Spring and Summer Outings
All Outings have been suspended indefinitely, due to the Corona virus outbreak.
Later we hope to plan a series of Easy to Moderate hikes in the Upper Valley, likely on Sunday afternoons. Stay tuned!
In the Meantime do go outdoors to hike, bike, or paddle! But please do this near home. Avoid potentially crowded destinations, and observe social distancing!
Some past Outings before Covid-19
Newport Town Forest
On Columbus/Indigenous Peoples’ Day 5 of us hiked in the Newport (NH) Town Forest We parked at the Summer Street trailhead, and hiked up the gated Class 6 road, past the huge water tanks, to some interesting cellar holes and foundations of farmsteads settled by persons of color. One still has its impressive stone chimney.
We then retraced our steps to the woods road leading to The Pinnacle. We climbed this to a good viewpoint at the summit, where we took our ease.
My plan had been to descend on several marked trails. However we descended to a point where neither the white blazes nor the treadway could be readily found. I decided to descend on a skid road (left over from logging several years ago). With no further difficulties this led us directly to the water tanks on Summer Street just above the trailhead. (I knew it would as I had observed the logging in progress, and Summer Street is the only access suitable for heavy equipment).
The fall colors were beautiful. We all greatly enjoyed the hike. Peter Hope
photos by Duncan Love
Ballard Trail, Norwich, VT
On Sunday September 8 seven of us hiked the Ballard Trail in Norwich, VT. We started at the upper trailhead on Beaver Meadow Road. The trail passes an interesting cellar hole, then crosses Charles Brown Brook, and after some ups and downs, and ins and outs descends past the Grand Canyon of Norwich, an interesting mini-flume. The trail runs first above and later along attractive Charles Brown Brook.
We noticed many changes since the trail was recently reopened after major repairs. there are many new bridges, some new boardwalks, and several relocations, one with impressive stone work, where the older route had washed out in storms. The Fire District Dam has been removed entirely, and the lower dam at the former swimming park is no more either.
We cannot recommend the (mostly downhill) hike too strongly – all of us had a great morning! Peter Hope
photos by Duncan Love
On Sunday August 24 seven of us climbed Lyme Pinnacle above Lyme, NH. It was an excellent Easy hike, 2 to 3 miles round trip, with a few hundred feet of elevation gain, not steep. The views from the top were great To the East are Holt’s and Wilson’s Ledges, Smarts Mt., and Mt. Cube. To the West we could see beyond the Connecticut River Valley to the nearby hills and further off Green Mountains of Vermont. On the summit is a memorial stone bench, and an old chimney, at the site of a former cabin. Interestingly, there is metal hardware that connected to cables holding the cabin down so it would not be blown away. (Jim Liberty Cabin on Mt. Chocorua has a similar arrangement.
On August 11 seven of us hiked the UNH Trail loop off the Kanc. in Albany Intervale, NH. We started and ended on a short section of the bed of a branch of the Sawyer River Railroad, one of the narrow guage lines use to log off what is now National Forest. We climbed to Allen’s Ledge, with good view toward the east. We continued to the summit, where we took a first lunch while enjoying views to the weest.
We then descended on ledges and trail, and circled the peak , with ups and downs, to reach the East Ledges, with outstanding views in 3 directions. We again celebrated, this time with second lunch. Finally wee descended, patly on a trail relocated following the storm damage a few years ago.
On August 4 five of us greatly enjoyed exploring the Forest Society’s Cockermouth Forest in Groton, NH. We hiked a loop that took us over Mt. Crosby(2222′) and the adjacent Bald Knob. We found the old roads and the trails to be in excellent condition, as well as being well marked and signed. There was only one short steep section, but no real ledge scrambles. Views from the 2 summits were good.
On a very hot Tuesday July 30 four intrepid souls climbed this 2927′ New Hampshire peak. One of us was a Bread Loaf Section Leader. We climbed the steeper Winslow Trail, later descended the gentler Barlow Trail. Unfortunately due to heavy use and the limited NH State Parks budget, both trails were severely eroded. The day was hazy, so views were not perfect, but we could see all the nearby mountains and lakes fairly well. I was pleased to see that the fire tower is in the process of undergoing a major restoration.
On May 27 four of us walked the trail around Eastman Lake in Grantham, NH. The weather was good, and we emjoyed many views of the lake, especially from Big Rock where we snacked. Earlier we had passed a really attractive small cascade, with the water falling in steps over moss-covered rock.
On May 19 four hikers climbed Bog Mt. in Wilmot, NH. Views were excellent, as were the weather conditions. We then took a short walk to a pretty mini-cascade on Kinpton Brook. The only downside that day was that the blackflies had come out, and were biting – except for one of us who was wearing permethrin- treated clothing. Peter Hope
On May 5 there were only 2 of us climbing Lyme Pinnacle, but we both greatly enjoyed the extensive views from the stone bench on the summit. It was sunny and warm, a welcome relief from the cold and damp weather we had been suffering through! We will return, hopefully with a larger party! There were ticks, and an uncontrolled dog. Peter Hope
Mascoma River Greenway
We had originally planned a hike in the Rinker-Steele Natural Area in Hanover, but the trails had not dried out adequately. Instead on April 14of this year six of us hiked on this new paved rail trail, from APD Hospital to Glen Road and back. We enjoyed close up views of the rushing Mascoma River. This was a great choice when other trails were wet!
On Columbus Day in 2018 four of us drove to Franconia Notch. in the Whites, on a day when mist blocked views of the mountains. We started by walking out on the old Route 3 bridge. We did catch a fleeting glance of the Greenlreaf Hut area, and enjoyed a rainbow in the direction of Bethlehem.
We started our hike proper from the large parking lot across from Peabody Slopes ski lifts. We were fortunate as the major summer parking lots were full. The Park was running a shuttle bus for visitors, which we did not need.
We took a loop trail, first climbing to Bald Mt.. The view from the steep ledges at the top was blocked by fog, but the company of other hikers was good. We then descended to the col and climbed the western hill, which has views even more limited than usual, From there we went down to the short spur trail to the top of the Artist’s Bluff cliff. From there we did get a great View of the Notch and of Eagle Lake, although the mountains were still in the clouds.
After taking the Link Trail back to our cars, we discussed what to do next. The original plan was to hike to Georgianna Falls, from a side road off US-3 in Lincoln. As time was getting on, we instead parked at the Basin, and hiked the Pemi Trail to the Little Fume and the confluence with Whitehouse Brook. Water levels were too high to consider continuing, so we retraced our step. instead.
We all enjoyed the day greatly, even though the weather was not ideal. It’s great to get out!
Peter Hope Outings Chair
On Sunday August 19, 2018, five of us climbed Potash Mt. a small peak off the Kanc. We went up the trail, with only minor problems at the stream crossing, then came down diverting to the Forest Service road that avoids it but that does entail a short road walk. From the first overlook we could see south to Mts. Passaconaway, Hedgehog, Square Ledge as well as Chocorua and the 3 Sisters. The views from the open summit were even better, towards Carrigain, the Pemi. Wilderness, and the peaks to the north and east. The trail was fairly rooty and steep in places, although it also featured some level stretches as well as friction climbing on rock near the summit. Altogether, we had a great day!
On Memorial Day in 2018 nine of us climbed to Bald Peak on the western slope of Kinsman Ridge in Franconia(NH). The view from the flat open ledges was fantastic! On the way up we visited a lovely waterfall and gorge. It was an exceptional outing for us all!
photos by Duncan Love
On Presidents’ Day in 2018 4 of us ventured into a Winter Wonderland on the Colette Trail in Enfield(NH), which closely follows Bicknell Brook. There was enough open water to make the brook lovely, both in its quietly running sections as well as in its waterfalls, of which only the largest was still covered in snow and ice. We will return, as this trail is so appealing in all seasons!
On Sunday October 22, 2017, 10 of us explored the Hope Forest in Danbury(NH), an attractive wooded hill, which my family gave to the Forest Society. We followed dirt and woods roads, and did a steep off-trail climb between 2 sets of woods roads. We did venture too far north, climbing Moulton Hill, but were able to correct course by descending a skid road. We finished the hike by visiting waterfalls at a former mill site, now a swimming hole.
photos by Duncan Love
On normal times Outings Leader Peter Hope publishes a weekly listing of many trips in northern New England, in addition to Sierra Club Outings. If you’d like to be on his mailing list, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.