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Hike-NH.com - View topic - Fort Mountain - Epsom

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 Fort Mountain - Epsom 
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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 Fort Mountain - Epsom
The route. 1.1 miles w/ 700 feet of elevation gain



The weather yesterday was so nice I wanted to take the family out for a hike. My wife wanted to go and since she's almost 7 months along I was looking for a mountain that would be snow free, have some good views, have good footing and be safe for my wife as well as be suitable for our 4 year old and also allow my 2 year olf to walk a bit of it. That brought me to Fort Mountain in Epsom. Highest peak in the land, well, the town anyhow.

Fort Mountain



Fort Mountain is 1,413 feet high and the "trail" is actually the access road up to the very tall communications tower on top. It is a steady but not usually steep 1.1 mile dirt road that winds its way up, providing some south and westerly views along the way until it reaches the summit. Along the way just below the summit and just off the road is an open shoulder of the mountain that gives a good view north and makes a nice break spot if you don't want to relax without one of the taller antennas I've seen towering over you.

The "trail" winds up to the top



Open viewpoint noth and west below the actual summit



After that it's just a few short turns until you get to the actual summit. There's a large building up there and of course the tower itself, which is hundreds of feet high. you can work your way around it and get very good views in almost all directions. The Belknaps line the horizon north with the taller White Mountains poking up behind them. Moosilauke, the Franconia Ridge, Presidentials and more stick out. Kearsage to the West, Sunnapee and a bunch of the other small southern mountains are also easy to see, although I'm not sure what they all were. I know the Whites like the back of my hand at this point but the smaller southern ones are tougher to ID for me since I don't have a map that covers the whole area at once.

The summit complex



Views are surprisingly good, especially to the north



Belknap Range



Snow capped Washington 75 miles to the north



After having a snack, taking in the views and enjoying the sunshine we headed down the same way. The trail worked out perfectly for what I was looking for. It's not the most exciting or scenic but was good for our little group and ceratinly had some nice views along the way and from the top. No real danger of anyone falling on a well graded road, which was my biggest concern, easy enough for my older daughter and her cousin and my little one even walked the first 3/4 of a mile up 500 feet before finally allowing me to put her in the pack. She wasn't having it until she could climb no more. All in all a pretty good day out.

Views south on the walk down



Hopefully with spring here we'll be ably to get a few more trips like this in before the newest member of the family arrives. If anyone knows of any good trails/roadwalks like this please let me know. 1000 feet of elevation and 3 miles round trip is the max I'm thinking for now. Maybe an easier trail like Pack Monadnock or Kearsage would work too, neither of which I've done so they might be fun to try. Or even Saddleback. I never thought I'd actually be seeking out small mountains with roads and towers on them but for now I guess that's exactly what I'm after.


Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:14 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman

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Oak hill in loudon may be one, blue job may fit the bill and locke's hill highly recommended in alton/gilford area. . I'm yet to make it there. I didn't realize it was what it is! Amazing your wife is willing to hike this far along! Sounds like the kids enjoyed it! It certainly was a beauty of a day.


Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:12 am
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This looks like a nice little bump! :) The views seem very good for a short peak. Sounds like everyone enjoyed it and you had a great day.


Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:07 am
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Definitely a nice little bump for the area if you don't want a woodsy natural trail. I'm surprised my wife wants to keep going too but she even said she could have done more and wants to stay active as much as possible. I don't want to push things but if she's up for it we'll make hay while the sun is shining! Thanks for the suggestions too.


Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:14 am
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:09 am
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:06 am
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Another one I would HIGHLY recommend is Foss Mtn in Madison. Very short hike with the best 360 views anywhere. The road to get there is a bit hairy, but WELL worth it. Put it on your sunny day list.


Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:39 pm
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I will add it to the sunny day list, after I look it up and see where the heck Madison NH is.

EDIT: OK. Looked it up. Looks like an amazing little hike. I'm always shocked that these great little trips are out there and so rarely even heard of. I even search out such things all the time and there's still a ton I miss. I enjoy seeing the passion people new to the hobby have for the 4K's and reading about their experiences and impressions, as I remember how excited I was the first time around on them, but I really like seeing stuff like this, and this week has been loaded with them from everyone and it's been really cool reading the different TR's of some different places.

And just a few more pictures I forgot to link when I wrote the thing if anyone cares. Nothing special, but posting the one of Sunapee in Joe's post made me realize they weren't linked.



Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:40 pm
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Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:58 am
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Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:44 pm
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Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:12 am
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Sun May 19, 2013 2:51 pm
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