My younger son went biking with an AMC Teen Wilderness Adventures Trip last year and found he really enjoyed it. So although hiking is my passion, I put aside boots for pedals this past Sunday and went biking with him! We traveled the Presidential Rail Trail from Gorham to Pinkham B Road which was about 5 miles of easy biking one way. I actually thought I was out of shape until we turned around and found out that we'd been traveling uphill for the whole first half! We began at the Lead Mine Bridge on Route 16 north of Gorham but we would have been better served to park at the Trailside Parking slightly west of town on Rt. 2. We merged from our access route with the actual Rail Trail just south of that parking area and
|Towards the Presidentials|
shared the first half mile of trail with ATVs. ATVers are fine folk, but for me, it was nicer to get to the bike path-only section west of the trailside parking area. The difference was pretty dramatic. Even though we traveled behind houses for a little while, the smells and sounds of the woods were immediately evident and it was very very pleasant. We crossed under Rt. 2 in another mile or so and proceeded to travel out and around Gorham/Randolph Hill on the old Rail line. My son pointed out some technical features and side trails he'd been able to enjoy the year before with his AMC trip. We crossed the very scenic Moose Brook on well maintained bridges several times and took a nice break where the Town Line Brook entered Moose Brook. (There was a nice little water fall and we got into the very cold water to cool off!) Before we came out on Pinkham B Road we traveled through an open and very green wet land with frogs a-croaking and views of the greater mountains in all directions. Very very nice!!! Returning downhill was easy and phenomenally quick. What took us a couple of hours to bike up, took us next to no time to bike down. I highly recommend the route for biking! The trail
|Town Line Brook (I think)|
is not technical and is in good shape. We traveled on a variety of gravel, packed dirt with grass and packed sand. The trip was beautiful and wild and well worth the deviation from my normall!
Tuckerman Ravine is now OPEN!!! You can hike from bottom to top on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. There is no snow on the trail but there is still snow in the Ravine so we are not at full melt out. Skiers were there just yesterday! For you hikers, still be careful of
the snow fields if you are considering wandering from the beaten path!
|The Carter Moriah Range|
Seasonal hazards are still just a bit of mud (not too much) and the droves of black flies. Mosquitoes and no-see-ums are also rampant. Seasonal benefits are lots and lots of wild flowers which make just about any trip you undertake right now extra special!!!
The Presidential Rail Trail is only partially written up in the White Mountain Guide so that hikers can link the Randolph Hiking Paths. You can see the route however on several of the AMC maps. The section my son and I completed is almost completely on Map #1 The Presidential Range. The second section from Pinkham B Rd to Bowman is also on Map #1. The last section from Bowman to Pondicherry
Wildlife Refuge is on Map #2 Franconia Range. I expect we'll be doing those sections soon too!
You could use the Joe Dodge Lodge as a great base camp to explore the Presidential Rail Trail. From here you can also explore the more technical trails in Moose Brook State Park out of Gorham and the wonderful network of Great Glen Trails!!! And as always, please feel free to call us or email us here at Trail Information for more information! For any general questions, conditions information, or trail advice,
please feel free to contact us here at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
front desk. We are available by phone at (603) 466-2721 every day from
6:30 AM to 10:00 PM or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To make
reservations at AMC Lodges and Huts, please call (603)466-2727 available
Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm. Be sure to check weather conditions before you come and call us here with any questions! We'll see you up here!
Backcountry Information Specialist
Pinkham Notch Visitor's Center
Labels: Joe Dodge Lodge, New Hampshire, Pinkham Notch, Tuckerman Ravine, Waterfalls, White Mountains