May 3, 2013.
Winn Mt, a short local hike just across the way from North Pack Monadnock, is a short 1686 feet high. Parking at the bottom of a driveway near a beaver pond and the weather is perfect for a Friday afternoon hike.
Up the gravel driveway and pass an old farm house that looks deserted and evidence of logging is quickly evident and confusing. The directions I found on the internet where as follows: immediately after house go left off gravel road, then first left, then next right (uphill). Within orchard, take first left. I'm sure back when this person wrote this it may have been accurate but today with all the logging activity going on not so accurate. As soon as you pass the aforementioned house the left they are talking about is no longer a left as there are three logging roads now. But me being me I follow the left road and after heading down towards Swartz Pond I just don't have a warm and fuzzy that this is the right left especially since I see no right as described. So back up the logging road and at the intersection I head straight up and take my chances on door number 2, Monty! Heading up this road and a short ten minutes later I reach the orchard to take the left. Well what once was an orchard is now just an empty field I'm assuming waiting for development.
Looking to the north and there is one of my next destinations later this afternoon, The Pinnacle in Lyndeborough.
This trail/road is relatively easy in regards to elevation and with no leaves yet makes for a great early May hike.
Twenty minutes from starting and another choice has come up, to go left or right?
Left it is and up the only real steep section of the day. Looking at the map I think it is just bypassing a hairpin turn up ahead but will come down the other way on the return. Quickly back on the road and it winds its way up towards the top. At the ridge line the first evidence of humans ruining this serene little mountain. Coming in from the right there is another trail and very evident use of four wheelers. The trail is more eroded through here due to them and very evident on some of the slab portions of the trail.
Climbing up one of the ledges and looking back I can see another of my later afternoon objectives, Rose Mt.
Just behind it looms Mt Kearsarge.
Less than forty minutes from starting out and I make it to the summit. It is a grand summit with 360° views and on a pretty clear blue sky day. The only issue is black fly city. They start swarming immediately more dive bombing than biting, a huge annoyance when trying to take pictures and they look like birds in the lens.
A look down at Swartz Pond and the beaver pond just behind to the left where I parked.
Boston's skyline is visible through the haze with John Hancock and Prudential Towers on the right side and the financial district on the left.
To the south all of the Wapack Range is in view, a 21.5 mile journey I hope to accomplish very soon.
Off in the distance between Rose Mt and Mt Kearsarge are some faintly looking peaks. I had to refer back to some North Pack pictures to finally identify them and surprisingly it is Franconia Ridge 90 some miles away! Lincoln and Lafayette are the big hump in the middle, the small triangle peak to the right is Liberty and the more pronounced triangle on the far right is Flume.
And of course the ever ominous Mt Monadnock and spread out Crotched Mt.
Twenty minutes of black fly infested picture taking later and it is time to head down. Returning the way I came except instead of taking the bypass trail I stay on the old road and sure enough it does meet up after the hairpin turn. While taking a shot at the sun I got a cool picture with some fantastic reflections because of some dust on the lens.
About halfway down and I can see a ledge outcropping off in the woods and decide to go check it out. Turns out that there aren't any views from here but there was quite a drop off and some pink quartz.
Back to the trail and just before the end on my right is the remnants of an old car spread out over twenty feet that I completely missed on the way up.
Across from the abandoned house and there are bunches of daffodils blossoming, a sure sign that spring is here.
About two hours of fun on this little mountain and now to head over to Mountain Road and the next adventure.
Final numbers: 3.5 miles, 1 hours and 55 minutes.