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 Uncanoonucs 5-11-16 
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 Uncanoonucs 5-11-16
Yesterday evening Greg and I went to a concert in Boston. I had set it up with work to get both yesterday and today off for that purpose. I had decided that, since I did not hike this past weekend, I wanted to do something today at least. Being as I got home real late I had to figure on something shorter and close by to home knowing I would be sleeping later than normal on a hike day. I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to check off something on the to-do list the Uncanoonucs. Now, they are of course my "backyard" peaks (I live 5 minutes from the trailheads) and have done them before, but since Goffstown has been working to improve multi-use trail access there are now a bunch of options open to a hiker wishing to ascend these peaks, and I also wanted to see what it would be like to take in both peaks on one hike, not something I had done before. So about 10:00 this morning I set off for one of the trailheads off Mountain Road.

The trailhed I chose was at a kiosk with parking near a gate just off Mountain Road.
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There are now a few trailheads off Mountain Road, and each kiosk contains the rather good quality trailmap.
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I entered the woods and started down the path, passing quickly a short spur down to the road that I would use later to cross the road and continue up North Unc.
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Then you eventually cross a powerline cut that has a limited view to the north. You can just barely make out what I think are some of the hills at the southern end of Pillsbury State Park.
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Next I came to the junction with the Summit Trail that starts down by Uncanoonuc Lake in the northern shadow of South peak, and which will take me the rest of the way to the summit.
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Of course, the summit of South Uncanoonuc is known as a breeding ground for the pesky radio and cell towers, which are indeed an eyesore, but in someways also give South a strange charm.
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But the good news is that there is a neat ledge off the summit that offers a glimpse to the South East (there is also another viewpoint on South, lower down and looking towards Manchester that I did not visit today). This was part of the reason for my decision today as I thought it would be neat to get a glimpse of where I was 12 hours earlier....yes, on a nice day (which today undoubtedly was) you can see the Boston skyline.
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Bahstan!
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You also can see the funky radar domes of the New Boston Air Force Tracking Station.
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I did not spend long at the viewpoint as almost the moment I came to the ledge I was swarmed nastily by blackflies....and they were biting. It was a Herculean effort to stay long enough to get the Boston superzooms, that is how bad it was. So I scooted away quickly and retraced my route back To Mountain Road to continue my way up North Uncanoonuc.

To go up North Uncanoonuc I chose to use the class 6 road to pick up the Blue trail.
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You first pass the Red Trail, which I decided I would come down, rather than go up, because it was much steeper compared to the more mellow approach of the Blue trail.
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Near the top you can occasionally get glimpses of the hills and mountains beyond through the trees....including Monadnock!
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And of course from the summit you get the panorama that takes in Manchester and South Uncanoonuc.
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Looking at Manchester, The Queen City, you can see from the way the streets are laid out almost perfectly in grids. This is because Manchester was a planned city. The Amoskeag Mills pretty much built Manchester up from nothing but a quiet town of a handful of farms to a textile manufacturing colossus that had no peer in the world. Alas, like all things in this world, progress catches up in the end and Amoskeag finally went under, leaving a void in the city's workforce, but leaving behind a legacy. (sorry for the digression, but I am a bit of a New Hampshire history buff :lol: )
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I retraced my steps back to the Red trail, which was "holy hell!" steep at the top, walked back out to Mountain Road and returned to my car. I won't kid people that these peaks are spectacular. But the thing is they do have their charm and a bit of history to boot (more info on that), and with an improved trail system they are becoming a bit of a destination, as evidenced by the fact I saw about a dozen people on the trails today....a Tuesday afternoon, and a dozen people, including one car with Mass plates. So there is a significant number of people feeling the Uncanoonuc love! :lol:

The last word is the tale of the GPS.
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Brian

P.S. For the trail map click here.


Wed May 11, 2016 3:53 pm
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 Re: Uncanoonucs 5-11-16
I was up on kearsage today and boy were the flies swarming! Perfect day though to grab some views.


Wed May 11, 2016 6:27 pm
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 Re: Uncanoonucs 5-11-16
The Uncanoonucs together are one of my favorite local hikes. Some decently steep trails, good views, all within 20-25 minutes of driving.

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Wed May 11, 2016 6:42 pm
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 Re: Uncanoonucs 5-11-16
The funny thing about the blackflies was the only time they swarmed me was the second I stepped out onto that ledge and then when I was standing outside my car at the end. I mean it was like walking into a wall of them. The minute I left the ledge...all gone! What the hell!? :shock: What is worse is I had sworn I packed my bugnet. Alas I learned all too late I had not. :evil:


Wed May 11, 2016 7:50 pm
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 Re: Uncanoonucs 5-11-16
I've never been able to see Boston from up there. Actually, I've never even been able to find that view ledge. Granted I've only tried three times, but still. There is some good hiking to be had on those hills though, and even halfway decent views in stick season it would appear.


Wed May 11, 2016 9:21 pm
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 Re: Uncanoonucs 5-11-16
Yeah the view ledge can be a bit tough to find if you don't know where to look for it because it is off the main loop road all the towers are on and you have to walk down a little bit. Your first instinct is to think this can't be right because you are dropping down, but it isn't far. You can see it on Google Maps here:

https://www.google.com/maps/dir//42.9813435,-71.58836/@42.9816688,-71.5884159,190m/data=!3m1!1e3

I was actually surprised by seeing Boston this time. My first time to the ledge was in real late winter on a cold and clear day, but it was tough to see the skyline (I think because of the position of the sun and sun glare). Yesterday, though, it popped out at me like a sore thumb, which says a lot since my eyesight sucks! :D


Thu May 12, 2016 5:46 pm
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 Re: Uncanoonucs 5-11-16
The flies were awful yesterday but as long as i kept moving (and the breeze hit..........) it wasn't a big deal. now, the ticks. :evil:

i think i pulled 6 off of me yesterday, 7 on saturday and probably about 30 so far this year. its going to be a bad year.

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Thu May 12, 2016 6:21 pm
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 Re: Uncanoonucs 5-11-16
HardcoreIdiot wrote:
The flies were awful yesterday but as long as i kept moving (and the breeze hit..........) it wasn't a big deal. now, the ticks. :evil:

i think i pulled 6 off of me yesterday, 7 on saturday and probably about 30 so far this year. its going to be a bad year.


Yeah, it was like I mentioned the other day, I pulled one off of my leg already trying to embed itself on me, and I din't even go through any real brushy territory. :evil:

Since we no longer have a cat (and thus don't have to worry about potential toxicity) I may try Permathrin on my clothing. But of course our dog is about the size of a cat, so maybe not so good.... :D


Thu May 12, 2016 7:30 pm
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 Re: Uncanoonucs 5-11-16
Are you sure that's Boston? Doesn't look familiar to me. Even from Pawtuckaway the Pru and hancock building were small collections of pixels on my camera. And what are those giant buildings off to the West? They sure stand out!


Thu May 12, 2016 9:05 pm
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 Re: Uncanoonucs 5-11-16
thegibba wrote:
Are you sure that's Boston? Doesn't look familiar to me. Even from Pawtuckaway the Pru and hancock building were small collections of pixels on my camera. And what are those giant buildings off to the West? They sure stand out!


I will confess I am not an expert on the buildings of Boston (honestly, I despise the city, but that is another story :lol: ), but I am reasonably sure. In full disclosure, to get the photo above required the use of a tripod, self timer, superzoom of 26X AND I still had to run it through Photoshop to sharpen it up and exaggerate the contrast. The odd thing is that it was harder to get a photo of it than to just see it with the naked eye.

But anyway, yeah, the map indicates it is 51 miles as the crow flies. In contrast, the above picture of Monadnock on North taken through the trees is about 30 miles away as the crow flies. So not unreasonable as Boston is considerably larger than Monadnock. 8)

P.S. Interestingly enough, I just found this blog of a hike to Pack Monadnock where the Boston skyline is visible form as well! Who knew! :D

http://livefreeandhikenh.blogspot.com/2015/05/nh-fire-tower-quest-4-pack-monadnock.html


Fri May 13, 2016 5:46 pm
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