Friday, September 6, 2013

Hiking the back side of Crotched Mountain

It appears fall is rapidly approaching as the overnight temperatures dipped into the low 40s last night at Little River B&B but today was a gorgeous sunny in the mid 60s.  In other words...a perfect day to get outside and enjoy some nature.  With our friends visiting from Ohio, we set out for a hike we had never done before on the back side of Crotched Mountain Ski Area.
Starting our hike by crossing a stream on an interesting bridge
Although we had no problems finding the trail head, there is a distinct lack of parking.  No worries, that just meant we had the entire trail to ourselves not seeing a single other person the entire hike up or down.  SOLITUDE!!!  The trail 2.5 miles long (round trip) and climbs a little over 1000 feet from the base crossing a creek, following some stone walls and passing some enormous boulders.  We also stopped on two occasions to find geocaches (found both...yeah).
Rob excited about his geocache find :)
Finally at the top, we were rewarded with expansive views of the countryside.  To our Southeast was the Wapack Ridge (North Pack, South Pack and Temple Mountain all the way down to Mt Watatic in Massachusetts).  In our foreground were Otter Lake and Powder Mill Pond while to the Southwest we had some of the best views of Mount Monadnock we have ever seen.  To the west we could pick out some of the peaks in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

There's also a picnic table at the top of the trail so bringing a picnic lunch or just some snacks so you have an excuse to linger for awhile.  It's also a great landmark to know you are there.
What a view from the picnic table, could have stayed here all day!

Being this is also September which is "hawk migration" time of year, we spotted three hawks circling overhead who were certainly starting to make their way down South for the winter.  We have heard Crotched Mountain is a great place from which to spot hawks and today did not disappoint!
Hawk circling overhead

Another hawk circling overhead

This could quickly become one of our favorite hikes in the area.  When you stay with us, ask for details on how to find this great hike and copies of the trail map!
The hike back down...really great hike and sad to leave

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