Monday, April 25, 2011

Moose Mountain Reservation & Phoebes Nable Mt. 4/24/11

"An Introduction to Moose Mountain Reservation" (pictures)

Difficulty: Easy - Moderate (steep/loose/rocky up Phoebes Nable Mt.)

Directions: From downtown Farmington, NH take Rt. 153 North into Middleton about 5 miles. Continue onto King's Highway for .9 miles. Turn right at the police station onto Ridge Road. At 1.6 miles turn left onto New Portsmouth Road. Bear left onto New Portsmouth Road Exd. The trail head and kiosk will be seen ahead. You can park at the kiosk or continue 400 feet on an unmaintained road to an upper parking area just past the river.

Report: Scott and I are set to go on Land Steward training with the NH Forest Society in May. We had chosen Moose Mountains as the area we would be responsible for. We wanted to get somewhat acquainted with this vast 2, 325 acre area before our class but had no idea as to any trail head whereabouts. Scott did some online searches during the week and found all the information we needed including a basic MAP. And so we planned our visit to the Moose Mountain Reservation for the weekend.

Unfortunately the weather called for rain showers on Saturday and Sunday was not looking the greatest. Saturday Mother Nature figured she hadn't had enough of tormenting us and threw snow showers at us accumulating to an inch! So as we got our weekend work done today we hoped for a half decent day Easter Sunday. The morning rolled around and the sun was shining and it was already warm outside! This had us excited and awake, ready to take advantage of the nice weather! Since we had no concrete knowledge of what to expect we simply planned on checking out the kiosk at the end of New Portsmouth Road and check out some of the woods roads and the old Burrows Farm site.

We found the kiosk no problem and parked here. At 8:45am we headed down the road which wasn't gated at the time following ATV tracks. Black flies were already buzzing but not yet swarming or biting. We soon came to a river and found a truck in an upper parking area. We continued on uphill past another road on the left which crosses the river again. Past this a little ways the road bears left. A trail leaves right here on North Trail. Continuing on the road you climb to a field and the Burrows cemetery under some pine trees. Just a handful of stones, with age-at-death sadly averaging in the 40's. ATV or 4x4 tracks were all through the field along with beer cans which were also along the roads. Another sad reminder that not everyone respects the land they are out enjoying.

Continuing uphill on the road you pass a trail visible at the tree line which we passed by and up to the next road junction. Here we passed a pair of hikers with a dog. They looked shocked to see us other hikers here and we said our quick hello's. Keeping straight and bearing left at this junction you pass the Burrow's Farm site on the left, now a birch and blueberry glade. We followed the road until it began do descend, then we decided to turn back and head back to the previous road junction to climb Phoebes Nable Mountain.

Climbing got steep and ruff in spots. The wet conditions from melting snow making the climb up slippery rock a little more difficult. Soon at 10:00am we reached the ledgy summit, overgrown and not revealing too much of a view. But a nice spot just the same! Notable mountains in view through the trees were Blue Job and Hussey Mts. in Farmington and Prospect Mt. in Alton, all with radio towers barely visible.

We descended back down to the field and cemetery and headed down another road past the larger Stevens Cemetery visible from the Burrows Cemetery. This road then connects back to the main road we began on. We called it a day here and decided to look for other trail heads around the area. We got back to the truck at 10:45am or so and headed out.

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