Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rogers Ledge 10/26/12

Becky and I hiked Rogers Ledge on Friday the 26th. If I had been solo my plan was to hike in from the north via the Kilkenny Ridge Tr. and bushwhack to Square Mountain (Ledgey Goodness) on the way to or from. Since Becky and I were up north for 4 days and Friday was forecast to be a beauty, we decided to do it. I also thought it was on 52WAV and Becky needed it as did I. It's also on the NH200. Seems I'm the only one who bagged something as it's not on 52WAV. Go figure. I decided on on the Mill Brook Trail for the slightly shorter mileage and shorter drive as well.

Mill Brook Trail starts from the main building of the Berlin Fish Hatchery on York Pond Rd. It runs for 3.8 miles before connecting with the KRT. Over the almost 4 miles you gain 1151'. But the elevation change is only 871' Somewhere you lose 280'. I always wondered where that goes. ;-) Anyway, the point is this is a long gradual climb through some of the prettiest, ever changing, woods I've seen yet. Following Cold Brook for 2/3's of the way. It starts out in tall pines.

Then a beautiful birch forest.

Then back to the soft woods. The photos don't do it justice.

I'm going to have to come back to this trail when everything is lush and green. I do love hiking in late fall when you can see for every through the woods but I want to see this trail when it's alive with colors. Shortly after turning right on the KRT you get a glimpse of Rogers Ledge. Well, when there's no leaves you do.

The KRT circles around to the north side where the final climb is fairly steep. Square Mtn. and what I believe is Greens Ledge can be seen through the trees.

Once on top, form the ledge, you get not quite a 180* view. But, it's spectacular. East towards the Mahoosucs.

S/SE towards the Presi's and Pinkham Notch.

SW towards the Pilots.

I was a bit disappointed I couldn't see Square Mtn. so I went on a little mission to see what could find. I did a short whack north of the summit and found a small exposed ledge that gave me this. I will be going there. :)

We spent close to an hour there, quite a treat. On the hike out it seemed like a mid-summers day. Simply gorgeous. We took our time enjoying the beauty of the Mill Brook Tr. once again. We stopped at the Moose check station once back at the Hatchery. I found it interesting but if you're anti-hunting you can skip those photos.

I read several hiking forums and don't remember ever reading a report on Rogers Ledge. I can't imagine why. This is a fantastic hike.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Currier Mtn (Pine Peak), Plus East & West Deception 10/13/12

With a decent weather window Saturday, and the cancellation of another hike, I decided to do a bushwhack with views in my NH200 pursuit. The peak I needed was East Deception. I need to give a little history of the planning of this one. As I always do when planning a peak-bagging bushwhack, I look at Google Earth to see of there might be ledge in the area I might get some views from. So while doing so for this one, I spotted Currier Mtn. (Pine Peak). After seeing that, I Googled it and came up with this. There used to be a trail, (Mill Brook Tr.) that went to it, and there also used to be a fire tower on it. Which was built in the early 1900's to overlook a major logging slash on the northern slopes of the presidential range. It never really stood out before but I made a point to photo it when I did Caps Ridge a few weeks ago. It looked like great views possibilities.

Here's the old trail to it.

Adding this to the Deceptions was going to add significant mileage but felt it would be worth it. The plan was to take Cherry Mountain Rd. to FR93 (Mill Brook Rd.). Drive that to it's end, then bike down to FR93B, where I'd start this adventure from. I did so and stashed my bike in the woods on the other side of the gate.

FR93B was a nice road walk that some lead to an old clear-cut, AKA, views.     :)

Up 'til now there was no signs of a trail, just logging roads. After a turn or two that seem to be heading the wrong direction for me I started bushwhacking east to emerge on another road and clear-cut, with views.

From the top of this clear-cut I thought I may have found a part of the old trail but I think it actually was just an old, overgrown logging road with a herd path down the middle.

Again, this was heading in the wrong direction for me so again I bushwhacked towards the east and hit this herd path. Not sure I was ever on the Mill Brook Trail.

This was another one of those, looks better from a distance deals. I found a couple of out-crops the majority of the ledge was a shier drop. Views were limited but good

Now it was going to be a long bushwhack to East Deception. I basically stayed at 3100' and found good woods most of the way. With a touch a winter as I went higher. 

The final climb was steep,


And the prize, boring. East Deception.

I was about 6 miles into this at this point but was told by a friend that West Deception had views. I don't pass on unique views so off I headed, for it. Sure enough, pretty nice views from a mostly wooded summit. 


It was pushing 2:00 PM now so with the short days I wanted to get moving, with about 2.5 miles of whacking to get out. The woods on the north side of Deception were great after the initial steep descent. Between wide open woods and old logging roads, I could almost jog.

With about 1/4 or so more to go I ran into more logging evidence. Not sure what this was.

And even better road walking. I believe this is an extension of Mill Brook Rd. past the drive-able portion.

3:30 I was out. 

Roughly 10 miles including the .8 mile bike ride down to FR93B. No regrets.

The Tracks