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View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:18 pm



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 New Years Day Hike Up Great Hill - 1/1/17 
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
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 New Years Day Hike Up Great Hill - 1/1/17
The kids all managed to stay up and watch the ball drop last night, which meant everyone (including Dad and Mom :D ) got to sleep in!! That also meant a late and slow start to the day but it was just too nice to sit inside, so once we were moving I looked around for some hikes with enough snow to use the shoes on, close enough to get to in time to finish before dark, and easy enough for a 3 year old to get up on her own. After a thorough look at all the possibilities we settled on Great Hill in Bow, thanks largely to the reports I've seen on this site in the past, so if you're out there Joey Keyz thanks a bunch!

Only a 45 minute ride away but it still had a lot more snow than we do near the coast. Not sure what exactly is up with the Nottingcook Forest. I think it's a combination of private and town owned properties but it is really well signed and marked for that type of property if that's the case, and it looks like there's a lot more to explore there than just what we saw today. But today we started up Hamilton's Path which was a great trail for the girls to get reacquainted with their snowshoes on for their first outing of the season. The snow wasn't really deep, another family bare-booted it just fine, but the shoes provided good traction and smoothed the trail out nicely for anyone that came behind us, so we kept them on for the fairly easy .6 mile hike to the summit area, which appeared to have been recently logged and was mostly open, with a viewing area (complete with signage and bench) at the far point of the summit loop trail, where we had a quick snack break and looked out at the surprisingly encompassing view. Pawtuckaway, Saddleback and most of the south-east NH mountains, the Belknaps, Cardigan and the Whites completed the 180 degree or so panorama from the top. Definitely a rewarding view for the effort required to get there.

Really nice looking town forest in Bow
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Our lollipop hiking trail
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2017 is off and running!
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Well signed and blazed trails, at least the ones we saw
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The Monadnock Viewpoint
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Monadnock and Crotched Mountains
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The mostly open top under blue skies
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The Belknaps coming into view
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Headed for the summit bench
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Nice spot to look around
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The actual VFTT
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Kearsarge
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Cardigan
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The Moose
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Sandwich Range
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After about 10 minutes in the cold breeze we headed down the other half of the summit loop and then returned the way we came, with the kids taking turns seeing how fast they could go downhill before falling over. We passed another group on their way up and a couple leaving the parking lot when we finished up, all in snowshoes, so if you do head there the track should be nicely stomped out and smoothed over unless some bare-booters get to it first, and even then the snow isn't so deep the post holes should bother it much. Total of 1.2 miles with 350 feet of climbing. A nice first hike for 2017 and a perfect afternoon out with the kids. Happy New Year everyone!!

Headed down and headed for a wipeout!
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The 40 degree afternoon sun felt great on the way down
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Finishing up an enjoyable little hike
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Happy New Year!!!
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Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:11 pm
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 Re: New Years Day Hike Up Great Hill - 1/1/17
Wow. You were about 3 mins from my house.

That area near the summit bench is quite recently clear cut. That sign is new - wasn't there (neither was there a bench) when I was there last, oh, about 2 months ago. Must've been right before the ground froze that they put it in place.

That's where I went to keep my sanity after my shoulder surgery and before I could hike where I really wanted. Nice little trail system. Joey used to go there to catch sunrises. I have yet to do that.

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Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:41 pm
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 Re: New Years Day Hike Up Great Hill - 1/1/17
Hmmmm, I had forgotten about this one. Thanks for the reminder. Might have to make a run out and visit it soon while I sit and burn vacation days. It would make for a perfect tandem with Oak Hill because there is supposedly a views ledge a short distance off of the firewardens road that I have been meaning to look for for years.

Brian


Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:47 am
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 Re: New Years Day Hike Up Great Hill - 1/1/17
Nice little local spot Kathy. I'd go there often if I lived nearby. It does look great for sunrises or full moon rises. On a blue sky day with great visibility the snowcapped Whites must look pretty cool. Even looks nice for a starry night hike if they allow use after dark. Any idea if they do?? I'm going to have to go back with a zoom lens sometime for that stuff.


Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:54 pm
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 Re: New Years Day Hike Up Great Hill - 1/1/17
Interesting little hike. But I'd definitely have to other hikes on the agenda to make that drive for such a short hike.

Kids look like they really enjoyed it. :)

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Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:14 am
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 Re: New Years Day Hike Up Great Hill - 1/1/17
JustJoe wrote:
Interesting little hike. But I'd definitely have to other hikes on the agenda to make that drive for such a short hike.

Kids look like they really enjoyed it. :)


Kept it short so they would enjoy it, and they did. Next time we'll bring the sleds! :D

This one is only ten minutes from the I-93 exit. So maybe a sunrise warm up hike on the way north.Or a full moonrise on the ride home. Or apparently you can visit Kathy for a cup of coffee while in the area too! :lol:


Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:49 pm
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 Re: New Years Day Hike Up Great Hill - 1/1/17
JustJoe wrote:
Interesting little hike. But I'd definitely have to other hikes on the agenda to make that drive for such a short hike.


There is actually a trail network there that is much longer than the 1.2 mile out and back to Great Hill, with some neat stuff to see, like a small gorge, some more outlooks, a cave, and a duck-shaped rock formation. If you need even more, Hooksett Pinnacle Park is nearby, as is The Nature Conservancy's Manchester Cedar Swamp Preserve.

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Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:23 pm
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 Re: New Years Day Hike Up Great Hill - 1/1/17
hiker0200 wrote:
The Nature Conservancy's Manchester Cedar Swamp Preserve.

Where there is a 400+ year old gum tree.

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Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:45 pm
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 Re: New Years Day Hike Up Great Hill - 1/1/17
Centuries old tree???? Thanks for that tidbit! I can bring the girls!


Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:44 pm
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 Re: New Years Day Hike Up Great Hill - 1/1/17
Kathy wrote:
hiker0200 wrote:
The Nature Conservancy's Manchester Cedar Swamp Preserve.

Where there is a 400+ year old gum tree.


It's a neat little place and would be great for kids. You definitely go through a gum swamp, but I think I read the oldest trees are pretty far off trail to protect them. In season there's also some nice wild rhododendron bushes. Report on the place if interested.http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?t=6467


Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:18 am
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