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Pawtuckaway North Mountain via Boulder Field 2021

It was a beautiful fall day, exceptionally warm for 22 October and I started the hike overdressed for the weather and had to shed layers after a short time.

I was pleasantly greeted by two nice ladies on horses on round pond road as I exited my jeep to start the day in the woods.

I had parked between trees near the trail that goes down to the glacial boulder field and started my hike in that direction.

As usual in NH state parks, the trail is well marked and I proceeded along through the boulder field and then thru the woods heading towards a small pond that is just past a relatively sheer high rock face on the left of the trail, there was a gentleman coaching another individual in climbing techniques as I passed by headed towards a steep rock scramble.

I was greeted by a small and quite curious squirrel, who seemed interested in the noise from my camera as I took pictures of him.

As I headed up away from the pond, where it was necessary to use handholds on the many tree roots to climb up the rock as the fall leaves made the rock quite slippery. The trail then proceeded thru the woods slowly gaining altitude and then there is a short reprieve from steep elevation gain thru a series of switchbacks and then you proceed thru a relatively flat section until the last short scramble up to where the historic microwave reflector used to be. All that remains of the communications relic are the concrete support pillars.

There is a narrow view point to the left of the trail from the pillars, if you proceed past them to the rock ledge outcrop the view in that direction is much better.

At that same location you are able to see the fire tower on one of the other peaks on the other side of the caldera.

I made the return trip back the same trail as it was clouding up and did not want to get caught in any rain doing either of the other trails that leave the summit that return back to the dirt roads that run around the inside of the caldera. Had I taken either of those trails I would have had a road walk to return back to my jeep.

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Catamount Hill – Bear Brook – 2021 NH State Parks System

I found this trail very well maintained, kudos to the park service. This is the first trail I have been on in a long time that was free and clean from “people trash” .

It starts out just before the state park entry booth (which is not manned this time of year) and heads out along fire road/snowmobile trails for a while until you reach the trail junction for Catamount Hill Trail. There are benches along the way to the viewpoints for those that need to rest although there are rock outcroppings everywhere that work just as well, the first view point (single bench) is narrow but open and you have to go out on a few boulders to get a decent view. The second viewpoint (there are two benches at that location). The view is mostly blocked by what appears to be fairly new forest growth and would be quite spectacular if the trees were not there. I was somewhat disappointed and continued onward towards the actual summit of the hill, which is totally obscured by trees in all directions, and continued along the trail until the elevation started to drop to see if there were any other ledge outcroppings with any view, of which there were not. The highlight of this hike was the very well made and quite tall Cairn to the immediate left of the trail.

A cairn is a man-made pile (or stack) of stones. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn [ˈkʰaːrˠn̪ˠ] (plural càirn [ˈkʰaːrˠɲ]). Cairns have been and are used for a broad variety of purposes, from prehistoric times to the present.

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Mine Hill, Devils Den, Auburn NH: Third Excursion – 2021

The third try is the charm, with grandkids and my son, and a bit of new information, we scoured the western slope of Mine Hill in Auburn NH and finally identified a deep depression in the ground in the area where the new location information had pointed to.

This spot was significantly father down from the top of the hill where previous information had proved to reveal nothing of interest. The depression was about 10-12 feet deep and somewhat circular about 15 feet across on the side of the hill, the bottom was covered in a thick layer of organic matter, leaves and sticks. on the upward hill side of the depression it was easy to tell that the opening had in fact been filled in with back fill and rocks.

The material on the upward slope side of the depression did not look like it was there naturally and the ruts from heavy equipment father up and west on the slope added information that material had been brought in from elsewhere to close the mines Adit to prevent access to the tunnel.

The grandchildren worked on some of the stones in the backfilled area to collect some interesting samples. It was possible to poke a stick between the rocks in quite far in several places indicating that the finer material between the larger rocks is slowly eroding away, but not into the depression area, possibly inward and downward into the mine tunnel.

[photonic type=’smugmug’ view=’album’ album=’bRXnSq’ nick_name=’nh-hike’ layout=’square’]

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Clay Pond – Hooksett NH

is in Hooksett NH. It is part of the Manchester Water Works properties and part of the upstream watershed that feeds Lake water supply for the Manchester Area.

Access to this area is via unmaintained rocky and muddy dirt road that is accessible with high clearance vehicles (Jeep).

The actual trail head, or fire road access gate, has barely room for one vehicle not blocking the gate, the trail walk to the clearing at the waters edge is short and is only a few min walk. The space is littered with beer cans, broken glass bottles, and plastic casings from shotgun shells, and there was a makeshift fire pit in the center that looked like it had been used recently.

Note that use of or firing of firearms is prohibited on most all waterworks properties because of the contamination potential of lead in the drinking water and protected wildlife habitat areas, lead fishing weights are also prohibited.

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Rocky Point @Lake Massebesic

I went down the rocky point fire road today to see what rocky point was all about. It was not what I expected, although there were several places at my destination where you could get to the water, it was not any more or less rocky than any other shoreline on . The actual “rocky point” where the rocks extend out into the lake just under the surface as shown in the satellite image in the gallery below was not directly accessible from the fire road without doing a bushwack through mud and muck and I chose to not do that and it is located a short bit east-southeast from the open area where I stopped. It is possible that its name comes from the large rocks out in the water, several of which were visible from shore, that can cause Navigation and impact issues for boats. Only one spot where you would have enough room to cast a fishing line at the described open area, unsure if its a good spot or not, it is fairly close to the deep part of the lake but looked really shallow going out from the shore. Lots of poison ivy along the trail to be aware of, and one swampy area along the way with a few annoying bugs, but overall not a bad walk. There is a large tree across the trail about halfway to the point/shoreline area to be aware of.

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Little Massebesic early spring/mud season hike

March 3rd, 2020 – it was actually 61° today. I went on a short hike to Little lake to see if the ice was breaking up enough yet to be able to go fishing. There appears to be still several inches thick ice around the perimeter of the lake with some open water showing in the middle. Lots of new plant growth and buds coming out on the trees. Definitely the start of mud season for regular trails, the fire roads seem to be drying out much better, however. The woodpeckers have been hard at work as there are many freshly made holes.

[photonic type=’smugmug’ view=’album’ album=’FHqQL3′ nick_name=’nh-hike’ layout=’square’]

 

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Heads Pond -Hooksett NH – Great Blue Heron 09212019

-Hooksett NH – Great Blue Heron 09212019

After having driven by this location, probably thousands of times in the last 40 years, I finally decided to pull into the parking area at the trail head. Although its not really a “trail head” per se as it is just an access point on what was a rail bed for the Portsmouth & Concord railroad that has been converted to a very flat gravel trail that would be great for biking. The rail trail is flat enough and smooth and would would be fine for wheelchair travel although the short down hill approach from the parking area is a bit rough and made up of larger stone gravel and may not be easy to get back up. The trail goes past Browns Brook and then Lakens Pond and then to . There are woodsy side trails off the main rail trail that follow along the shoreline with many great spots for fishing. The rail trail is also an easy haul if you have a kayak with a two wheel transport accessory and there are a couple of easy spots where you can launch right off the trail.

 

To download or view the NH Fish & Game map for this area Click Here

and the USGS topo Click Here