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
) 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
Our lollipop hiking trail
2017 is off and running!
Well signed and blazed trails, at least the ones we saw
The Monadnock Viewpoint
Monadnock and Crotched Mountains
The mostly open top under blue skies
The Belknaps coming into view
Headed for the summit bench
Nice spot to look around
The actual VFTT
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!
The 40 degree afternoon sun felt great on the way down
Finishing up an enjoyable little hike
Happy New Year!!!