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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Square Ledge, Mt. Passaconaway, Nanamocomuck Peak, 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.

Looking at Square Ledge from the Square Ledge Trail

Route: Old Mast Road, Square Ledge Trail, (Square Ledge), Square Ledge Trail, Walden Trail, spur path, (Mt. Passaconaway), spur path, Walden Trail, (Nanamocomuck Peak), Walden Trail, Wonalancet Trail, (Hibbard Mountain), Wonalancet Trail, Old Mast Road

My original plan was to head up to Maine, however a late return from Boston the night before meant I was somewhat tired and not wanting to do much more driving. Thus, a 10-15 minute ride to Ferncroft seemed like a nice idea.

My plan was to check out Square Ledge, then either return via the Walden Trail or continue to Passaconaway if conditions/energy levels were good.

The Old Mast Road is a very gradual trail with good footing - apparently once a road used to supply the British Navy with timber. After the 'Four Way' intersection, the Square Ledge Trail continues ahead, much less travelled. Though I'm not a fan of losing elevation while I'm heading to a peak, the trail was still neat - especially once Square Ledge dominates the views ahead.

The Square Ledge Trail isn't overly steep until it reaches the base of the ledge - it then climbs, sometimes lightly scrambling, up to the eastern viewpoint. I found this viewpoint to be particularly neat and worth the hike up to that point.

The trail continues to ascend a bit, with another viewpoint (not as neat as the first one), then passes the highpoint (viewpoint nearby). After this, the trail descends adjacent a cliff, hits a col, then climbs again. I found an uprooted tree area here to be a bit tricky to get by, but nonetheless I was able to pick up the trail again, and head down to the Passaconaway Cut Off junction.

From the junction, the trail became progressively steeper (and shortly thereafter, progressively snow covered). Fortunately, as the trail reached the top of the ridge, the snow disappeared.

From here, I ascended the East Loop up to Passaconaway. I found this trail to be steep in a few rocky places - and very snowy just below the summit. After reaching the summit, I went back to the trailside viewpoint (there was no way I was going to walk down to the slide viewpoint with the snow and the mud), and had a snack while enjoying the last of the blue sky (clouds were moving in!).

The next stop was the Wonalancet Range Trail, via the Walden Trail. I was surprised how steep the Walden Trail was on the other side of Nanamocomuck Peak - some outright scrambling in a few places. Nanamocomuck Peak itself had no views to speak of.

The upper Hibbard Mountain lookout along the Wonalancet Range Trail is quickly growing in - it seemed to have grown up a bit more since the last time I had been there. Unless you stand on the rock or are independently tall, there isn't much to see.

Below this lookout (and beyond a really nasty blowdown), the lower lookout was still excellent, with great views of the Ossipees and Winnipesaukee.

My next stop was the parking lot. The Wonalancet Trail is a bit rough below the Short Cut trail, as it weaves through a bunch of rock. At one point I heard something in the woods, and turned to see something dark amongst the leaves about 50 vertical feet down the hill. At first I thought I was seeing another bear (having seen one only a few days earlier on Sentinel Mountain), however closer inspection revealed a moose having a meal. I attempted to get close enough to get a photo, however I stepped on some leaves and s/he took flight.

The bugs were fortunately not bad at all, making it feel like a nice summer hike (other than the stinking snow, of course).

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Square Ledge
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Mt. Passaconaway
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Nanamocomuck Peak
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Minimal
Crowds: Minimal
Destination: Hibbard Mountain
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Very Difficult
Navigation: Easy
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Sunday, May 18, 2008
Hike Commenced: 8:31 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,140'
Destination: Square Ledge
Ascent Commenced: 8:32 AM
Summit Reached: 10:20 AM
Time Elapsed: 01:48
Trailhead Elevation: 1,140'
Summit Elevation: 2,620'
Vertical Gain: 2,070'
Destination: Mt. Passaconaway
Ascent Commenced: 10:20 AM
Summit Reached: 11:35 AM
Time Elapsed: 01:15
Trailhead Elevation: 2,620'
Summit Elevation: 4,043'
Vertical Gain: 1,673'
Destination: Nanamocomuck Peak
Ascent Commenced: 11:59 AM
Summit Reached: 12:39 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:40
Trailhead Elevation: 4,020'
Summit Elevation: 3,340'
Vertical Gain: 210'
Destination: Hibbard Mountain
Ascent Commenced: 12:39 PM
Summit Reached: 1:23 PM
Time Elapsed: 00:34
Trailhead Elevation: 2,620'
Summit Elevation: 2,940'
Vertical Gain: 270'
Hike Ended: 2:48 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 06:17
Hike Distance: 9.4 miles
Hike Vertical Gain: 4,298'

The Old Mast Road trailhead at Ferncroft

A trillium along the Square Ledge Trail

Looking at Green Mountain and the Ossipees from the Square Ledge viewpoint

Looking down the Square Ledge Trail on the way to Mt. Passaconaway

Looking at Bear Mountain and the Moats from near the summit of Mt. Passaconaway

Looking down the Walden Trail on the way to Nanamocomuck Peak

Looking through the trees at Mt. Whiteface near the summit of Nanamocomuck Peak

Looking down the Walden Trail on the way to Hibbard Mountain

A wildflower along the Walden Trail

Looking south at Lake Winnipesaukee from Hibbard Mountain

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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Back to Hibbard Mountain Profile

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