Bald Mountain - Franconia, NH
Distance: 2.2 Miles
Elevation: 2037 ft
Yesterday (5/20/2012) my mother and I hiked up Bald Mountain. It was supposed to be the entire family, but my dad was sick and my little brother bailed. Lame. BUT! My mother and I had a lovely hike early in the morning.
The hike was not difficult. The trail was very nice and had a good balance of ups and downs. The very last sections of the trail, as your approaching the summit, is a little off-putting because you are climbing up rock…just rock. If either my mother or I had a fear of heights, neither of us would have made it up there. But, thankfully, neither of us do. So we persevered, with a little more “life coaching” from me and made it to the top!
The views were gorgeous. Similar to the views on Artists Bluff, but from a different angle. You get a better view of Franconia from this summit, while on Artists Bluff you get a really nice view of…the highway.
I got my first sunburn of the summer! Very exciting. But I am getting restless. I’m tired of little hikes. It’s time for something longer and more challenging. We’ll see what this week brings.
Zealand Falls - Bethlehem, NH
Distance: 5.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 650 ft.
Today, my younger brother and I hiked the Zealand Trail to Zealand Falls. It was our longest hike so far this year, and I think it was my favorite (so far). The majority of the hike is like take a nature walk. The trail is fairly flat with a few bridges and some ups and downs. But you are pretty much constantly surrounded by swamp-y and watery areas. I kept expected to turn the corner and see a moose just staring me in the face. The trail is really well maintained so you are able to spend a lot of your time looking up and around instead of down at the ground making sure you don’t trip on a root or something.
The last .1 mile of the hike is a climb straight up to the top. This leisurely stroll turns into a serious bit of climbing. But I didn’t think it was too painful. It’s over fairly quickly, and it makes arriving at the top even more of an accomplishment. There are a few places to stop and look at the waterfall on the way up. But the view from the top is spectacular. Something I always take for granted. I couldn’t stop taking pictures! The waterfall was gorgeous and the surrounding mountains made me feel incredibly tiny.
This hike was great. But I feel like I need to take a break for at least one day. I’ll try and figure out what my next hike should be! :)
Artists Bluff - Franconia, NH
Distance: 1.5 miles
Elevation: 2340 ft
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
The weather forecast for today was originally thunder showers from morning until night. However, I woke up today and the sun was shining. So I decided to take advantage and my younger brother and I went out for what we thought would be a simple hike. Artists Bluff is known as a short, easy, family hike. I suppose, for more experienced hikers, it is. But, for us, it was a bit more difficult. The loop begins with a trail that is not very rocky it, but very root-y. You follow the road for awhile and then you turn and you climb. You don’t really stop climbing until you’re almost at you destination. The climb down is almost all rock, so this was probably the most tiring part of the journey.
My brother and I were determined and, after a few moments of confusions at different overlooks on the trail, we finally found Artist’s Bluff and were blown away by the views. It was gorgeous. Well worth the treacherous climb down. I’m glad the rain held off until tonight and I’m glad my brother and I were able to climb this together.
Tomorrow: Zealand Falls Trail Wish us luck!
Yesterday, May 14, 2012, I hiked Elephant’s Head. Located in Crawford Notch, right across from Mt. Williard.
Distance: 1.0 mile
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
Yesterday my entire family went for a hike. Initially it was just going to be my older brother and myself. We picked a quick, easy hike because we were short on time. Then my parents both asked if they could join us, and my younger brother dragged himself out of bed before noon (a great accomplishment) to take this hike with us all. The hike was easy enough for my brothers and I, but proved to be a bit more difficult for my parents who don’t get outdoors much. The trail involves some pretty steep sections of climbing, with some longer, flat sections in between. No rock climbing or scrambling. Just a straight-forward trail with some muddy sections to get your shoes dirty. The views from the top are pretty great! They aren’t 360 degrees, but they are still beautiful.
Also note the classic Mom pose: “I just completed a hike and I am proud”. :)
Next hike: Thursday, May 17, 2012 - Zealand Falls.
This is Bridal Veil Falls. Located in Franconia, NH.
Distance: 5.0 miles
I hiked to this waterfall in April 2012, right after we had a big thaw. My older brother, Frank, asked if I wanted to join him and some of his friends for this hike. I don’t hang out with my brother’s friends, but…any chance to hike. The hike itself was a moderate one. I’m sure for seasoned hikers it must be a walk in the park, but I felt pretty good about myself beating all of the other late-20-somethings one our walk up to the falls. Because, we hiked pretty recently after the big thaw, there were some icy and watery patches on the trail, but it was nothing you couldn’t cross over.
The waterfall was beautiful. I think the fact that it was still covered in ice and snow made it even more so. The only downside to the ice was that we couldn’t stay and look for long before we all started to go numb. So we had to take many physical and mental images of these beautiful falls, and promised each other we would repeat the hike this summer. Now I have plans with my older brother and his friends…..strange.
This is me. On the top of Mt. Williard.
Mt. Williard is located in Northern New Hampshire, in a place called Crawford Notch.
Distance: 3.8 miles round trip
Elevation: 2815 ft.
I hiked this with my mother this past fall(2011). I ended up taking on a sort of “life coach” role, trying to get my mother to climb all of the way to the top. She hadn’t hiked in awhile. When we finally made it, it was cold and windy but the view was worth it. I always take the area I grew up in for granted. But being able to look over this place, which I had driven through countless times without so much as a glance upwards, took my breath away.
This hike was not particularly difficult. Since we hiked it in the fall, there were some icy patches that made our trip down a bit more interesting. But the trail itself is not rocky or difficult to walk on. It was a nice day hike, with a fantastic present awaiting at the end: a view of the entirety of Crawford Notch.