Rattlesnake Mt (Rumney)

October 5, 2014.

Today I decided to hike a series of smaller hikes all in the general same vicinity driving to each one. First up is Rattlesnake Mt located in Rumney NH. The trail consists of a fairly easy and short climb up to a loop and then returns on the same trail.

As you can see from the GPS tracks I did a lot more than the "lollipop" loop hike. I'll explain the deviations along the way. A later start than normal and on the way up a view of the first destination from Route 25.

The ledges seen in the photo are famous and I guess world renowned in the rock climbing circles. The trailhead is located across the street from the Transfer Station and just before 8:30 I am on the trail. A short ways up the trail as I round the corner a flock of turkeys are on the trail and head for the woods as soon as they see me. I tried to get a picture of them but the best I could muster is a blurry shot of them scurrying away from me.

 

The trail climbs steadily but easily with a glimpse of the morning rays streaming through the trees.

 

Reaching the loop portion of the trail and I decide to go left first.

 

As I am heading up the trail I spy on my left a faint trail heading up and make note of it for some other time. Further up just past where the trail turns right another trail leading to the left. Curiosity gets the better of me as this one is more distinct. It meanders through the woods descending a bit then onto a ledge in the woods. Just beyond is another ledge but this one is open and the views towards the Groton Wind Farm are across the way.

 

The trail continues over to my left and right below the view ledge is one of those curious things I sometimes find. It is a rake leaning against a tree. A fairly new one at that.

Considering this is an unmaintained trail one can only wonder why someone left this behind. I first believed this section of "trail" was the old eastern portion of Rattlesnake Mt Trail that use to come up from Stinson Road. But most likely it might be part of a mountain biking trail. Overlaying my GPS track on an old map showing the old trail makes me lean towards that this is for mountain biking and not the old hiking trail.

No more time to see where the trail leads it is time to head back. On the way back I see something I missed on the way up, arrow signs on both sides of the trail.

 

The way it is overgrown I'm thinking perhaps a cross country ski trail in the winter. Just before hitting the loop I decide to check out the other path I saw on the way in. It leads to a junction and going on gut instinct I head to the left.

 

Very quickly it leads back to the junction where the loop splits but is not in any way distinct from Rattlesnake Trail at all. One would have to know where it is and push through the growth to find it. So back up the left loop and pass the two trails I took making my way around to the open ledges of Rattlesnake Mt. Heading up the first set of open ledges and a look behind me to Stinson Mt, this will be my next destination for the day.

 

Making my way up over the ledges and I see my first hiker of the day as he is going in the opposite direction that I am going. On one of the open ledges just below the summit is a pano shot.

Reaching the high point and I am not sure what I am looking at towards the west as this is new territory for me. Thank goodness for Google Earth as the view to Cardigan is in the clouds. Also in the clouds are Smarts Mt and Mt Cube with Black Hill in between not in the clouds.

 

I half expected to get a peek at Moosilauke but after looking at Google Earth I figured I was too low in elevation. Satisfied with seeing everything of significance I move along making my way on the rest of the Loop Trail. Back at the junction as I am darting into the brush where the obscured trail is the other hiker I saw on Rattlesnake is just coming up the trail. I can only imagine what he was thinking as I disappear behind the brush and head up the trail. Back at the junction from earlier and I head left seeking the unknown.

 

The trail is well maintained and now looking back on it and poking around the Internet I am convinced that this is some sort of a mountain biking trail. There are small berms made for jumping and ramps to get up over a few obstacles.

 

The trail switchbacks down the mountain and ends up on Buffalo Road down below the Transfer Station. Back up to the trail head and the last exploring for this area is the brook at the beginning of the trail. It is located down the embankment to the left and has some nice small cascades and little waterfalls.

 

This brook ends up feeding into the Baker River across the street and further down. For what was supposed to be a quick short hike this little area turned into a little gem with some still unanswered trails to peruse. But it is time to move on and drive over by Stinson Lake and tackle Stinson Mt for round two.


Final numbers: 4.5 miles, 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Redline Miles: 1.7, Total to Date: 613.2