Trail, (Mt. Wonalancet), Wonalancet Range Trail, (Hibbard Mountain), Wonalancet Range Trail, unnamed view spur path, Wonalancet Range Trail, Short Cut Trail, Wonalancet Range Trail, Old Mast Road

With the amount of sunlight per day quickly shrinking, after work hikes are starting to become more localized affairs. Having seen the Wonalancet Range first hand a few days earlier, I was inspired to check out a few of the smaller peaks.

Arriving at the Ferncroft parking lot, I was surprised to discover that I was the only one there.

After taking Old Mast Road for a fraction of a mile, I took a left onto Wonalancet Range Trail. Though easy enough to follow, its obvious this trail isn't that well travelled - many parts of it resemble a herd path.

The ascent is rather gradual for the first mile or so - a few short steep portions, but other than that rather easy going. Suddenly, the trail decides it wants to do something and ascents steeply up some slippery ledges, passes the "Short Cut" trail, and continues up toward Mt. Wonalancet. About halfway up, there is a very nice open ledge area with views toward the Ossipee Mountains Green Mountain, and parts of the Sandwich Range. Beyond that, to quote Sir Austin Powers, "you're not missing anything, believe me...that's about it." The summit is in the woods and the trail beyond it has a few large blow downs.

Finally back at the "Short Cut"/Wonalancet Range Trail junction (not the one I had passed earlier, but the one between Mt. Wonalancet and Hibbard Mountain, I was happy to begin the rather gradual ascent up to a peak that offers some views.

Arriving at the Hibbard Mountain summit, I was very let down by the view - there's a ledge with a view into the bowl, but due to the tree growth, only the tops of the mountains are visible. Fortunately, I noticed there was a herd path a bit before this - so I backtracked, followed the herd path for a few feet, and found a nice ledge with views of Mt. Wonalancet, the lake, and the Ossipees. Finally, something worth the price of admission!

The descent wasn't really noteworthy - a few scrapes from the spruce/brush overtaking the trail, but that's it. To save some time, I took the short cut path to avoid having to summit Mt. Wonalancet again.

Other than seeing someone walking a dog from the parking lot, I didn't see a single person the entire time. Between that and the somewhat grown in trail, I guess it had a more authentic 'wilderness' feel (considering most of the hike is in the Sandwich Range Wilderness).

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mt. Wonalancet
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Minimal
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Hibbard Mountain
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Moderate
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Hike Commenced: 3:44 PM
Parking Elevation: 1,140'
Destination: Mt. Wonalancet
Ascent Commenced: 3:45 PM
Summit Reached: 4:39 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:54
Trailhead Elevation: 1,140'
Summit Elevation: 2,780'
Distance: 1.9 miles
Vertical Gain: 1,685'
Destination: Hibbard Mountain
Ascent Commenced: 4:40 PM
Summit Reached: 5:01 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:21
Trailhead Elevation: 2,780'
Summit Elevation: 2,940'
Distance: 0.9 miles
Vertical Gain: 380'
Hike Ended: 6:15 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 02:31
Hike Distance: 5.2 miles
Hike Vertical Gain: 2,140'

The Old Mast Road trailhead at Ferncroft

Looking east from the ledges on the way to the views Mt. Wonalancet summit

Looking down the Wonalancet Range Trail near Hibbard Mountain

Looking southwest from Mt. Hibbard at Lake Winnipesaukee

Directions to trailhead: Take Route 113A to Wonalancet, then take Ferncroft Road. The parking lot is to the right, at the back of the pasture. The Old Mast Road trailhead is at the back of the parking lot.

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