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hutzelbein
07-20-2013, 07:29
I'm still in the Adirondacks (see my other thread (https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?p=1050141)), but since it takes a while for suggestions to come in, I'm posting this now. After hiking in the Adirondacks, my plan is to move on to the Whites in New Hampshire and spend another ~2 weeks hiking there. This should be roughly in the first 2 weeks in August.

So: which hikes should I be doing, apart from parts of the AT? Are there nice 2-4 day hikes, preferably loops, that you can recommend? Any great spots that I shouldn't miss?

And of course I'd love to meet hangers! Don't mind if it's just for a day hike.

nothermark
07-20-2013, 08:01
Head for the White Mountains National Forest. Don't know where you are going after that but the busy side was the Conway/North Conway side. Used to be nice but had gotten really touristy the last time I was there in 2001. Spend a little time in Vermont. Lots to see but again, has gotten a lot more touristy than it used to be.

ne_hanger
07-20-2013, 10:26
The Pemigewasset (Pemi) wilderness is a great place to spend a few days. I would suggest a starting / ending spot of Lincoln Woods visitor center off the Kancamagus highway. There is a parking fee charged at Lincoln Woods.

A number of loop hikes can be done from Lincoln Woods that can take you to some great peaks with fantastic ridge hikes. There are a number of maintained back country camping options available, as well as AMC huts if you are interested in that option.

You can also find places for stealth camping. I've found nice locations off of Lincoln Brook Trail and the Bond Cliff trail. The AMC has a nice trail map of the area that I would suggest picking up before heading out. Make sure you get a newer map, or do some additional research before heading out. The Pemi is a designated wilderness area that is governed by all the legal mumble jumbo that entails. In the past few years there have been some trail closers and structure removals, including a bridge crossing the East branch of the Pemi River. The changes are reflected in the 29th (2012) addition of the White Mountain guide.

A note of caution if you decide to head up the Lincoln Brook trail. It is primarily used as a way to reach Owls Head mountain from the south. There are no officially maintained trails to the summit of Owls Head, however there is a slide (Owls Head Path) that is used to reach the summit area. I have not been on it, but reports are the Lincoln Brook Trail north of the Owls head path is difficult to follow and travel on.

desmobob
07-21-2013, 10:20
The Pemigewasset (Pemi) wilderness is a great place to spend a few days. I would suggest a starting / ending spot of Lincoln Woods visitor center off the Kancamagus highway. There is a parking fee charged at Lincoln Woods.

A number of loop hikes can be done from Lincoln Woods that can take you to some great peaks with fantastic ridge hikes.


I took someone's advice and did some snowshoe hiking and camping in the Lincoln Woods area this winter. Very nice.

I hope you're enjoying the Adirondacks part of your trip. What areas of the ADKS have you been hiking?

Take it easy,
desmobob

1960HikerDude
07-21-2013, 18:13
I just did a 4-day loop hike out of Lincoln Woods in the Pemigewasset Wilderness. You can find my video trip reports here (https://www.youtube.com/user/1960HikerDude)

I'm returning to the Pemi this coming Saturday to lead a small group on an overnight backpacking trip to Owl's head.

Other suggestions, are the Moriah-Carters-Wildcat traverse. The Kinsmans and Cannon Mountain are also nice trips. You could consider a Presidential Range traverse, but much of that is above tree-line and therefore not suitable for hammock camping.


The Pemigewasset (Pemi) wilderness is a great place to spend a few days. I would suggest a starting / ending spot of Lincoln Woods visitor center off the Kancamagus highway. There is a parking fee charged at Lincoln Woods.

A number of loop hikes can be done from Lincoln Woods that can take you to some great peaks with fantastic ridge hikes. There are a number of maintained back country camping options available, as well as AMC huts if you are interested in that option.

You can also find places for stealth camping. I've found nice locations off of Lincoln Brook Trail and the Bond Cliff trail. The AMC has a nice trail map of the area that I would suggest picking up before heading out. Make sure you get a newer map, or do some additional research before heading out. The Pemi is a designated wilderness area that is governed by all the legal mumble jumbo that entails. In the past few years there have been some trail closers and structure removals, including a bridge crossing the East branch of the Pemi River. The changes are reflected in the 29th (2012) addition of the White Mountain guide.

A note of caution if you decide to head up the Lincoln Brook trail. It is primarily used as a way to reach Owls Head mountain from the south. There are no officially maintained trails to the summit of Owls Head, however there is a slide (Owls Head Path) that is used to reach the summit area. I have not been on it, but reports are the Lincoln Brook Trail north of the Owls head path is difficult to follow and travel on.

whoofit
07-21-2013, 18:39
I strongly third the Pemi Wilderness. If you go there be sure to spend a night up on the Twinway. It's magical.

Not a loop but shuttle service runs both directions along what is known as The Traverse. It is another breathtaking hike.

The Sandwich Range Wilderness just North of Lake Winnipesauke offers some great hanging opportunities at altitude. Passaconaway, Hedgehog, Whiteface. Find the old Camp Rich for some cool streams...

We will be there next week again.

Welcome to Gods Country....

SkyPainter
07-22-2013, 12:20
====> +4 for the Pemigewasset area, especially around Lincoln, Rte 3 or off Rte 112, or Rte 175 near Woodstock. I stealth camp and fish there, and there are a myriad of hikes of all levels, terrains, and distances.

Some pretty tasty Trout, as well!

~ SkyPainter

sunshower
07-23-2013, 14:15
we are trying to hike the NH 48's.. already 1/3 completed... love the Whites! The Pemi loop is a great place to start- have fun!

ne_hanger
07-24-2013, 19:38
A notice of the pending closure of the Lincoln Woods trail for 6 to 8 weeks was placed on the White Mountain National forest web page today. Not sure of the exact dates of the closer, or when you will be there, but this would impact your ability to hike into the Pemi from the Lincoln Woods visitor center.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/whitemountain/news-events/?cid=STELPRDB5428884

hutzelbein
07-27-2013, 11:17
Thanks for all the recommendations. I was planning to move on to the Whites in the 2nd week of August. Seems like I'm out of luck and will be missing the best part due to the trail closure :( Or is there another way in? I have to admit that I haven't looked into it as I have just come back from a hike.

hutzelbein
07-27-2013, 11:21
I hope you're enjoying the Adirondacks part of your trip. What areas of the ADKS have you been hiking?

I do! I'm just back from the French Louie Loop (West Canadas area). I managed to get my boots, socks and feet soaked and itchy during a half day of rain and am still waiting for them to recover to tackle the next hike.

ne_hanger
07-28-2013, 06:43
There are a number of other ways into the Pemi. Again, I suggest purchasing the trail map of the region to get a better idea of the trail system, terrain, and camping options available.

Even with the trail closed it is still possible to enter from Lincoln Woods but you may need to bushwhack or do a river crossing. I've crossed the river in the Sept/Oct time period and had no issues. In high water it would not be recommended. The attached link is to an ongoing conversation on a local hiking board that has more details on the closer, and discuss, among other things, possible ways to by-pass the work zone.

http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?49853-Temporary-Closure-of-Lincoln-Woods-trail

hutzelbein
07-28-2013, 09:44
There are a number of other ways into the Pemi. Again, I suggest purchasing the trail map of the region to get a better idea of the trail system, terrain, and camping options available.[/URL]

Is this a National Geographics map, too?

sunshower
07-28-2013, 16:47
http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/1934028010
we use the AMC one every time we go... we just tried crossing the river at the east side trail just past the campsite and it was too sketchy.. i hear going down the trail a mile or two longer gives a safer crossing.

hutzelbein
07-28-2013, 16:56
Thanks for the link.

I will not be crossing any (larger) streams. I'm hiking solo and I'm too inexperienced to try something like this. If there is no safe trail into that area, I guess I'm going to have to find other places to hike in the Whites :(

1960HikerDude
08-01-2013, 10:33
The trail closure is on the Lincoln Woods trail between the Suspension Bridge at the Lincoln Woods parking area it's junction with the Osseo Trail. There are many other points of entry to the Pemi Loop.

For example, you could hike the loop starting and ending at on the Liberty Springs Trail. You could also hike in from the parking lot at the end of Zealand Road.

A little research will reveal many options. Don't let the trail closure stop you.

hutzelbein
08-02-2013, 17:48
Thanks for the heads-up. I managed to get hold of a map today. Looks like there are lots of options. I read, though, that the Pemi loop is pretty hard. Lots of climbing and descending. Not sure if I'm able to do that. I just hiked 4 days in the Adirondack High Peaks area and was overtaxed - at least when having to carry the full pack.

With all the different trails in the Pemi area: which ones are less difficult but still rewarding? In hilly area and with a full pack I'm comfortable hiking between 6 and 11 miles a day. I love to be at the camp early (~3pm) and take my time cooking and relaxing. The nicer the location, the more time I like to spend time at the camp. In the High Peaks area I was able to hike around 5 miles with the full pack, but it was exhausting and I'd prefer not to repeat that. Should I still hike the Pemi Loop?

McRat
08-02-2013, 19:27
The 'Pemi loop' has a lot of time above tree. Without a good weather window, it can be quite dangerous in places. With a full newbie 47lb pack, I did it in four days, three nights. Was the hardest backpack I've done. Rewarding backpack, but exhausting for a occasional hiker. My legs ached for days after.

In general, trailbuilders in New Hampshire had a fascination with ridges. The trails seek out ridges (without the gently graded switchbacks that you see elsewhere) and then proceed to go over every bump possible. Not sure your exact hike plan in the Adirondack High Peaks, but expect similar outlays of effort.

I find the Garfield Ridge Trail, end to end, a fairly miserable set of ups and downs with little to recommend it*. The east side has the exposed and gorgeous Franconia Ridge, a Classic NH dayhike. The downside is that it is popular enough to draw crowds, and you are close enough to the highway to hear the traffic.

If you like solitude, there are flat fairly isolated spots outside the Pemi loop, but inside the Pemi wilderness where you can enjoy solitude and gentle terrain.

Are you looking to basecamp and dayhike, or backpack? If so - how many days? Are you looking for solitude or to meet the locals or other hikers?

With a bit more information I can probably make some suggestions with much of the joy of a Pemi loop, but without the full suffering. ;)

hutzelbein
08-02-2013, 20:50
My pack weight is not that high, but with around 33 lbs (including the bear canister) too much for me to haul up and down the mountains. Especially along trails that seem to be the standard in the US. German "trails" (compared to trails here I'd call them highways...) would be another thing :)

So basically, if there are mountains to climb, I would prefer to have a base camp. I'm also not into mountaineering. I was a bit scared when I had to scale some of the huge, almost vertical rocks in the Adirondacks. If I have a choice, I prefer better trails which allow for stretching my legs. But I'll do the scrambling, too. I just won't be able to hike as many miles.

Solitude is fine with me, but I also enjoy meeting other hikers. What I found in the Adirondacks is, that the less popular areas seem to attract friendlier hikers. Traffic in the High Peaks was such, that many hikers didn't even bother to greet when meeting on the trail. I find that a bit sad.

In conclusion, I definitely would like to camp in the wilderness (this is something that is not as easy to do in Europe!), but if the camp is nice, I don't mind spending several nights in one place and exploring the area from there. An easy loop hike with the pack would be fine with me as well. It just means that I either can't do many ups and downs, or that I won't do a lot of mileage.

If you can recommend some places and hikes that would fit, please do! I will be out hiking in the next 4 days, but have to make a decision with regards to the hikes in the Whites afterwards. Any advice is much appreciated! Up to now, the recommendations I got in the forum were great :)

sunshower
08-02-2013, 21:12
I just read on VFTT that they are reopening Lincoln Woods this entire weekend if that helps. You can do it with 35 pounds... I'm 130 pounds and carried that weight for 4 days on the Pemi Loop. Your legs will hurt but it's worth it. You don't necessarily need a bear cannister, just rope your food up in a tree. We are doing the Sandwich notch this weekend to bag two more 4000 footers. I'll report back when we get back.

McRat
08-02-2013, 21:29
Map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=44.17950,-71.52340&z=13&t=T&marker0=44.22158%2C-71.47688%2C6.4%20km%20NxNE%20of%20White%20Mountain %20National%20Forest%20NH&marker1=44.19550%2C-71.48984%2C3.3%20km%20NxNE%20of%20White%20Mountain %20National%20Forest%20NH&marker2=44.19488%2C-71.49696%2C3.2%20km%20N%20of%20White%20Mountain%20 National%20Forest%20NH&marker3=44.18325%2C-71.49550%2C1.9%20km%20N%20of%20White%20Mountain%20 National%20Forest%20NH&marker4=44.18414%2C-71.50632%2C2.0%20km%20NxNW%20of%20White%20Mountain %20National%20Forest%20NH&marker5=44.16798%2C-71.53396%2C2.7%20km%20W%20of%20White%20Mountain%20 National%20Forest%20NH&marker6=44.16050%2C-71.53748%2C3.1%20km%20WxSW%20of%20White%20Mountain %20National%20Forest%20NH&marker7=44.16072%2C-71.53434%2C2.8%20km%20WxSW%20of%20White%20Mountain %20National%20Forest%20NH&marker8=44.15259%2C-71.54713%2C3.9%20km%20S%20of%20South%20Twin%20Moun tain%20NH&marker9=44.15281%2C-71.53117%2C2.9%20km%20WxSW%20of%20White%20Mountain %20National%20Forest%20NH&marker10=44.14043%2C-71.54052%2C4.4%20km%20SW%20of%20White%20Mountain%2 0National%20Forest%20NH)

Suggestion would be to look at Starting at the end of Zealand Road (A), Make the turn (b) towards Zealand Hut (c). Hut has nice view, shelter, potable water, toilets. Along the Appalachian Trail, it will have people, including Appalachian Trail hikers.

After Zealand Falls you can get on the Twinway trail(D) - Now the climb starts - a good quick 1000' or so up to Zeacliff (E) - a gorgeous cliffy viewpoint.

Somewhere between here and Mt. Guyot (F) you'll be at around 7 miles and is probably a good stopping point. Lots of trees, but they get scrubbier at higher elevation.

As you approach Guyot you will emerge from treeline to a gorgeous view of the Pemi. Just after Guyot, the AT turns right. Turn left onto the Bondcliff Trail. After a bit you will come to a junction (g) that leads to Guyot Shelter (h) - a drop down of several hundred feet will lead to a shelter and water source. There is a caretaker here and a small fee. If lucky you can get overflow camping back on the ridge (G).

Once set up, wander out to West Bond (I) or Mount Bond (J) for sunsets, sunrises, stargazing. You will not see much that is man made outside of ski-slope cuts. The last of the Bonds is Bondcliff (k) where you will want to wait to get a picture of yourself out on the cliff. It is a good loss of elevation down, but a gorgeous area.

You could always return the way you came, but it is possible to descend the Bondcliff trail and walk out the easy (cept one crossing) Wilderness trail, Thoreau Pond Trail, and Ethan Pond back to the car, the later three fairly flat and pleasant trails through some much less traveled parts of the Pemi Wilderness.

The trip breaks up 4500' of elevation gain, takes you to the quietest (and I think the most dramatic) part of the Pemi loop, passing ponds, waterfalls, appalachian trail, huts, cliffs, and a remoteness where the silence seems loud on windless days. Satisfyingly challenging, but less than half the total elevation gain of a full Pemi loop - time above treeline, but often close enough to scurry for cover if thunderstorms approach.

Locally, it would be known as a "Zealand/Bonds hike". While not my page, a good trip report with pictures is HERE (http://owenkellett.com/2012/08/05/mount-zealand-and-the-bonds/).

hutzelbein
08-02-2013, 21:45
You can do it with 35 pounds... I'm 130 pounds and carried that weight for 4 days on the Pemi Loop. Your legs will hurt but it's worth it.

I probably *can* - but I'm not sure I *want* :) I know there are plenty of hikers who love a challenge and who want to hurt. I'm not one of them. It's not that I'm lazy, but I find little enjoyment when having to tell myself all day "You can do it! Just one more step!" I'd rather have time to take a couple of breaks, just enjoy being out there, taking in the scenery, watching animals. Or having a chat with another hiker I meet. My experience is, I'm not enjoying the hike when I have to keep pushing myself. It's just not in me. Also, as a European, almost the best thing about hiking here is camping in the wilderness! There are great hikes in Europe, too, but it's usually forbidden to camp anywhere but in private campgrounds. It's done, but it's not the same experience. Here you get to sleep in beautiful and blissfully quiet locations without having to worry about being fined when found. And you meet nice people there, too! If I have to haul my pack for 10 miles up and down mountains all day, I'll be in camp late, and too exhausted to take in the scenery or talk much to fellow campers.


You don't necessarily need a bear cannister, just rope your food up in a tree.

I just got an Ursack. I tried the throwing thing but wasted an hour each night searching and finding a suitable tree and getting the bag up there. The Ursack seems to be a compromise: lighter than a canister, and I don't have to find trees and throw things :) I will see how this goes.


We are doing the Sandwich notch this weekend to bag two more 4000 footers. I'll report back when we get back.

Please do! And have fun :)

hutzelbein
08-02-2013, 21:48
@McRat: thanks so much, that sounds great! I'll read up the details when I'm back from my hike.

hutzelbein
08-08-2013, 10:28
I'm back from the Corey Loop and busy planning the Pemi hike. I have been reading through the information and looked up the trails on the map. And now I have a couple of questions.

If I understood you correctly, you suggest staying at Zealand Hut and then Guyot? So, 1st day hiking to Zealand Hut, 2nd day hiking to Guyot, 3rd day back to Zealand and 4th day back to the parking area? Or straight to Guyot?

I couldn't find information on camping at Zealand Hut. Is it allowed? Can you hang there? It's difficult for me to judge from the map, but it seems a bit on the short side for one day of hiking (and it seems to be very popular - the website says it's pretty much booked next week). On the map it looks like I might be able to hike the 8 miles to Guyot without wrecking myself, but I might be wrong (?).

I would definitely prefer not going back the same trail, and the alternative you suggested sounds good. However, this means crossing the Pemigewasset River in order to get from the Bondcliff Trail to the Wilderness Trail, correct? I assume, the closed bridge is the one that would connect those trails near the Franconia Brook camp, right?

Is camping allowed (and possible) anywhere on the trail?

Just looking at the map and providing that it is possible for me to cross the river without danger to somebody as inexperienced as me, I would be considering this:

Day 1: Hike from the parking lot to Guyot - around 8 miles with quite a bit of climbing. Put up my hammock at Guyot.

Day 2: Hike from Guyot to Franconia Brook, provided this is not the bridge they closed. If it is, cross the Pemigewasset River at a safe spot (is this possible?) and camp somewhere along the Wilderness or Thoreau Trail (any good spots?).

Day 3: Possibly hike back to the parking lot.

I wouldn't mind spending a 3rd night in the mountains. So maybe stay at Guyot for two nights and enjoy the sunrise and sunset etc.?

sunshower
08-08-2013, 11:30
i have personally hiked from the top of Zealand Rd past the hut (no hanging or camping 1/4mile around the hut, you have to pay the overnight fee which is $$$$) to Guyout campsite and stayed there for $8.
You can fill your water bottles up @ the hut and get some lunch or snacks if you need to. They have bathrooms as well.
It's not a difficult hike; you can stealth camp too, just stay 200 feet away from trails and water and not in the "alpine zone"
From Guyout, you can leave your stuff and day hike the Bonds (best mountains i have hiked) and then stay at Guyout a 2nd night, then hike back to your car on the 3rd day.

sunshower
08-08-2013, 11:33
oh, and yes the bridge that once connected the East side of the Pemi from Franconia Brook campsite is now gone. And as of today, Lincoln Woods side (west side) is closed till Sept something. People do cross the river at the campsite for farther down the same trail. We tried about a month ago and it was too deep for me, i'm 5'5'' and we had dogs with us.

hutzelbein
08-08-2013, 11:49
OK, so parking lot to Guyot, and spend a day / two nights there. That's good to know.

If I wanted to return via the Bondcliff/Wilderness/Thoreau Falls Trail - is there a spot in the Pemigewasset River between the Bondcliff and Wilderness Trail that could safely be crossed? As I said: I have zero experience, I don't even have stream crossing sandals (would need to cross barefoot) and would be carrying a pack of around 33 lbs (I'm 5'4", around 130 lbs myself in case this makes a difference).

If this plan doesn't work, would it be worth returning with an excursion and overnight stay via Ethan Pond or Galehead Hut (don't know if either allows hammocks/camping)? I'd like to spend 3 nights if possible. Otherwise I would be looking for another day hike in the area as I have one or two days left before moving on to Bangor.

sunshower
08-08-2013, 11:57
None of the huts allow camping within 1/4mile. i don't think hammocking at Ethan Pond would be a problem though. I don't know about river crossings that way.
Try looking on VFTT to see if there are trip reports about water crossings.

hutzelbein
08-08-2013, 12:11
Hm, the plan at the moment is, to start the hike on Friday 16.8. This would mean, I would/could be at the Pemigewasset crossing on Sunday evening. I hear they are opening the trail on the week-ends. Does this mean the bridge would be open, too, and I could cross over to the Wilderness Trail? I could stay at the Franconia Brook camp then before continuing the hike on Monday. Would mean spending a 4th night on the trail, though.

sunshower
08-08-2013, 17:56
There are two trails you are talking about. One crosses the river on a bridge right away and uses the Lincoln Brook trail. This is the one that is closed for work. At the end of this one is a working bridge to the Wilderness trails.
On the other side of the Pemi (if you stay right as you pass the ranger station) is the east side trail. At 2.6 miles is Franconia Campsite and the bridge that is no longer there. Here you would have to forge the river.

hutzelbein
08-08-2013, 20:40
I'm a bit confused. My map doesn't help, as it doesn't have a symbol for bridges. Maybe it's out-dated? It looks as if there is a bridge right next to the parking lot called "Lincoln Woods", and another one further North close to the Franconia Brook campsite. If I understood you correctly, there is no bridge near Franconia Brook (linking the Pemi East Side Trail with the Lincoln Woods and Bondcliff Trail) anymore? In that case I guess I can forget about the loop. Pity.

This means that it will be a short trip, and I would be looking for another hike.

hutzelbein
08-09-2013, 05:39
I have been studying the map hard; I'm considering extending this hike to a 4-nighter by adding a loop. After staying 2 nights in Guyot camp I could hike North on the Bondcliff Trail, turn East on the Appalachian Trail until it meets the Thoreau Falls Trail and turn South to walk down to the Wilderness Trail. Then turn East, then North on the Shoal Pond Trail. Then back to Zealand parking lot.

It sounds as if the Thoreau Falls Trail would be fairly flat and pleasant. The Wilderness and Shoal Pond Trail look like they would be valley hikes as well. I'm thinking I could just camp along the trails twice (my map shows no campsites; I will try to pick up a better one on the way).

Anybody knows these trails and could say if this is a good idea or not? I assume it won't be a spectacular area, but I wouldn't mind that. Pleasant would be fine with me.

sunshower
08-09-2013, 07:06
Yrs, you can extend your trip. The last part would be nice and relatively flat.

hutzelbein
08-12-2013, 19:37
Great, thanks! Looking forward to this hike!

raindog
08-14-2013, 11:44
Hi,

From your most recent plans it sounds like you won't be using the section of the Lincoln Woods Trail that will/will not be closed but here is clarification on when the LWT will be open to hikers and a better map of that section of woods http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/whitemountain/home/?cid=stelprdb5430918

I'm trying to get out to hang somewhere around Owl's Head this weekend (Saturday - Sunday) so I will wave up at you on the Bonds.

A wonderful site for use in hiking the whites is http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/. It mostly focuses on the 4,000 footers but it may come in useful in your planning.

Jen