November 5, 2016.
A short ride over from the Doubleheads to Iron Mt. The trail is located on Iron Mt Road with a small pullout before the last two farms on the road.
Across the dirt road is the start of Iron Mt Trail. The trail heads up an open field with a view of Iron Mt right ahead.
Across the field and then heading through a recently logged section before the trail soon heads up some very eroded sections.
A mostly easy climb as I reach a small view ledge where I get a look at the where I just came from, The Doubleheads. To the north are the Wildcats and Carter Dome where the cloud deck is just hovering above them.
The mild trail leads up to the summit of Iron Mt. At the summit are the remains of the old fire tower that once stood up here. Not sure when this was taken down but like most fire towers I would guess sometime in the 60's. A photo of when it was standing can be seen here.
Strewn all about the old site are pieces of the structure here and there with the old foundation footings and anchor holds still visible.
After spending a good ten minutes poking around the area it was time to move along down the trail for the next destination, the South Cliffs. Heading over to the cliffs is an easy trek down off of Iron Mt through different terrain. First through some nice woods then across some exposed ledges where the soil has been worn away from the boots of hikers.
Reaching the split only takes twenty minutes from the summit. To the right is the path to the cliffs and to the left leads to the mines. I go right and in a few short minutes reach the open cliffs with a view across the valley to North Moat and Big Attitash. The latter being one of the lingering mountains and trails I still have to do. With Bear Notch Road being closed during the winter it will have to wait until the road reopens and the snow has melted. Turning to my right and a view of Kearsarge North I have never seen with a dark cleft in the side of the mountain. The mysterious looking line is actually Whitten Brook and maybe a destination for the future.
Heading back to the junction and then down towards the mine area where the trail is a bit steep. But the good thing is it is only ten minutes down the trail before I come across one of the digging sites. It's a deep little pit and down below around the corner is a huge pile of tailings. Amazing that these piles are still exposed since it has been over 100 years since this area was mined.
Above the pile is a deep gorge like cleft where they must have followed a vein of iron ore back in the day.
The spur trail continues even further as I head down not knowing what to expect or where the "trail" ends. A few minutes down and I come across another pile of tailings and to the right is the reward for continuing down. There partially hidden is a mine entrance.
A peek inside reveals it extends in a short distance and around the corner. It's not tall enough, maybe 3-4 feet high, to venture in and besides the floor is a puddle of water.
Satisfied I have seen all this trail has to offer and that I have reached the end it is time to head back and beat the rain that has been threatening most of the afternoon. The trail supposedly use to continue down to Jericho Road but is no longer on the map but will definitely be back some day to do some exploring. A little over an hour and I am back on Iron Mt Road and just on cue the rain begins to sprinkle as I pack and leave. A good couple of little hikes on a so-so weather day.
Final numbers: 3.6 miles, 2 hours and 50 minutes.
Redline Miles: 1.8, Total to Date: 1255.0