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 Mink Hills (local fun in Warner, NH) 
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Location: Warner, NH
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 Mink Hills (local fun in Warner, NH)
Well, it is in NH, and it is hiking. Time to talk about a lesser known area? Sure, what the heck. I suspect a lot of us have our local haunts. Here's mine.

The Mink Hills is a long ridge of hills running approximately from Lake Massasecum in Bradford to Exit 9 on I-89 in Warner. Much of it falls under the Chandler Reservation, managed by the town on Warner and the Harriman-Chandler State Forest. The highest peak tops out at around 1800 feet with no views but a nice grassy area below the peak :) There's a trail network through the northern part.

http://www.warner.nh.us/downloads/trailmap.pdf

Views are hard to come by, except in winter, or by going off trail. Some are shown in the link below, but this isn't all of them. One in particular is clearly visible from Rt. 103 and I-89 in winter and gives a nice view of
Kearsarge and Chocorua is visible from there. Summer's much more closed in.

http://www.warner.nh.us/downloads/mhplan2004/8%20-%20Promontories%20and%20Scenic%20Vistas%20v2.pdf

What it does offer is some nice hiking. I've been puttering around a lot mapping all kinds of features, many of these I would like to eventually share online, except for any previously unpublished historically sensitive
sites I might stumble across.

You can see on the map many rock walls in the area that I understand were built for the 1810-1840 sheep craze. Some of these go up some amazingly steep slopes. It gives deep appreciation for the strudiness and tenacity of those who cleared this land and built these walls.

I've been going up logging roads, off in random directions off trail, following brooks, the walls, etc. but tonight I realized the trails on the map weren't quite accurate. Just fine for general hiking, but it was messing up some other stuff I'm plotting. So it was a good time to just follow the trail and let the GPS do its thing. At least as well as an old receiver can do under sometimes heavy canopy (I use a Garmin GPS 12).

I took the Osgood Rd. to the White Trail to the Cross Minks Trail east to Bean Rd. and then back the same way. To get to the Osgood Rd., take exit 9 on I-89 and go west towards Bradford. About 1 mile down, turn left onto Newmarket Rd. Shortly thereafter, go straight through the intersection and down to right to cross the covered bridge. The 2nd left is Bean Rd. Go up and when you hit the top (road turns to dirt), look to the right for a dirt road, chained maybe 20 ft. in. Do not block the road, as it's always possible some logging may start up again. I've only seen it once in 4 years, but wouldn't it be my luck...

The White Trail is blazed, well, in white. Up to the cellar hole shown on the map, it's a formerly paved road. The road starts to the south, and a clearing is reached where a logging road can be seen leading off to the right. Continue straight. Soon you'll reach another clearing. Go straight, keeping to the far left here. Look carefully for the white blazes upon re-entering the woods. The White Trail has been blazed recently, but there are places where care is needed to follow the trail. It is not heavily used and goes through very open woods, so the way is not always obvious. The trail climbs steadily, and the junction with the Cross Minks Trail will be soon reached. The Cross Minks Trail leading south from the intersection is overgrown here, and not particularly visible.

The trail leading east towards Chandler Mink goes to the left, climbing up to the summit plateau. Again, care must be used on this section, as some of the white blazes are faint and sparsely spaced. At the summit is the remains of a tower used to display a flag visible in the town in years gone by.

I've done this hike many times, and in winter, there's something of a view towards Warner and Kearsarge. In summer, very limited views can be had, and scrambling up a tree doesn't hurt. I do remember tree climbing being much easier when my age was limited to the single digits though. Up to now, I hadn't continued very far on the Cross Minks trail from here, but today I decided to do the run down and back. I'll describe this section starting from Bean Rd.

I've kept an eye out for the trailhead while driving on Bean Rd. and have never spotted it. Now I know why, it's just not really visible. Look for a large 3-4 ft. boulder on the right about 5 ft. off the road, 0.5-0.6 mi. past Osgood Rd., and there's a small break in the fir in the upwards bank on the right. If the road turns back to tarred, you've gone too far. There's a sign marked tower just inside the woods. The map shows a parking area some distance down the road, but this is a lightly traveled road, and I don't see a problem parking on the side (just don't hold me responsible!). There is a small one car are to park off road directly across from the trail.

This trail is apparently much older, more used, and the way is evident. Regardless, pink flagging marks the route profusely. The trail starts at a steady climb through great footing, and eventually has a lovely moderately steep section I wasn't expecting and was pleased to find. Upon reaching the trail junction to the old Ski Tow (marked in orange flagging), the trail becomes much flatter, leading to the tower.

Trail distances are short here. Osgood Road and White Trail to the Cross Minks Trail is 0.9 miles. From the intersection to Chandler Mink is 0.3 miles. The elevation gain is 620 feet.

From Cross Minks Bean Rd. trail head to Chandler Mink is 0.4 miles, with 535 ft. of elevation gain.

I've posted the first run of my topo here, only showing the trails.
http://personalpages.mcttelecom.com/~bean456/Minks_Topo.gif


Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:25 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Location: Warner, NH
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 Re: Mink Hills (local fun in Warner, NH)
Since this post is being linked to from Views, I want to point out that the two new trails to Stewart's Peak brought up by TrailBandit were illegally cut across both town and state land with zero input from the true owners of those lands (the residents). Yet another case of one or a few people deciding a state or town forest is their own personal property by deciding what's right for everyone else. Disgusting and selfish.

As far as trail maps are concerned, GRANIT has an excellent download of a ton of NH trails, including the town trails for the Minks. This is a SHP file that can be directly imported by Google Earth.

http://www.granit.unh.edu/data/search?d ... ils/nh

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Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:52 am
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 Re: Mink Hills (local fun in Warner, NH)
Thanks for the report! I'm always looking for new stomping grounds.

Also, thanks for the confirmation on Stewarts Peak- good to know that the trails are indeed "hot". Didn't know that when I hiked Stewarts, and my hiking buddy was in shock when I told him the trails were illegally cut :(

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Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:36 pm
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 Re: Mink Hills (local fun in Warner, NH)
Most welcome. I'm finding some trails are off a bit, while many are spot on, but I'm psyched to see so many trails that I never had a clue existed. I've also found that many trail systems when I find them on there and search on the net, have more detailed maps as well as where you can park.

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Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:39 pm
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Mountain Maestro
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 Re: Mink Hills (local fun in Warner, NH)
whoa! Salty is back? I thought you had taken a sabbatical off sorts?

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Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:00 pm
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 Re: Mink Hills (local fun in Warner, NH)
kpmmbm wrote:
whoa! Salty is back? I thought you had taken a sabbatical off sorts?


Hey Keith! Salty pops in, Salty goes away for a while. It's either a running gag, or a serious social disorder. :)

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Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:30 pm
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 Re: Mink Hills (local fun in Warner, NH)
Salty wrote:
kpmmbm wrote:
whoa! Salty is back? I thought you had taken a sabbatical off sorts?


Hey Keith! Salty pops in, Salty goes away for a while. It's either a running gag, or a serious social disorder. :)


It is going to degrade into Brian wrapping his arms around your waist sobbing "DON'T GO, DON'T GO, DEAR GOD PLEASE DON'T GO." :D


Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:35 pm
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 Re: Mink Hills (local fun in Warner, NH)
Hee hee, I've made you my b****. :twisted:

Fear not, been thinking about finally catching up with you guys, just gotta finagle my schedule and workload somehow.

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Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:37 am
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 Re: Mink Hills (local fun in Warner, NH)
Salty wrote:
Hee hee, I've made you my b****. :twisted:

Fear not, been thinking about finally catching up with you guys, just gotta finagle my schedule and workload somehow.


*breaks down crying tears of joy!* :beer:


Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:57 am
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 Re: Mink Hills (local fun in Warner, NH)
Salty wrote:
Hee hee, I've made you my b****. :twisted:

Fear not, been thinking about finally catching up with you guys, just gotta finagle my schedule and workload somehow.



WE WILL BREAK YOU LITTLE GIRLY MAN LIKE WE BROKE BOBC!!

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Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:45 pm
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Flatfoot
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 Re: Mink Hills (local fun in Warner, NH)
Can I ask you guys a question? My brother and I hiked this a couple days ago. We started at the old ski tow and went up to the old tower. From there we followed the cross minks trail all the way until we hit a field/old logging road. From there we went left and up until it got really rough and bared left to what loosely resembled an old logging trail and proceeded to bushwack all the way up to a different peak, middle mink maybe? Very steep. There we came upon a red marked trail which we followed until it connected again with the cross minks trail that we took back to the old tower and back to our car. A hard hike! Has anyone done this? Is there an actual trail connecting the end of cross minks to the middle minks peak or is bushwacking the only way to finish the loop?


Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:45 am
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