June 26, 2016.
A short local hike on a triple H (not the wrestler) day to a spot I have not hiked yet, Bald Mt in Antrim. I have not seen Jennifer since Ralph's passing and she wanted to do a hike so this fit the bill of her criteria.
Arriving at the trailhead after 9:00 and the temperature was already climbing this early in the morning. The parking lot doubles for the trails and the pond that we would be hiking next to. Heading up the road towards Willard Pond and the first trail, Tudor Trail, is on the left and heads into the woods. Approaching the shore and the first view of the pond where a couple of people are enjoying the cool water while swimming.
At first the trail is just a woodsy walk next to the pond but soon reaches a jumble of boulders that the trail winds through. The glaciers must have knocked this small mountain down back in the day.
Along the shore we notice the local residents also enjoying a swim.
About midway up the pond and a great idyllic spot under a large oak tree complete with a bench to enjoy the peacefulness of Willard Pond.
The trail pulls away from the pond and through some more broken off pieces of the mountain. Reaching the far end of the pond and this giant is right next to the trail.
A short side path leads to the northern shore and views down the length of the pond. At the far end is Skatutakee Mt a peak I did back in 2014 while recuperating from my gall bladder removal during my AT attempt. A roped off section is located here for the hatching loons to keep the boaters away.
Reaching the point and it is a beautiful spot with some big white pines and a soft carpet of pine needles. Across the way is our destination which we have to backtrack to get to the trail, Bald Mt Trail.
A small beach is off to the right and two loons are enjoying their morning. Returning back to the trail and turning right when we reach the junction and the climb begins immediately. It is not overly steep but the heat and humidity have their affect on me.
Shortly the trail turns to climb along the contour and soon breaks out onto the first ledge with a view back down to Willard Pond. Behind Goodhue Hill is Crotched Mt another mountain I hiked during the recuperating period.
My go to hikes are also visible, North Pack and Pack. All the way to the left and Kearsarge is just visible over a shoulder of Tuttle Hill
Above the ledge the trail goes through a nice open area of woods and I wonder what caused this to be like it is. Ahead is a huge section of ledge that has cracked 90° and slid away from its other half a good two feet. It is impressive and deep as Jennifer is almost swallowed up by it.
A few more minutes and we reach the next ledge where the Tamposi Trail joins Bald Mt Trail for a loop over the summit. Wild blueberries are present and some are ripe but they are so tiny this year with the lack of rain and have very little taste. To the south is the first view of Monadnock.
Back into the woods and a short jaunt to the wooded summit of Bald Mt which is marked by a rock cairn on an exposed slab of granite. A flat little walk along the top and then the trail turns and begins a somewhat steep descent.
Down past a junction where a trail leads out to the southern knob of Bald Mt and we opt not to do the out and back. There are no views and frankly I had had enough of the heat and humidity. Through a ferny section and then the junction where Tamposi Trail splits to do the loop up to the last set of ledges. Heading down Tamposi Trail and an unexpected little scramble through a tight squeeze but unfortunately I didn't get any pictures as we ran into a crowd at this section of trail. Just beyond and a jumble of very large boulders that together created a small cave you could go through.
A quick ten minutes down the trail and we are back at the parking lot and cranking up the AC for some relief. A fun but draining hike and maybe a return on a nice fall day to explore some other trails in the area.
Final numbers: 3.5 miles, 2 hours and 50 minutes.
Redline Miles: 0, Total to Date: 1131.3