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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Owl's Head
Lincoln, NH, Franconia, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking up the Owl's Head slide
Looking up the Owl's Head slide

Route: Lincoln Woods Trail, Black Pond Trail, bushwhack, Lincoln Brook Trail, Owl's Head Path, (formerly recognized Owl's Head summit), bushwack, (Owl's Head), buswhack, Owl's Head Path, bushwhack, Lincoln Brook Trail, bushwhack, Black Pond Trail, Lincoln Woods Trail

It was time for Owl's Head again. Though I wasn't particularly looking forward to the long slog to the peak, it seemed like it was a good fit considering the higher summits wind forecast.

Arriving at Lincoln Woods, we were soon on our way on the Lincoln Woods Trail. While this trail isn't particularly compelling, the blue skies and nice views made it go by nicely. Black Pond also had nice views.

The bushwhack from Black Pond to the Lincoln Brook Trail, while not ideally direct, was nonetheless an easy trek due to being well packed out. The Lincoln Brook Trail on the other hand seemed to drag on, though the water crossings were fortunately bridged and easy.

After passing the third and final water crossing via this route, we kept our eyes out for a possible broken out buswhack route. No such luck. Thus, we continued to the Owl's Head Path.

Since I had no interest in going up the slide proper due to the ice that was sure to be there, we stayed in the woods on the north side of it, popping out near the top and thus avoiding the very dangerous conditions. Above there, we continued to ascend on our snowshoes to the 'old summit' and then the actual highpoint. While the 'new summit' does have better views than the 'old summit,' the viewpoints are nonetheless obscured a bit by trees. Nonetheless, we were able to see some of the Franconias and Carrigain from various spots adjacent to the summit.

Not wanting to head back down the steep area next to the slide, we climbed uphill a bit from the top of the straightaway and headed toward an area known as the 'Brutus Bushwhack.' Reaching a beautiful birch glade, we pushed our way down toward the brook and back to the Lincoln Brook Trail.

The long slog out was increasingly vexing, as the Black Pond bushwhack and then Lincoln Woods Trail seemed to drag on forever. Finally seeing the sign at the end of the trail, we were quite happy to be back at the parking lot!

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Owl's Head
Length: Very Difficult
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Difficult
Views: Minimal
Crowds: Moderate

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Saturday, February 14, 2009
Hike Commenced: 8:32 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,170'
Destination: Owl's Head
Ascent Commenced: 8:39 AM
Summit Reached: 2:33 PM
Time Elapsed: 05:54
Trailhead Elevation: 1,170'
Summit Elevation: 4,025'
Vertical Gain: 3,075'
Hike Ended: 7:28 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 10:56
Hike Vertical Gain: 3,360'

The Lincoln Woods Trail trailhead
The Lincoln Woods Trail trailhead

Looking down the birch glade bushwhack
Looking down the birch glade bushwhack

Looking at Mt. Carrigain from near the summit of Owl's Head - Click to enlarge
Looking at Mt. Carrigain from near the summit of Owl's Head

Directions to trailhead: Take Route 112 East from I-93 past Loon to the Lincoln Woods WMNF fee parking area (left side of road).

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