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 Victor Head and the Percy's 4-30-16 
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 Victor Head and the Percy's 4-30-16
With the predictions of gorgeous weather for Saturday I cast around a couple ideas in my head about what I wanted to do with views. The first couple involved 4K's, and after talking with Joe about the matter decided I didn't want to deal with the still sketchy ice situation. So then it hit me. An idea I had had for this past winter with Greg, but that we never got around to. The 28th edition WMNF guidebook (I keep this old version at work in case I need to browse through it, the 29th edition stays at home) mentioned that Victor Head had a couple of interesting views, so this would sweeten the deal as well as adding some new trail miles to the resume.

Such it was I found myself at the boat launch parking lot for Lake Christine up in Stark. I got together my stuff, and I headed real quick to the launch area to snap a nice picture of the views. As I walked up to it a huge bird spooked out of the tree 15 feet to my left. I noticed immediately the white head and tail...a bald eagle! He flew across the sky (which you see him in the first photo) and landed quite a ways away. But even with super zoom none came out decent enough.

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Figuring this was a good omen to come I started out at the gated road that makes the beginning of the Old Summer Club trail.
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There are a ton of No Trespassing signs, but fear not. This does not apply to hikers who stay strictly on trail.
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From here things got tough. You see, the guidebook says all pertinent snowmobile junctions are marked. WRONG! The mass of different snowmobile trails made it very confusing, and even with map to compare with my GPS I still managed a wrong turn resulting in an added .6 round trip of wasted mileage. This was the only signed junction, and it was near the beginning and all but pointless for my use.
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Bottom line, is you see this, you are going the wrong way.
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But if you see this, you are ok.
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This bridge is also a good sign you are on the right track.
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Bonus is a nice little cascade you can view from it.
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Eventually you come to the boundary of an SPNHF forest, and here...thank god...you actually get signs and blazes. No more second guessing!
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About .3 miles from this now well signed junction you hit the spur to Victor head!
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It is a little grown in at times, but not bad at all and does follow some interesting terrain. You can almost smell the views coming.....
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And here they come, right!?........well, sort of.
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The views are pretty grown in and mostly framed by trees now. Could use a little of the Tecumseh treatment which would knock this destination up considerably. But at least the Presis were saying hello.
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Back to the main trail it was time to get the bulk of my elevation gain in. I had done about half the mileage, but hardly any elevation gain. The steepest of it was about 900 feet in .6 miles. I huffed along at a good pace thanks to a lack of snow and ice not appearing until almost to the col between the two Percy peaks. You reach the South Spur first.

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Since this spur is on the north facing side there was a good amount of snow, thankfully mostly slushy, and only a bit of ice. Pace slowed down to accommodate, but I managed it without resorting to my microspikes.
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And what we get on South Percy makes up for Victor Head.
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The Government had the planes out spraying Chemtrails in full force today! :twisted:
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Retracing my steps back to the Old Summer Club trail I continued until I reached the junction with the Percy Loop.
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Now it was time for the showpiece. North Percy is famed for it's steep and open ledges. I never get old of this peak and the only thing stopping me from having hiked it 30 times is the drive and the fact the "easy" trail up from Nash Stream is inaccessible in winter by car (snowmobile only).
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Hellooooooo Georgie!
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Welcome to the summit, we have fun and games, we have everything you want....eh, you know what, Axl Rose sings it better. :wink:
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Summit Panos are divine!
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With my tripod and superzoom I even managed to espy Mansfield in Vermont.
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It was so beautiful on those ledges that I found a nice side out of the gentle breeze, took off my shirt and shoes and sunned myself for 20 minutes. It was so blissful to hear nary a human sound. Only the methodical buzzing of bees and chirping of birds mingled with the low swishing of the wind. Since Nash Stream road is still not open I knew no one else would be here today, so I literally was the only human for miles around. I could not have been happier! 8)

But alas it was time to pull up stakes and make hay while the sun shines. I geared back up and made the long journey back the way I had come. To contrast with the cool morning I retrod trail that now wafted a sun baked forest floor smell. It was delightful in that the temps were much warmer now, but not hot or humid. There were no bugs to bother me. The trail was in pretty great shape and wide, so I was able to speed my way back with no problems. To wrap it all up we have the tale of the GPS.
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So the final word on all this? While I am pretty annoyed at the initial lack of proper blazing and trail signs it isn't enough to turn me off to this trail. Once into better marked territory things improve a lot. Victor head was.....well, I won't say I was disappointed. Instead I will say it is what it is and simply imply it was disappointing. :lol: But of course the Percys made up for it all in spades. Seriously, these peaks are like the Baldfaces, something that I can never bore of. Saying that what more higher praise could I give? :D

Brian


Last edited by New Hampshire on Sun May 01, 2016 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun May 01, 2016 10:31 am
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 Re: Victor Head and the Percy's 4-30-16
I knew it was a good thing I didn't join you. That's way to fast for me. :( Otherwise, great looking hike. :)
Besides, I'm saving that route for doing them in winter. 8)

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Sun May 01, 2016 11:57 am
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 Re: Victor Head and the Percy's 4-30-16
I realized now that doing them this way in winter would be good with a caveat....either do it in low snow periods or with help. From where the trail signs and blazes start you will be breaking trail. And that represents a good 2/3's of the distance to boot! :shock: :lol:

Brian


Sun May 01, 2016 1:35 pm
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 Re: Victor Head and the Percy's 4-30-16
Baldface-like?? I'm in!! Great pictures from a great looking hike. I am totally ashamed to say I have not been to these yet. :oops: This report is going to make it a priority to get there ASAP. It looks awesome.


Sun May 01, 2016 10:15 pm
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 Re: Victor Head and the Percy's 4-30-16
Granite Guy wrote:
Baldface-like?? I'm in!! Great pictures from a great looking hike. I am totally ashamed to say I have not been to these yet. :oops: This report is going to make it a priority to get there ASAP. It looks awesome.


Yeah, and like the Baldfaces it is the drive that always gets me in the end. About 2 1/2 hours from Goffstown. But again, like the Baldfaces, when done in moderation it makes it all the more sweet...... 8) However, since from Nash Stream Road it is a shorter hike a great way to make the whole thing even more worth it is to head down the road when you are done the Percys and do Sugarloaf, another easier one. The views from that are well worth it as well!

Brian


Mon May 02, 2016 6:20 am
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 Re: Victor Head and the Percy's 4-30-16
3 and a half hours for me. Yeah you'd have to do something else to make the drive worth it. How is Nash stream road to drive through? My car has 6 and a half inches of ground clearance. I remember spencer and wermudfun being up there the last year or so. They looked good then. The look even better now.


Mon May 02, 2016 7:07 am
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 Re: Victor Head and the Percy's 4-30-16
2:45 for me. I can do that in my sleep. 8)


Mon May 02, 2016 9:17 am
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 Re: Victor Head and the Percy's 4-30-16
Tough one for me as well. As well is Evans Notch which was my choice for Saturday. 8)

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Mon May 02, 2016 10:42 am
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 Re: Victor Head and the Percy's 4-30-16
thegibba wrote:
3 and a half hours for me. Yeah you'd have to do something else to make the drive worth it. How is Nash stream road to drive through? My car has 6 and a half inches of ground clearance. I remember spencer and wermudfun being up there the last year or so. They looked good then. The look even better now.


I have a offroad honda civic so you should be fine unless you have some lowrider car. I think there was only one bumpy section where they did a re-route of the road but I think that is after the percy trailhead.

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Mon May 02, 2016 5:02 pm
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 Re: Victor Head and the Percy's 4-30-16
Yup, Nash Stream road is usually always in good shape right up until the very end 11 miles in. Since there are summer camps ranged all along the road, including to the very end, it is usually graded every couple years or so to keep it in top notch shape.

Brian


Mon May 02, 2016 5:43 pm
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