Little Mt. Deception is a 2,400(+) ft peak at the southwest end of the Dartmouth Range. This little guy can be accessed entirely on public land by travelling a few tenths of a mile up the Old Cherry Mountain Road (from the Rt. 302 end), and then launching a trek from the east side of the road in the vicinity of Campsite #3. Since there are faint traces of an old corridor (presumably the long abandoned Deception Trail), it would involve a "little deception" to peg this as a true bushwhack. However, please understand that this trek should NOT be attempted unless you are experienced in off-trail travel. It's very easy to lose the old trail which means that compass & map skills are then required for navigation.
Shown below is a portion from a 1938 quad map that shows the now abandoned Deception Trail that once lead up to Little Mt. Deception (and beyond!).
As indicated, this is a short hike. It's only about a mile from the launch point on the Old Cherry Mountain to the top of Little Mt. Deception. However, as they say in the automobile industry "your mileage may vary!" I add this disclaimer since the actual mileage depends upon where you park your car to begin your trek. During the winter months, Old Cherry Mountain Road is gated which means parking at the gate (at the Rt. 302 end) and then walking a few tenths of a mile along the road (a snowmobile trail in winter). During the summer months, it can be difficult to find a safe/convenient spot to park along the roadside.
This trek takes you through some nice woods.
And, once you arrive at the top of this little mountain, there are some great views from a small ledge just slightly off the summit. Below is a snapshot of the ledge.
The focal view from this ledge is an up-close view of the Presidential Range.
Another view that is quite prominent is THE Mt. Deception . . . a much BIGGER mountain than Little Mt. Deception!!
TO SUM IT UP: This is one of the many short hikes that are close to my home in Bethlehem. For folks who live outside the area, this hike might not be worth a special trip. But, that's only my opinion. Regardless, it's sometimes fun to simply read about off-trail locations such as this which lie within the borders of the WMNF.
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