May 29, 2014.
My third hike in three days heading up to Crotched Mt this time. Another fairly local peak I have not visited yet. The plan is to park off of Route 136 and head out on the Link Trail and this time carrying a light pack with just some water and snacks.
The day is beautiful with the sun shining and warm temps. Heading out on the Link Trail and over a bridge that passes a flooded area. About a mile up the trail breaks out into an open field and the first views of the east summit of Crotched.
A relatively easy hike up through the woods and reaching the first set of ledges for views to the northeast and east. Gunstock and Belknap Mt to the northeast and all three Pawtuckaways to the east.
A few minutes more and the first of many bumps on the ridge of Crotched Mt.
From the ridge my backyard go to mountains, North Pack and Pack Monadnock.
To the north a view of Mt Kearsarge.
A few minutes later and the bumps continue one after the other.
At the third bump a look ahead to the next high point.
Reaching that high spot and there is a stone wall up here and the remnants of an antenna.
Just past the high spot is an opening and I stop for a break and look out at the Wapack Range and the first peek at Monadnock.
After my break I head up a short spur trail and pop out onto an old service road where one of the ski lifts used to terminate on the eastern flank of Crotched Mt.
Not far from this spot is the grand view of the day of Grand Monadnock complete with picnic table.
After this spot the trail gets a little sketchy but eventually I make my way to the top where the radio towers and the footings of the old fire tower are located.
Back down through the woods and I make my way through a few erratics towards Shannon's Trail.
Heading down Shannon's Trail and it soon opens out into an open field and then to a viewing platform that is also accessible via another trail for the handicap.
From the platform the seed is planted for tomorrows hike, Skatutakee and Thumb Mts.
Heading back up the trail and just after the trail enters the woods I take a right onto the Lower Link Trail and back onto the Link Trail. An enjoyable day and the legs are still holding up well. Oh yeah and the healing from the surgery is doing good also.
Final numbers: 7.9 miles, 4 hours and 20 minutes.