The Brook Walk @ Castle In The Clouds - 3/25/17
Saturday after lunch the weather was rain and snow around home but looked better up north so into the car and off we went. Got to the Castle In The Clouds parking area around 3:30, where my wife mentioned she'd never seen the actual castle so the planned out and back was altered to hike up Lee Mountain to the castle after the Brook Walk. The Brook walk was a beautiful stroll along a gorge similar to the Flume, only instead of walking in it you walk along the upper edge of it. Only a half mile long but filled with waterfalls and historical signs describing the history of each waterfall. Roaring, Twin, Whittier, Harriets, Bridal Veil and finally the Falls of Song were viewed along the way, each seemingly bigger and more impressive than the last. By the end of the trail we had descended about 300 feet where a nice boardwalk brings you face to face with the 50 foot Falls of Song.
If you're headed there up 109A this might give you the same chuckle it gave us
A lot of nice trails on this property
My 3.5 year old ready to rock!
Well signed and blazed trail
All the falls have nice little historical signs about them
Half frozen Bridal Veil Falls
Beautiful forest to walk through also
At 50 feet tall Falls of Song is the largest on the trail
Nice boardwalk to get up close
Still mostly frozen
But still nice also
Bottom photo instead of summit photo
From there it was back up the trail to where it neared the un-plowed auto road to the castle, so we hopped onto the road and followed it to the top near the Carriage House. With the sun setting I offered my littlest a ride to speed things up, which she was happy to take and soon we were at the upper parking area. We were greeted with a sign stating castle was closed (no kidding) but also no admittance. Since my kids can read and we were unsure if this meant no "trespassing" or just no "entry to the castle" we decided to not go up the final 50 feet or so to the building and risk being a bad example, which was a bummer, but we'll go back another time. From there a plowed road led back to the car so I had the pleasure of carrying 5 sets of snowshoes for the road walk, which we shortened by walking through a snow covered field.
Headed up the closed road
Near the top my wife took this. I think they'd just about had it!
Former carriage house was closed up
And the castle itself may or may not have been open to checking out
Bare booted it back down the plowed road
A lot more spring in their step when it's not in a foot of mushy snow
Nice finish to the afternoon
Signs of spring??
Should you ever need to carry 5 sets of snowshoes with no backpack this is the best way I found to do so
All in a good couple of hours out. Cloudy when we started but clear skies with a beautiful sunset as we finished. 1.8 miles with a 300 foot drop to start followed by a 500 foot climb back up the mountain and then down the other side to the parking area. The heavy spring snow was a lot harder work than the kids were used to when snowshoeing, so even for a smaller hike it was a good workout that pushed them a bit. I'm always sad to see winter go but if it's now mashed potato season I'll be happy to get a heatwave and finish off the spring snow. Once that happens this is definitely a hike I can see us doing again, as well as a lot of others in the Ossipees this year. A lot of solid day hikes that are right in the size range they can handle without being too much of a grind for them. Bring on spring!