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 Percy Peaks and Kearsarge North 
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:38 pm
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Location: Nashua
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 Percy Peaks and Kearsarge North
It's been a long 8 months, we moved back to MA recently and most of my free time has been spent cleaning, packing, moving, unpacking and setting up the new house. The summer has flown by, but my annual camping/hiking trip with my friends was scheduled way ahead of time. Despite that, we were still scrambling for ideas at the last minute, so I put together a list of hikes and on the drive up we decided to head to Nash Stream Forest for our first hike. I had done Sugarloaf nearby recently with Greg and Brian so I was familiar with the area. We decided to do the full loop trail first heading up the Percy Peak Trail. The trail starts off easy going with a good footbed and nice woods. Soon, the climbing starts alongside an old slide before splitting off and heading into the col between peaks. We headed up to South Percy first which is a steep 300 foot climb. There are some good views toward Groveton with the main show being North Percy across the way. We signed into the register then headed back down to the col.

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Next we began the climb to North Percy. Even though it is steeper and more elevation than the south peak, the climb is much easier over open ledges. Even better, there were loads of blueberries ripe for eating. After many photos and snack stops we arrived at the summit and settled in for lunch and views on a perfect hiking day.

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After a nice long break including some blueberry gathering for pancakes the next morning, we headed back down to the col then took off on the Percy Loop Trail. This leg of the loop is more moderately graded complete with fresh blazes (red for the Percy Loop Trail and yellow for the Cohos Trail) and some new trail signs at the junction for the tentsite and new Trio Trail. Once at the trailhead, it was a quick mile walk down Nash Stream Road back to our cars, then off to Moose Brook State Park to camp for the night.

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The next day we were considering heading up Huntington Ravine, but after consulting the forecast we saw afternoon t-storms and a massive storm on the way for that evening. When we reached Pinkham Notch and saw the socked in mountain our decision was solidified to find something else. As we headed south things opened up and we settled on Kearsarge North. The Mount Kearsarge North Trail starts out easy through wide open woods before climbing more steeply through some ledgy areas. There aren't a ton a views from these lower ledges, but a few peaks here and there. The trail goes back into the woods and climbs to a col before steeply climbing the cone to the summit ledges and firetower. We had the summit and tower to ourselves and had some decent views despite overhead clouds.

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After lunch we headed back down then made the drive back to Gorham. We took a dip in the "swimming pool" at Moose Brook Campground and lounged around for a bit before heading to Mr. Pizza for dinner. We wrapped up the weekend with a nice campfire before retreating into our tents to avoid the massive rainstorm that came through overnight. Great to be outdoors again, I already have a few more trips planned over the next month so hopefully I can start getting out more regularly again. Three more checkmarks for me as well!
The rest of the photos


Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:14 am
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Peak Bagger
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 Re: Percy Peaks and Kearsarge North
Sounds and looks like you had a perfect weekend.


Terry


Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:52 am
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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 Re: Percy Peaks and Kearsarge North
Sounds like a fun weekend and the pancake looks delicious! :D Kearsarge North moves higher up my to do list every time I see pics. Pretty commanding view it has. We saw the same forecast for Sunday and also bailed on Washington in favor of the Baldpates. Would have been funny to run into you on Washington if the weather was better. We actually considered Kearsarge North as we drove by it but it was so cloudy at that time we just kept right on going. From the looks of your K North pics and the time lapse video I saw the higher summits never cleared, but I have no idea if the thunderstorms ever arrived.


Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:24 pm
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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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 Re: Percy Peaks and Kearsarge North
Looks like the Percy peaks are becoming the new fad! I did them earlier this spring, a friend did them a couple weeks later. Gibba and GG did them the other week as did Greg and Steve Smith. And to think, they may be closing the spur to South Peak soon! Maybe it was good you got there before that....oh and for the blueberries! :D

Brian


Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:46 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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 Re: Percy Peaks and Kearsarge North
Did ya see some familiar names in the register? I'm not sure how they'd close the trail to South Percy. It's a pretty well beaten path. Perhaps the start of it could be obscured with the ferns. It's a good peak. Not sure why the .3 trail would be "closed". It's not private property as far as I know. It's not illegal to bushwhack so it just may end up like the FWT on Hale.


Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:53 pm
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 Re: Percy Peaks and Kearsarge North
Interesting. The path is not signed or blazed or official in anyway that I know of, so why would they close it? And how exactly do you "close" off a herd path?


Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:08 pm
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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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 Re: Percy Peaks and Kearsarge North
Granite Guy wrote:
Interesting. The path is not signed or blazed or official in anyway that I know of, so why would they close it? And how exactly do you "close" off a herd path?


That was my big question. Steve Smith told us it was the manager for Nash Stream who wanted it closed, though I don't remember if he gave a reason exactly why. And apparently he has the authority to do it also. But again, how do you "close" a pretty well defined path?

And actually, when I was there this past spring, it did have a small sign. I wonder if it was removed not long after (I did them before Nash Stream road was opened for the season.)


Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:22 am
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Sovereign Woodsman
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 Re: Percy Peaks and Kearsarge North
I can't find any solid info stating the trail to South Percy is closed anywhere.


Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:06 am
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 Re: Percy Peaks and Kearsarge North
I think they have the authority to close it off for protection of resources or public safety, or really anything else the manager of the area wants, but they should have to give a legit reason why they are closing off public lands. Protecting the blueberry crop?! :D It could be as simple as posting hikers must stay on maintained trails, or no no trespassing south of the CT trail through the col. Makes you wonder what South Percy has that the rest of the state doesn't that would require it to be shut down.


Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:13 am
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 Re: Percy Peaks and Kearsarge North
I don't think the t-storms ever materialized, but we got some very heavy rainstorms overnight on Sunday-Monday. Either way, definitely not a Presi Day.

Yeah, I saw Steve's report at camp right after we finished the hike. That's interesting about closing the trail, I don't see why, it wasn't particularly eroded and didn't seem heavily traveled. I can certainly see removing the sign if they want to decrease traffic, but yeah, tough to "close" such a well defined path, especially on public lands. Well, I bagged my peak, though I could've bushwhacked that one if I needed too :wink:


Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:24 pm
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 Re: Percy Peaks and Kearsarge North
We went yesterday. The little sign is there. And so are a lot of your names and comments in the canister! We added our own. As of the end of July 2017 there are no berries yet, save a couple.


Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:26 pm
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 Re: Percy Peaks and Kearsarge North
Beckie and Prema wrote:
We went yesterday. The little sign is there. And so are a lot of your names and comments in the canister! We added our own. As of the end of July 2017 there are no berries yet, save a couple.


I almost went there Friday when I was up there and had a free day to hike. Ended up on Caps Ridge/Clay instead but I did almost give you another name to find in the canister :)

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Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:37 pm
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