Hiking Wild in the Whites

Stark NH
Happy Hikers at the Trail Head

The first mile is on a snowmobile trail
    So this week my family went exploring up in Stark NH near the Nash Stream State Forest where the AMC has been a part of some significant conservation efforts.  We hiked a trail which is part of the Cohos Trail, a trail which travels the length of Coos County for 162 miles.   The Cohos Trail is blazed with yellow blazes and has markings along the trail made out of wood, a double peak with the initials, CT, painted over it.  You can see an example on the sign to the right.  Locally it is called the Bald Mt. Notch Trail.  We did a loop including this trail and some connector trails, making a 4.5 mile circuit around Bald Mt.  Got out of the car and found ourselves in a cloud of mosquitoes!  We were very happy to hike uphill out of wetter ground and into a higher terrain forest!  Around the Mountain though it was, it was a significant uphill.  Wide trail and good footing.  Nothing particularly exceptional about the trail other than it was "wild" and on the fringes of where everyone else  goes!  If that appeals to you, grab the AMC Map #6 for the Mahoosucs and the North Country and go see what you can find!  The area is covered extensively in the White Mountain Guide as well.  Of particular interest are the nearby Percy Peaks which are phenomenal mountain tops and outrageous views!!!  (Blueberries too later in the season!)  We finished our adventure with a road walk past a very picturesque Christine Lake and through the small settlement of Stark.  Before long a nice gentleman in a pickup picked us up and we were back in our car before we knew it.
       Later in the week I took a solo hike up to Kilburn Crag out of Littleton.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera but it's only .7 m long so you just have to go see it for yourself!!!  A trail maintained by the Littleton Conservation Commission, it ascends a low ridge with an outrageously good view of the town of Littleton, the Ammonoosuc River and the ENTIRE White Mountain chain from the Carters over to Cannon!!!  I'd never seen that aspect in quite such an expansive manner!  The LCC provides little benches along the way and a picnic table at the outlook.  There were blueberry buds here too and unfortunately lots of mosquitoes!  Wherever you go right now, be prepared for those bugs!  The AMC does not have Kilburn Crag pictured on its maps but it is written up in the White Mountain Guide and you can find a nice little map along with other Littleton Conservation Commission trails online. 
       Snow is still in Tux and the determined are still skiing!  For the most part they are down to part of Left Gully.  The Headwall Area of the Ravine is still closed for the foreseeable future so to access the summit of Mount Washington you will want to take the Lion Head Summer Route instead.  Trails are clear for the most part.  If you want to be extra safe, still pack your Microspikes, however most people are coming back and reporting that they've been able to negotiate around everything
they come across. 
The last General Advisory of the season is printed at Mount Washington Avalanche Center.  Be sure to check it and the weather posted at the Mount Washington Observatory before you come!
     Mount Washington Auto Road, the Cog Railway, and the Mount Washington State Park are all open on the summit of Mount Washington.  If you want some good base camping, be sure to look into either the Joe Dodge Lodge or the Highland Center and we'll set you up with some fun in the woods!  You should check into AMC's Alpine Flower tours which are right around the corner!!!  Just make sure you bring your favorite bug protection!  The mosquitoes, black flies, and all things flying and biting are out!!!

The greatest surprise of our Bald Mtn Notch Hike was walking out Christine Lake Road at the end and finding this waterfall which went directly under the road and another 200 feet further down the mountain!  Pretty spectacular!

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 amcpinkhaminfo@outdoors.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  

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