October 27, 2015.
Not wanting to head home with just seven miles under my belt for six hours of total driving I bounced around some different ideas. Sugarloaf Mt is just up the road from the Percy's but I wasn't sure if the legs would like more elevation gain after the Percy's. Then their were the trails on the other side of the Percy's but mileage and again elevation nixed that thought. So while heading home and I then remembered passing by Weeks State Park on the way up which is home to Mt Prospect. The only problem was there are no maps of the trails in the White Mt Guide so I'd have to wing the trails and hope I get them all. So reaching the crest of the road on Route 3 just south of Lancaster I pull off into the parking lot just beyond the Mt Prospect Ski Tow.
Being late in the afternoon the parking lot has just a few cars as I head across Route 3 to the entrance to Weeks State Park. A stop at the information board provides a detailed map which helps in getting all the trails in one trip. First up is a trip up the Auto Road and some contemplation on how to get all the trails efficiently. At the first junction is Davidge Path which leaves the road on the right side.
The trail leads down through some pretty open woods. Halfway down and I come across a double burled tree. A quick five minutes and I reach Around the Mountain Trail and take a left onto it.
Following an old woods road for a bit it then enters an area where I have never seen so many burled trees. One tree after another, some with several and even some in the branches.
The trail meanders around Mt Prospect rolling up and down making me rethink Sugarloaf might have been the better option. The time does go by quickly though as soon I reach the beginning of a maple sugar sap operation where the sap lines are on both sides of the trail and the trunk lines crossing above the trail.
Where the trail turns left there are a few remnants of days gone by where some foundations are just barely visible. Not far up and the intersection with the Old Carriage Path and I head down to the right first. This leads down to Reed Rd and only takes ten minutes to reach.
At the road it is turnaround time as I make my way back up and then past the Around the Mountain Trail. Making it to the other end of the path and I am back on the Auto Road but this time just below the summit.
Heading up to the summit and the first view of the stone tower. Up around the corner and the house and carriage house are now visible.
This use to the estate of John Weeks. He was the proponent for the Weeks Act which lead to our National Forests system. In 1941 his children gave the whole area to the State of NH. Unfortunately the tower and buildings are closed for the season so I settle for the shots from the grounds. The Northern Presi's, Madison, Adams, Jefferson and Washington can be seen from the top of the road. Owl's Head and Mt Martha are just to the right.
Turning further right are Garfield and Lafayette. Next to them are Cannon, South Kinsman, North Kinsman and Moosilauke.
Back down the Auto Road to get the piece between the Old Carriage Path and Davidge Path. Passing a viewpoint and Terrace, Weeks and Starr King show their late fall colors. A slight turn to the left and Cabot with Terrace.
Reaching Davidge Path again and I head down it one more time to get the last piece of trail on this mountain. This time a right turn at the junction with the Around the Mountain Trail to get that section between here and the Old Carriage Path on the other side. Crossing the Auto Road and that is the last of the sun as it is setting off to my left.
The trail winds down to the parking area for the Mt Prospect Ski Tow and then swings back up to the right. Passing one of the trail registers and I open it to find a nest for either some mice or squirrels. Through a blowdown section and then a few more minutes to the Old Carriage Path where I turn around and head back to the parking lot off Route 3.
While the elevation was much less than doing Sugarloaf the mileage was much more but all in all it took less than three hours to complete all of Mt Prospect. So for a long drive I would say the day was a success for my redlining and there will be some more longer drives coming up.
Final numbers: 7.2 miles, 2 hours and 50 minutes.
Redline Miles: 5.5, Total to Date: 982.6