April 5, 2014.
The final hike before I leave for Georgia and start the Appalachian Trail. A return back to Pawtuckaway State Park to go to Middle Mt since I missed going to it last weekend. A late arrival as I originally went to the main gate to start the hike but not wanting to pay I headed back over to Reservation Road and park at the gated Tower Road.
Changing things on the fly the main goal is to hit up Middle Mt and everything else after that is gravy. Time is limited as we have a dinner date with some friends tonight so we'll see where I end up. Still traces of snow and surprisingly I am the only one at the gate as it is ten minutes past noon.
It is a beautiful sunny early spring day as I start up the road and in just fifteen short minutes I am at the junction with Middle Mt Trail. The trail rises gently along an old road before turning and heading a little bit more steeply just below the ridgeline. Middle Mt is a long ridge and at the opposite end is a ledge with views to the west.
At the ledge I can see Pack and North Pack Monadnock, the Uncanoonucs and Mount Monadnock all in one frame.
As I am taking pictures two hawks are circling in the thermals.
Turning back and I make my way over to the high point which is over to the left off the trail. Back down at the junction is an old foundation near where the old fire warden's camp used to be. The foundation and cemetery are most likely the remnants of the Goodrich family.
Continuing up Tower Road and I reach the junction for the short South Ridge Connector. This trail connects Tower Road with South Ridge Trail.
Turning left onto South Ridge Trail and just a quick jaunt crossing over a bridged unnamed brook to Shaw Trail. Shaw Trail extends all the way over to Fundy Cove but I won't be doing the whole trail today due to time constraints. Next trail is a right hand turn onto Split Rock Trail, this trail being relatively new it is not in the AMC Southern NH Trail Guide. The trail definitely lives up to its name though as there are some great boulders along the way.
It what I assume is the namesake of the trail.
Less than an hour later and I am at the Woronoco Trail making another right hand turn onto this trail. This is more of a wetland trail as it passes by a bog with a view to South Mt.
The final push as I reach Mountain Trail to Round Pound Trail as I am reminded I need to get out of these woods. It is running late and we have dinner plans with friends before I leave for Georgia and the adventure of my life, the AT!
Final numbers: 10.3 miles, 4 hours and 30 minutes.