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 The Big A Trail - Mt. Agamenticus - 8/9&10/16 
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 The Big A Trail - Mt. Agamenticus - 8/9&10/16
I was on vacation most of the week but had to return for a couple days midweek and decided to check out the newly finished Big A trail atop Mt. Agamenticus for a sunset and a sunrise the next morning after and before work on my evening and morning as a bachelor! :D The trail roughly makes a figure eight that my 3 year old might have drawn as it winds around the summit area of the mountain that was cleared a few years back. It is universally accessible, being maybe 5 feet wide and of compacted crushed stone with gentle grades such that wheelchairs (perhaps with a little help on the inclines) or those whom rocky trails with steps and such are too much to handle for whatever reason, can manage. A very unique trail for the area, or any area actually, and after a couple years in the making it is finally finished, with the actual grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony at their upcoming Trailfest in September I believe.

Newly created and finished Big A trail winds around the summit of Mt. Agamenticus
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I drove up the summit auto road and started on the western half, which makes it's way out to a viewpoint at the top of the Blueberry Bluff trail, where there were some nice views to the west of the sunset over south-central NH and mountains such as the Pawtuckaways and Blue Job. This branch of the loop continues along the side of the mountain before passing the viewing platform, which used to be the best way to get views from the summit of the Whites to the north, but now the entire north slope of the summit is cleared out, so the trail provides views from the northwest to the northeast from here, including the Whites with the Sandwich Range, Chocorua, Washington and the Presis easy enough to pick out on the horizon. From there I passed the rocky outcrop and headed back to the summit as it was getting near dusk and that is the posted closing time of the road to the summit I had taken up. I'd like to think they wouldn't lock anyone up there for the night, but I'd also not like to find out the hard way they would, and I also didn't want to make anyone come looking for the last person up there, although there were still half a dozen cars parked up top when I departed.

Starting on the western side just as the sun goes down
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Wide easy paths with a couple bridges to get over some seasonal damp spots I guess

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Nice spot to see sunset from the viewpoint near the Blueberry Bluff trail
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The Majority of the NH mountains are visible to the west along the horizon
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You used to need this platfrom to get views, but not the trail itself provides them also
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The Sandwich Range
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King George ruling over the Whites
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One last look at the sunset before departing
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I went back the next morning, they open the gate around 6 and I headed up just before that to catch the sunrise and hike the eastern half of the trail. This time I had the parking lot to myself and starting at the summit learning lodge where I watched the sunrise from the deck for a minute before heading out along the trail. Views are not as plentiful on this half of the loop, but it makes a sweeping loop down and around the summit near treeline, with ocean views from the top up the Maine coast towards Cape Porpoise and and down the NH coast into Mass with Cape Ann on the horizon to the south, and the Isles of Shoals and Boone Island sitting out at sea as a bonus. Finishing the eastern loop I passed the rocky outcrop again and headed up to the viewing platform, then past the old ski lift equipment and back to the car for an early exit in order to get to work.

Back to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic the next morning
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Third Hill and Cape Porpoise in the morning light
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Starting on the trail near the newest location of St. Aspinquid's grave
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Look back at the Learning Lodge
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Old ski equipment still hanging around
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Views from this part of the trail are limited
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Another nice new bridge near the large stone outcrop
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Headed up to the view platform
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There is really nice trail building/work along much of the Big A Trail
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A look out across the western lobe
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The Isles of Shoals, NH's only ocean islands
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So that was that. The Big A Trail is finished, and came out really well I thought, providing plentiful views of the coast and 75% (??) of the NH mountains on the horizon to the west, even if my fellow forumites didn't vote it worthy of "The List"! :evil: :wink: No it's not Mt. Clay or Guyot, but it is a great place for a sunset or sunrise stroll, hike for kids, elderly, handicapped or just anyone out for an easy view, and a very nice addition to the mountains already extensive trail system.


Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:12 pm
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 Re: The Big A Trail - Mt. Agamenticus - 8/9&10/16
Not Clay or Guyot, true, but perhaps a trail I could push my wheelchair-bound madre along....hmmmmm

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Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:39 am
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 Re: The Big A Trail - Mt. Agamenticus - 8/9&10/16
Awesome sunrise photos :)

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Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:33 pm
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 Re: The Big A Trail - Mt. Agamenticus - 8/9&10/16
Kathy wrote:
Not Clay or Guyot, true, but perhaps a trail I could push my wheelchair-bound madre along....hmmmmm


I'm pretty sure that's a big part of what they had in mind when they built it. It's a mile long but has two half's, and the shorter western half is better for views. Nice way for people to get out and experience a mountain summit (albeit a small one) who otherwise could not easily enjoy what we all probably take for granted.

JustJoe wrote:
Awesome sunrise photos :)


Thanks! It's no Cadillac, but it has the Atlantic ocean and mountain views, so it works well in a pinch or tight time frame. :)


Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:07 pm
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 Re: The Big A Trail - Mt. Agamenticus - 8/9&10/16
This report reminds me I have not been to Agimenticus in years. May have to head back over some time soon. Thanks for the reminder. :D


Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:30 pm
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 Re: The Big A Trail - Mt. Agamenticus - 8/9&10/16
Glad to see the trail complete! Mt. A is nice no doubt, but it's a 58 mile drive each way for a 691 ft. hill (+ 2nd and 3rd hills). With mountains like Monadnock, Kearsarge South, and the entire Belknap Range about the same distance away, I haven't gone to Mt. A much lately :| .

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Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:25 pm
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 Re: The Big A Trail - Mt. Agamenticus - 8/9&10/16
hiker0200 wrote:
Glad to see the trail complete! Mt. A is nice no doubt, but it's a 58 mile drive each way for a 691 ft. hill (+ 2nd and 3rd hills). With mountains like Monadnock, Kearsarge South, and the entire Belknap Range about the same distance away, I haven't gone to Mt. A much lately :| .


Do not insult the mighty MT Agamenticus by calling it a hill! :evil: The spirit of St. Aspinquid, (aka Passaconaway) might get you, since he was buried on top you know. :wink:

For me it's only 28 miles, which is stiull actually a lot for what it is, but my only closer option for a "mountain" is Pawtuckaway at 18 miles. Beggars can't be choosers! :D


Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:07 pm
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 Re: The Big A Trail - Mt. Agamenticus - 8/9&10/16
Granite Guy wrote:
hiker0200 wrote:
Glad to see the trail complete! Mt. A is nice no doubt, but it's a 58 mile drive each way for a 691 ft. hill (+ 2nd and 3rd hills). With mountains like Monadnock, Kearsarge South, and the entire Belknap Range about the same distance away, I haven't gone to Mt. A much lately :| .


Do not insult the mighty MT Agamenticus by calling it a hill! :evil: The spirit of St. Aspinquid, (aka Passaconaway) might get you, since he was buried on top you know. :wink:

For me it's only 28 miles, which is stiull actually a lot for what it is, but my only closer option for a "mountain" is Pawtuckaway at 18 miles. Beggars can't be choosers! :D


Forgive me, for I have sinned :wink: . Come to think of it, a hike over Mt. A, 2nd hill, and 3rd hill seems like an excellent snowshoe hike for this winter, if there's enough snow to shoe :lol: .

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Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:39 pm
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