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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


South Moat Mountain
Albany, NH

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

Route: Moat Mountain Trail

The forecast showed the incoming clouds holding off until later in the night, so I figured it'd be a good afternoon for a sunset hike. As such, I timed my start with arriving at the summit around sunset.

The Moat Mountain Trail was in pretty good shape - mostly dry, not much in way of blowdowns. Unfortunately as I ascended, I could tell there were rather thick clouds moving in - not necessarily a good ingrediant for a sunset.

The summit was a bit breezy, but not too cold. The south was almost cloud free, while most other directions were being overtaken by increasingly heavy clouds. As the sun dipped behind the clouds, I could tell there wouldn't be much in way of a spectacular sunset. On the plus side, there were some nice colors to the southwest, between the Ossipees and Mt. Chocorua.

The descent proved to be slightly tricky. The Moat Mountain Trail, in my opinion, has been in need of reblazing ever since I first ascended it in 2007. While I have been on the section of trail to South Moat many times, the lack of markings as well as numerous ledges made it easy to stray from the trail a bit - twice I had to go back up and figure out where I went wrong.

Though I'm 0 for 3 in longer sunset hikes this fall, it was still nice to be out on the trails.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: South Moat Mountain
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Monday, October 20, 2008
Hike Commenced: 4:07 PM
Parking Elevation: 650'
Destination: South Moat Mountain
Ascent Commenced: 4:07 PM
Summit Reached: 5:20 PM
Time Elapsed: 01:13
Trailhead Elevation: 650'
Summit Elevation: 2,770'
Distance: 2.7 miles
Vertical Gain: 2,235'
Hike Ended: 7:42 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 03:35
Hike Distance: 5.4 miles
Hike Vertical Gain: 2,350'

Moat Mountain Trail trailhead
Moat Mountain Trail trailhead

Looking at North Moat Mountain and Mt. Washington from the South Moat Mountain summit - Click to enlarge
Looking at North Moat Mountain and Mt. Washington from the South Moat Mountain summit

Sunset colors over the Ossipees - Click to enlarge
Sunset colors over the Ossipees

Topographic map of South Moat Mountain - Click to enlarge

Directions to trailhead: Take Route 16 North into Conway. Take a left at the first set of downtown lights onto West Side Road. Soon after, take a left onto Passaconaway Road. A few minutes down the road, the Moat Mountain Trail trailhead and WMNF fee parking area will be on the right. If you pass the picnic area on your left, you've gone just a little bit too far.

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