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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 wet Owl's Head slide
Looking up the wet 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

First day of summer, wet forecast, why not go to Owl's Head?

The first part of the hike on the Lincoln Woods Trail was bland - not a person to be seen either. The Black Pond Trail was a bit more interesting - reaching the pond, I climbed up the embankment to the west, then started heading roughly due north. A much more dry route than the spray painted 'bushwhack' route, I still veered off course a bit at the end, winding up about 4 minutes east of where I wanted to be.

While the Lincoln Brook Trail was a bit wet, it wasn't overly bad. The three water crossings, though a bit high, were nonetheless doable without taking off my boots. The Owl's Head slide was rather wet, making things a bit slow. Reaching the top of the ridge, I dropped my pack and made my way to the 'old summit' and then to the 'new summit.'

The slide was even trickier for the descent, as I was trying to navigate my way without slipping. Nonetheless, I made it back to the Lincoln Brook Trail and commenced the long walk back out. For the return bushwhack, I started at the water crossing on the Lincoln Brook Trail, followed a herd path to an old road bed, then continued roughly due south. Amazingly, I had a gut instinct at one point to start cutting to the southeast. Following this instinct, I ended up at the northwest corner of the Black Pond - not bad luck!

The walk out on the Lincoln Woods Trail was a bit monotonous, but fortunately dry and not too buggy.

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

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Sunday, June 21, 2009
Hike Commenced: 7:29 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,170'
Destination: Owl's Head
Ascent Commenced: 7:31 AM
Summit Reached: 11:17 AM
Time Elapsed: 03:46
Trailhead Elevation: 1,170'
Summit Elevation: 4,025'
Vertical Gain: 3,075'
Hike Ended: 3:11 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 7:42
Hike Vertical Gain: 3,310'

The Lincoln Woods Trail trailhead
The Lincoln Woods Trail trailhead

Rhodora Rhododendron on the Owl's Head slide
Rhodora Rhododendron on the Owl's Head slide

Looking at the Franconia Ridge from near the 'old summit' of Owl's Head - Click to enlarge
Looking at the Franconia Ridge from near the 'old 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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