March 21, 2015.
Hearing from a friend that went snowmobiling up here the week before it was time for me to head up to Mt Martha. I drive by this peak and it's neighbor Owls Head all the time on the way to Gorham and points north. Both peaks are part of the Cherry Mt Range with two of the trails located off of Route 115. The other trail is located off of Cherry Mt Road which is open for part of the way. It connects Route 115 and Route 302 but a portion of it is closed during winter. Turning onto Cherry Mt Road and I make my way towards the trailhead. The road is plowed at the lower end wide enough for two cars to pass. Further up it narrows down to one lane and passing Mill Brook Road I slowly drive up looking for a place to park when it dawns on me that I am on the closed section only open to snowmobile traffic. I back down the road and park at the intersection with Mill Brook Road ready to go at 7:15.
It is a two mile trek up the packed down road due to the snowmobiles and I'd like to say more about it but it only took fifty minutes to do the two miles to the trailhead. Nothing to see along the way but a few seasonal camps along the way.
A quick duck into the woods for some personal business which was quite the chore with the four feet of snow. Hopefully no one follows those tracks! Just as I was expecting this end of Cherry Mt Trail is all broken out by snowmobilers and the ascent is easy. It is a very gray day and the chance for any views look dim. Through the trees I can see the ridge and Mt Martha and if the trail is broken out a trip over to Owls Head (yes there is more than one in NH). Off the top of my head I know of at least four spots named Owls Head.
Just under an hour and I reach the intersection where the Cherry Mt Trail continues down to Route 115 and the summit spur continues straight. It is here that I come across the first people of the day as I can hear snowmobilers coming up the trail behind me. I wait for them to arrive and pass me before continuing up the steep spur trail arriving at the clouded in summit a few minutes later.
To the left would be the view towards Mt Washington but today this is all I get.
Heading over to a western view point and not much to see there either other than Route 155 down below.
Checking out Martha's Mile which leads over to Owls Head and I decide not to head over as the trail is faintly visible. Looks like no one has been over there in some time and trying to follow a faint track for a mile just does not seem enticing today. Besides I have to return to complete the other trails so all is not lost.
Reluctantly I head back down and it is a quick trip down meeting no hikers all day. A total of 18 snowmobilers the whole day and one of the fastest 11 mile hikes I have ever done. On the return there is a sharp left hand turn below the summit and where I thought an old abandoned trail was that came up from the Route 302 side was located there. Upon further research I discovered it was lower down just a little ways. Something for the future when I finish my redlining, abandoned trails!
Final numbers: 11 miles, 4 hours and 35 minutes.
Redline Miles: 3.8, Total to Date: 729.7