Mossy Glenn – Rambling in Randolph, NH











We were just looking for a small easy hike, away from Columbus Day weekend popular trails full of people.  The trails around Mossy Glenn, Randolph, NH were just perfect, beautiful, easy, and away from the crowds.  The hardest part of this hike was finding the proper starting part on Durand Road.

Once on Durand Road, go only about .5 miles to one of the trail heads, it is before the Mossy Glen Way sign and before the Library.  We went past it, only to turn around and find where we wanted to enter. We parked on the side of the road, hopped out and began the little meandering.


We follow the faint path through a person’s orchard.


Spotting the “path” sign, we knew we were in the right place, turning around to see the sugar frosted mountains rising behind us.


The mountains of Adams and Madison were sugar coated with a nice little layer of snow and rime.


The signage on the trail was outstanding.  There were signs everywhere indicating the network of trails. We should have continued on the Bee Line trail, but instead went to Mossy Glen first.


We decided to go this way first, instead of the Bee Line.


The trail itself was soft underfoot, narrow and decorated with many wet fall leaves.  A little further we crossed the Nepalese inspired bridge.






On the bridge, Mike’s battery camera died and when he went to replace it, the spare sd card fell to demise under the bridge.  Mike did spend some time looking for it, but could not find it.



The views in this area were simply beautiful.



We followed this sign next, which did cause us to double back and go over the bridge again.


We crossed back over the stream, which is used for drinking water and a sign request you keep the water pure (so no swimming).


The little path leading back the bridge was lovely and offered more photographic moments.




After crossing the bridge we went this way, towards Burnbrae and Beeline.


Again another sweet path, just ramble on.


We crossed the Peeko Folsom Memorial Bridge. On the other side of the bridge was a memorial bench where I found Mike posing.



I scurried down to the banks of the little stream to snap a few photos.




The next sign pointing us where to go appeared. We went towards the Ravine House Site.


Along the way a rock with fern hair materialized and added to our enjoyment.


Then we followed this sign to exit the trail near the library.




As we tramped along, we came to unexpected surprise, an amphitheater in the words.  Mike scurried down while I waited at the top, goofing off.



The trial ended with these trees marking our exit.


We exited the trail, by some summer homes and came out here on Mossy Glen Dr. Private Way.


The views were majestic looking at the mountains.




It was just a short road walk back to our car.

The Details:  Maybe 1.5 miles, 40 minutes of just wandering the Mossy Glen area.  No strenuous elevation gain. Just a beautiful day to be out in the woods.


Iron Mountain, New Hampshire

View from the trail of Iron Mountain

Monday was a hot, hazy and humid hiking day with barely a breeze.  We thought a short little hike wouldn’t that require much effort would be perfect for weather conditions like these.  We were wrong, any hike in this type of weather requires an effort.

Our decision was made to hike Iron Mountain in Jackson NH.  We had attempted this mountain, one fall, but when we drove up to the trail head there were no views, all socked in.  As this is on the 52 With a VIew List we knew we wanted to wait till we had a chance to see the mountains that surround this one.

After parking below Hayes Farm, we started up the grassy hill.

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I just kept thinking, as we walked this grassy bit, I would be happy here with just a bench, the views were so spectacular, even on a hazy day.


We entered the woods by the sign.


Into the woods we ambled for a short distance, then out on another grassy field and returned to the woods.  At around .3 miles we began the climb up.  Parts of this trail are eroded and I wouldn’t hike it right after we have a major rain storm.


Due to the absence of a cooling breeze and humidity increasing, we didn’t snap a great amount of photos, we just wanted to keep going.

We did encounter one rock slab and coming up to it I thought, this might be long and arduous, however in true White Mountain style, nothing is as it appears to be.  It was minor and easy.


After this little section, we were treated to an outlook, about 20 yards off to the right.  It granted us a fine view of the Presidentials.

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In .3 miles from this view you summit Iron Mountain, where an old fire tower used to stand.  This is a no view mountain.

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After briefly checking out the ruins, we scurried on the path to find the south cliffs, where the views were to found.  The only sign denoting the path was this piece of wood.  At this point, cairns helped to guide our way.


It was a descent to the cliffs with one steep section.


Follow the cairns


Around 1.5 miles the trails splits if you go to the left you are heading towards the mine.  We met a man coming up from that area.  He said he searched for the mine but couldn’t find it, so he abandoned his quest.  We veered right to the cliffs.  The views that awaited us were justified to be on 52 With a View List.






If wasn’t so darn hot, I think we would have easily spent an hour or two exploring all over the rock slab, just enjoying the views. We quickly retreated back to the woods, out of the blazing sun.


We quickly made it back to our car from the cliffs (only about 60 minutes).  We briefly stopped twice on the descent. Once to chat with a man and his daughter who were going to try to find the cliffs (it was the man’s third attempt to reach them, signage is poor) and one more time to snap photos from the field.



After the hike we drove the short distance to The Sunrise Shack in Glen for a burger, salad and a brew.  I would highly recommend this place for an after hike food stop.


It was a great little hike, one I would repeat in cooler weather and in the fall to see the colors displayed.

The Details:  Around 3 miles, elevation gain of 1100 feet, 3 hours.

Iron mtn

A Simple River Stroll – Sam Willey and Saco River Trail

It was a cloudy, drizzly morning, not a day for epic hikes or admiring soaring epic peaks, but a day for a nice meander in the woods by the river.  We decided to stroll along the Sam Willey and Saco River Trail. 


We parked across from the Willey House in Crawford Notch. The clouds had descended and our views of the imposing cliffs were limited. We strolled across the bridge, turned right to head out on the Sam Willey Trail.


As we followed the path, we had a peek out to the river and very limited views.

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A little ways in the trail splits and we went right to admire the limited views. We then caught up with the trail shortly.


We then caught the Saco River Trail at .5 miles. 


We followed along going up and down until we reached the other entrance to the Saco River Trail.  Along the way we encountered some pretty sights of the forest.  

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At .7 miles from the Saco River Trail, we reached the junction of the Webster Cliff Trail.


We trekked until the mosquitoes decided we were a good snack, turning back at the brook that was running at a good speed. 


As the rain came down, we stopped quickly to take a few photos on our way out, admiring how the clouds played with the mountains and cliffs.

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Overall we hiked about 3.3 miles, with rain falling, clouds playing hide and seek with the views for about 1.5 hours. 

Cherry Pond – April 16, 2015

Pano of  Cherry Pond and Presidentials
Pano of Cherry Pond and Presidentials

We made our pilgrimage out to Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge and Cherry Pond today.   This is the start of hiking season for us and we like to begin with this one.  A great warm up hike  with amazing views of peaks we hope to summit this season, a great motivator for our summer hikes in the White Mountains.

The first 1/8 mile was ice-covered on the rail trail, the snowmobiles had really packed it down this year. After that the trail was damp, muddy in spots and some areas were dotted with mushy snow.

sliding along the trail

The best part of the trail it is so not technical you can actually stare up at the blue sky or notice the crazy ice formations on the side, without having to be focused on foot placement.


I always get excited when we come across this trail sign.  I just adore the Cohos Trail, because it truly is the trail less traveled.

Cohos Trail
Cohos Trail

We hit the railbed, followed it for a bit and this time just sat down, admiring the view, the warmth of the sun and the rat a tat tat of the woodpeckers.


Closeup of Mt. Washington
Closeup of Mt. Washington

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After admiring the view, we headed over the viewing platform.  We took the shore trail over to the platform.  I was excited to see the little bench had been put back.  In October, when we last walked here the bench was gone and I was very sad to think someone might have taken it.


The walk through this section was spring muddy and I can see it getting muddier over the next few weeks.  On the way over to the platform, I noticed dried mullins and decided to call them “New England Cacti”.

Ann's New England Cactus
Ann’s New England Cactus


After a brief snack, we headed back to the car. Along the way we meet two birders and were “interviewed” for an upcoming birding radio show in New Hampshire.  Sadly we didn’t have much to offer, as we didn’t see any birds that stood out to us.  Oh well, adds to the adventure.

On the way back, Mike captured a few more photos of the stunning mountains.

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We spent about 2 hours out in the Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge area. The weather was perfect, little wind, no bugs and clear skies.  I hope this is a great start to amazing hiking season.

I alway

Mini Hike Day – June 24, 2014

Sabbaday Falls
Sabbaday Falls

On our last trip to the White Mountains in May, we stopped by the Mountain Wanderer Book Store and picked up Steve’s book Ponds and Lakes of the White Mountains, which inspired today’s mini hikes.  We were looking for a few mini hikes to loosen up our legs after yesterday’s trek to Zeacliff.  Added bonus, a few red lines completed and views with water.

We came over Bear Notch Road and turned east on the Kancamagus Highway.  Our first stop was the Rocky Gorge Scenic Area, the Lovequist Loop.



We went on the paved walkway to the bridge. Before the bridge we had to play on the rocks.


We learned that no swimming is allowed.


The bridge offered nice views of the gorge.



After the bridge, we followed the Lovequist Loop.  We first stopped at the Falls Pond and watched two men fish.

Falls Pond
Falls Pond

The trail was pleasant, a bit rooty, a few small ups and downs, with soft footing underneath.





This was a simple one mile loop that offered a great warm down hike in a lovely forest.

We backtracked on the Kanc. and headed off to Russell-Colbath House for a Rail and River Trail loop hike of .6 miles.  We stopped to read the informational signs, where I loudly proclaimed “Thomas you are an ass” about one of the inhabitants of this house.  Enlarge the photo and see why I made that proclamation.


After that we started on the trail.



This was a very level trail with great informative signs along the way.




We learned a lot from the signs about the logging industry.






We stopped to admire the Swift River, but it was being contrary and nothing Swift was about it.

Swift River
Swift River

We had the added bonus of spying a hawk.



After we completed the short loop we walked around the historic site.  Sadly it was closed and the gardens were unkept.



Our next stop was unplanned, but it was the best stop yet, Sabbaday Falls.  This is part of the Sabbady Brook Trail system, but we just went .3 miles to the falls.  If you are looking at falls to view, this one is stunning, even with the manmade staircases.


The path was wide paralleling Sabbaday Brook and a bit uphill, but worth the effort.




First we came to a little pool,created by the falls, right before the stairs.



After this viewing spot we climbed the stairs.


The views along the stairs were stunning, though trying to get that winning shot was difficult with the railing.







After admiring the falls for a while, we headed out, totally in awe on what a great little spot this was.

Our next stop was Lily Pond, a roadside pond off of the Kanc.



And there were even water lilies starting to bloom.



The views from the pond were simply lovely and a great way to end our mini hike day.



Our mini hiking adventure was fun and certainly a great time for families looking for small hikes.





Zeacliff – June 23, 2014

Pano from Zeacliff
Pano from Zeacliff

We have a bonus day in the Whites, where to go, what to see? We’ve been itching to see the views from Zeacliff (and itch we will on top of Zeacliff)for a while now.  Today seemed like a prime day for this hike.

We parked at Zealand and hit the trail, knowing the first 2.8 miles would  be an easy jaunt in the woods.


The path was level with a few small inclines and some parts were downright flat.





The views opened up for a bit at the old beaver area.




Beaver Lodge
Beaver Lodge

The U.S. Forest Service has installed some new bridges to go over the beaver damage.




We were .5 mile from the hut and hit another section with views.





As we neared the .2 mile marker, we could hear Zealand Falls and we caught a glimpse of it.

Zealand Falls


Right before the hut the trail becomes steep.

right before the hut
right before the hut

We walked up the steps and emerged at the hut. We arrived at the hut an hour and 20 minutes after we started.

steps before hut
steps before hut


View across from hut
View across from hut
Zealand Hut
Zealand Hut

After seeing the hut and drooling over the chocolate ginger cake ($1 a slice), we went over to see the falls, before heading onto Zeacliff.




View from the falls
View from the falls
Pano of the falls
Pano of the falls

After we cooled off at the falls, we continued our trek to Zeacliff.  This was an uphill excursion.





We finally arrive after an hour and 10 minutes to this sign, bear left to the view.

I get giddy when I see the AT symbol
I get giddy when I see the AT symbol

When the view opened up, I teared up.  The panoramic vista was awe-inspiring.  For me,  this view was right up there with the Grand Canyon and the lookout on the first 2 miles of the Kalalau Trail.








Mount Washington shined bright in all her glory.

Close up of Mt. Washington
Close up of Mt. Washington

We spent about 30 minutes up here, dodging mosquitoes, black flies, taking pictures and trying to eat a sandwich.  The views were so spectacular that we wished we hadn’t been attacked by the swarms of bugs, so we could have spent more time soaking in the views.



We headed down, rock hopping streams, stopping to cool off at a stream or two and leaping rock to rock along the way.

Cooling off
Cooling off

After the hut, we stopped at the official view to the falls and snapped a few pictures, while battling the bugs.




After finishing the last steep section, it was smooth sailing back to the car.

Last steep section to go and look I'm smiling.
Last steep section to go and look I’m smiling.
nice that most of the 2.8 miles back to the car is level.
nice that most of the 2.8 miles back to the car is level.

This was a perfect hike for a bluebird day.  We did 7.8 miles in 5 hours 30 minutes, including hanging out time at the hut, falls and Zeacliff.  I would easily repeat this hike again.


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