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 First Day Of Fall In Pawtuckaway - 9/22/16 
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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 First Day Of Fall In Pawtuckaway - 9/22/16
Life has really been getting in the way of my hiking for the last couple months. Don't you hate when that happens?! :D But on Thursday for the first day of fall I made it a point to get out even if just for a little bit. I only had a couple hours between work and my daughters open house, so Pawtuckaway it was. I just wanted to stretch my legs a bit and see if there was any color in the area yet, so I drove in to the parking area for the Boulders Trail and started for South Mountain from there. I passed a couple people bouldering and a couple more climbing the Lower Slab, and between the two climbing spots followed the trail along the unnamed pond, which had nice views across to North Mountain and Rocky Ridge, but nothing in the way of foliage yet.

Back to visit an old friend
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Beautiful woods and big rocks in this part of the park
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Reaching for the sky
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Not much color along the way yet
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Climbers on the Lower Slab
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North Mountain and Rocky Ridge from the unnamed pond
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From there I followed along Round Pond, again with no color, before beginning to climb up South Mountain. One of the nicer trails in the park with lots of huge rocks and ledges along the way gives this route a bigger mountain feel to it, and I passed a few colorful spots along the way and a couple spots with lots of acorns rolling under foot, just to let me know that fall is on its way, before I arrived at the summit to climb the tower for a look around. Well, surprise surprise, the tower has been torn down and is in the process of being rebuilt. The welder was just climbing down for the day and awaiting his ride so I talked to him for a minute and found out they're not in any real rush to get this done. The welders only work when they have nothing else to do, and whenever they get finished the carpenters will build the new cab. Fortunately there are still views to be had from the nearby ledges, mostly of the other Pawtuckaway Mountains, but also the Belknaps and I think Mt. Kearsarge as well.

Round Pond is a pleasant spot for a break
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Not many signs of fall on the day of its arrival
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This was as colorful as it got
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To me at least, this route up has a bigger mountain feel to it
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Time to climb the tower. Wait. Whats going on here?! :shock:
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Well, at least it'll be shiny and new when they finish the job
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Actually it's pretty shiny already
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Fortunately there are still views to be had
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Saddleback, the Belknaps and a hint of color
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Kearsarge
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View ledges of Rocky Ridge
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After a quick look around I headed down. There are always side paths along this trail, but every time I follow them they seem to lead to nowhere. This time however with the lack of summit views I dove a little deeper and followed a couple down the side of the mountain for a little ways. Just dumb luck but one I chose actually ended up at a viewpoint, two viewpoints actually, from ledges looking east out over Pawtuckaway Lake towards the Ocean and coastal hills from the Newburyport Area to Mt. Agamenticus, so three states in view from these lowly little ledges. Lots of buzzards circled overhead and a couple hawks flew over also. It was a nice little spot for sure that I could have spent more time at identifying the various landmarks if I didn't have to get home and ready for kindergarten. But I did, so I headed back the way I came and went on my way. Hopefully I can sneak out for something bigger soon, but 4 miles is better than no miles and for smaller local hikes Pawtuckaway never lets me down, which is good, because I may be seeing a lot more of it in the near future.

Turkey vultures circling the view ledges
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South end of Pawtuckaway Lake
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Fundy Cove on the north side with Portsmouth beyond that
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Lower ledge but a better view
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Agamenticus
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Atlantic ocean in the Hampton Beach area
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Bridge to the great state of Maine
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Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:24 pm
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Peak Bagger
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 Re: First Day Of Fall In Pawtuckaway - 9/22/16
Nice report and pics, especially the closeup of the turkey vulture. I've only been to Pawtuckaway once, but I need to get back there.

Sometimes those shorter hikes are great when you can't get out for an all-day adventure. I went on a similar size hike in my "backyard" on Sunday - Mt Wachusett. Beautiful day, great views (for Wachusett) because the air was so clear, similar "big mountain" feel in some places. And hardly anyone on the trails that we chose.


Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:27 pm
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 Re: First Day Of Fall In Pawtuckaway - 9/22/16
I haven't hiked Wachussett yet but since it's on our new views list I definitely will. It is indeed nice to have a local place with enough variety to keep it interesting, even if you've been there dozens of times before. Too many people just think it has the tower and don't see the rest of the place. Agamenticus is another local spot for me but it doesn't seem to hold as many cool secrets. Pawtuckaway always seems to have something new for me no matter how many times I go.


Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:06 am
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 Re: First Day Of Fall In Pawtuckaway - 9/22/16
Granite Guy wrote:
Life has really been getting in the way of my hiking for the last couple months. Don't you hate when that happens?!
Yes. Work for me has really been messing with my trail time opportunities.

Climbers on the Lower Slab
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Hey! 8) I've top roped this MANY times. Brings back memories.

Time to climb the tower. Wait. Whats going on here?! :shock:
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The caretaker told us when we were there last April that they'd be replacing the tower. Wasn't sure of the timing though.

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Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:04 pm
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 Re: First Day Of Fall In Pawtuckaway - 9/22/16
We were there about a month ago; lots of nice views, but I don't remember seeing the ocean. I was happy to hear the tower is being redone, not dismantled.


Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:56 pm
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 Re: First Day Of Fall In Pawtuckaway - 9/22/16
We need to get back to Pawtuckaway again. Your pics are great and always make the places you go look inviting. We didn't know about the fire tower being rebuilt. We have to plan our trip for when it reopens.

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Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:18 am
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Sovereign Woodsman
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 Re: First Day Of Fall In Pawtuckaway - 9/22/16
Looks like they are just slapping some paint on The steel and redoing the decking and cab. Shouldn't take them too long.


Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:38 pm
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Flatfoot
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 Re: First Day Of Fall In Pawtuckaway - 9/22/16
I love Pawtuckaway. My parents took us there camping several times every summer. It's only been in the last few years that I've discovered the "backside" of the park. The loop over North Mountain is stunning, especially the cliffs and boulder fields. This is a great place that's close to home (for me).


Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:15 pm
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 Re: First Day Of Fall In Pawtuckaway - 9/22/16
WeRmudfun wrote:
We need to get back to Pawtuckaway again. Your pics are great and always make the places you go look inviting. We didn't know about the fire tower being rebuilt. We have to plan our trip for when it reopens.


Do you have to re-do it for the fire tower list if it's a brand new tower? :D

thegibba wrote:
Looks like they are just slapping some paint on The steel and redoing the decking and cab. Shouldn't take them too long.


I think it's a whole new tower. Looked like new footings (on top of the old ones) but I guess they could have kept and re-used the frame. Railings and stairways are definitely new and improved. They were just chicken wire before. Now it looks like they might actually stop someone from falling through them if they tripped. Either way the frame appears to be done and painted silver. Hopefully the cab is done soon so the views can be had again soon.

plankeye wrote:
I love Pawtuckaway. My parents took us there camping several times every summer. It's only been in the last few years that I've discovered the "backside" of the park. The loop over North Mountain is stunning, especially the cliffs and boulder fields. This is a great place that's close to home (for me).


The cliffs, boulders, caves and RR summit cliffs and North Mountain on the backside are definitely the best parts of the park. Anyone who has only seen South and the tower is really missing out.


Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:04 am
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 Re: First Day Of Fall In Pawtuckaway - 9/22/16
We've gone to the boulder field and walked around a few trails and roads, haven't seen the cemetery yet.


Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:33 pm
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 Re: First Day Of Fall In Pawtuckaway - 9/22/16
Beckie and Prema wrote:
We've gone to the boulder field and walked around a few trails and roads, haven't seen the cemetery yet.


4 Cemeteries. :wink:


Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:58 pm
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 Re: First Day Of Fall In Pawtuckaway - 9/22/16
Granite Guy wrote:
WeRmudfun wrote:
We need to get back to Pawtuckaway again. Your pics are great and always make the places you go look inviting. We didn't know about the fire tower being rebuilt. We have to plan our trip for when it reopens.


Do you have to re-do it for the fire tower list if it's a brand new tower? :D


We'll just do it again for the winter 92! :lol:

_________________
Completed NH48 in July 2012
Completed NH Fire Lookout Tower Quest in April 2013
Completed NH Views and Brews Sept. 2013
Completed Belknap 12 in June 2014
NH 92 Fire Tower List 92/92
Our Videos: www.youtube.com/WeRmudfun


Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:07 am
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