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About


Parker Mountain
Strafford, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking up Spencer Smith Trail on the way to the Parker Mountain summit
Looking up Spencer Smith Trail on the way to the Parker Mountain summit

Route: Spencer Smith Trail, (Mt. Parker), Spencer Smith Trail, (Mt. Parker), Spencer Smith Trail, bushwhack, Spencer Smith Trail

While the day was forecasted to be mostly sunny for southern New Hampshire, the sky was full of clouds at mid afternoon. Starting on the Spencer Smith Trail, the pitch was fairly gentle for awhile, prior to a steady, rocky climb after a near-trail viewpoint. Passing a small bump on the right, the trail continued along the ridge to a ledgy (minimal views) area. Continuing past a trail sign, I did my best to stay on the main trail past a few unmarked junctions. While I had been jogging, I wasn't making great time, due in part to having to check out each trail junction.

Eventually reaching the summit, there was a massive cairn - and little in way of views. Continuing down the red blazed trail, I arrived at a series of nice, but viewless ledges. Running out of daylight and not seeing any view possibilities there or back around the summit, I headed back along the ridge.

Just prior to the steeper portion of the trail, I opted to drop into the woods from a view ledge. The terrain was rather steep and laden with cliffs. Nonetheless, the woods were fairly open, which allowed me to spot what I Was looking for from one of the steep, rock areas - the remains of a 1946 plane crash. The plane apparently crashed on a rainy, foggy May day, killing all three on board, including Leslie Louis LeVeque.

There were some parts strewn around an area below sort of a steep bowl. In addition to what was visible of the small plane, I found myself stepping on additional parts underneath leaves and brush.

Heading back to the trail, I attempted at first to slab along the contour - the terrain was rocky and uneven, however, so I instead decided to climb up the ledgy area and eventually reached the trail. From there, I was able to make it back to the road prior to dark.


Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Parker Mountain
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Moderate
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Minimal
Crowds: Minimal


Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Friday, October 22, 2010
Hike Commenced: 4:35 PM
Parking Elevation: 907'
Destination: Parker Mountain
Ascent Commenced: 4:35 PM
Summit Reached: 4:58 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:23
Trailhead Elevation: 907'
Summit Elevation: 1,410'
Vertical Gain: 553'
Hike Ended: 5:54 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 01:19
Hike Vertical Gain: 833'


The Spencer Smith Trail trailhead
The Spencer Smith Trail trailhead

The viewless Parker Mountain summit - Click to enlarge
The viewless Parker Mountain summit

Remains of the 1946 plane crash on the side of Parker Mountain
Remains of the 1946 plane crash on the side of Parker Mountain

Topographic map of Parker Mountain


Directions to trailhead: From US 202A in Center Strafford, take Route 126 west. The Spencer Smith Trail trailhead will be on the left partway up an uphill climb on the road. There is a dirt parking lot on the side of the road, next to the trailhead.

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