January 3, 2015.
Picking up where I left off the other day and it's right back up in the Hanover area. Little later than I wanted to get there as I had to take a lot of back roads to get to the parking spot along 3 Mile Road. From here I'll be able to hike south on Hanover Center Trail to get the remaining miles and then back to 3 Mile Road. Across the street is the beginning of Moose Mt Trail and depending on how I feel either do the whole section or stop at North Moose.
Parking is located north of the trails and I make my way up the road before eight. The trails are still in relatively good condition as far as moving along at a good clip. Very little snow and a hard crust with no sinking. I have five miles total to do as an out and back to Hanover Center Road.
It is easy hiking through these woods and reaching an open field there are a few views as I head down it.
Mt Ascutney is the nearest peak and off in the distance is Stratton Mt, both peaks in Vermont.
The trail dips back into the woods and just a little over an hour I have reached Hanover Center Road just above the cemetery from the other day.
It takes about the same time on the return trip back up to 3 Mile Road and across the street is the southern end of Moose Mt Trail. The trail leads down an embankment and a partially broken bridge spans Mink Brook.
Up out of the shallow ravine and the trail crosses a trail that only points in one direction to the left. It's a tee junction but nothing about the right trail. To the left is Fred Harris Trail and the AT continues straight ahead. Heading across and the trail is never all that steep as it makes its way up to the South Peak of Moose Mt.
In another hour from starting this trail and I have made it to South Peak.
Its a cloudy day but there are a few views up here to the east and south. Across the way is Cardigan and Mt Shaw in the Ossipees.
Towards the south are Kearsarge and Sunapee.
And then the camera acts up. The other day when I did Velvet Rocks and took the first picture of the day it said low battery and would not fire up. I had just charged the battery the night before like I always do and it threw me for a loop. I did have a back up camera but really prefer this one. So this time I was prepared with extra batteries. It powered down giving me the same message and when I swapped batteries I got the same message while inputting the date and time (another recent issue when I change batteries). Seems the internal battery is not keeping the date and time in between swaps. Back to the back up camera for the rest of the day.
Heading over towards North Peak I pass a side trail, Nat Thompson Trail. I'll probably end up taking that on the way down. Not far off the summit and the fun begins. We had a major storm on Thanksgiving and it was heavy wet snow with some major accumulation. On this side of South Peak it really made itself visible with some damage. There also has not been any recent traffic on this side in a while. Which might explain why the north approach to South Mt was pretty clean.
First it started out as annoying broken branches littering the trail. Not much of a big trail just have to walk around them. Down in the col between the two peaks and the trail crosses the historic Old Wolfeboro Road. The best I could find on this historic reference is in a book, Dartmouth Out O' Doors by Fred Henry Harris published in 1913. "the old Wolfeboro road or College road, which was laid out in 1761 by King George's governor, John Wentworth, to serve as a connection between Hanover and the outside world". It fell upon neglect during the Revolutionary War and as he states back in 1913 the Wolfeboro Road is now used as a direct path to back woods. And that concludes today's history lesson.
For a few fleeting moments I stepped foot on a piece of history over 250 years old. And from this vantage point, as seen in the right hand picture above, still looks in pretty good shape. Less than ten minutes up the trail is the loop spur for Moose Mt Shelter.
This is one of the few shelters I have come across that has a view and the first that has a privy with no walls. There will be no modesty in these woods.
Hooking back up with Moose Mt Trail and as the trail starts to ascend it gets considerably worse with the snapped trees. I lose the trail a few times trying to circumvent the mess. It's pretty nasty up through here as everything grabs at my poles, my hat and pack. The feet get snagged on the debris and finally I make it to the high point on this side of North Moose. Turns out it is not "the" high point but it is enough for today.
Returning the way I came and at the junction with Old Wolfeboro Road I spot this small wooden sign on a tree.
While searching for the "historic" story behind the road and I came across the meaning of "WHT". It apparently stands for Wolfeboro Hanover Trail which this road at one time connected these two towns. Up the trail and at the junction with Nat Thompson Trail I turn right and head down. It takes thirty-five minutes to complete and at the bottom is the DOC Class of '66 Lodge. A huge log cabin in the woods.
The trail continues past the lodge and not far down is a four way junction. I wasn't sure which trail led which as I have no map. I stay straight and there has not been any traffic on here at all. It is a wide woods road and leads into a marshy area. On the other side leads toward an opening and, oh crap, a house. Not any ordinary house as I wasn't sure at the time what it was until I got closer and saw people inside. I stay to the far right of the property and head up the driveway to the road.
I end up on 3 Mile Road just above where I parked and back at the lot I stop and look at the map I had in the car trying to figure out if I am all done. Not feeling comfortable I head up the trail that leads form the parking area just to make sure I got every trail. I forgot to look at my spreadsheet to see what trails are included for this spot. I head up the trail and it eventually ends up on the trail just below the lodge spur. Heading up to the four way junction and then back past the trail from the parking area as this is the connecting trail to the AT. Turns out this small section is the Fred Harris Trail in my spreadsheet. The trail I took coming from the lodge to the house was the old Fred Harris Cabin access trail and I should have taken a left in the marsh to avoid the house. The trail I took from the parking area is the new Fred Harris Cabin access trail. Too many Fred Harris trails! Had me confused for a while looking through the guide book and online maps but I finally was convinced that I did everything I needed and more.
Final numbers: 14.3 miles, 7 hours and 0 minutes.
Redline Miles: 8.1, Total to Date: 678.8