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Bethlehem, New Hampshire, United States
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17 September 2011

Trekking to the East Side of Bald Cap Peak (Just Another Curiosity Thing)

Have you ever had one of those "curiosity things" that won't leave you alone?  You know, one of those things that nags at you to the point where you simply must do something about it!  Well, the trek that I did on 17-Sep-2011 was to satisfy a curiosity that I developed as a result of a trek that I did in April of this year (click HERE for a link to that Blog report.)

One component of my April trek was to visit an unnamed ledge on the eastern end of Bald Cap Peak in the Mahoosucs.   To visit this ledge, I launched a bushwhack from the Dryad Fall Trail.  It's a bit of an exaggeration, but when standing on that ledge, it seemed like I could almost reach out and touch Middle Mountain.  Therefore, it seemed to me that it simply must be a short and easy bushwhack to reach this ledge from Middle Mountain!

After having been abandoned for many years, the Shelburne Trails Club has masterfully restored the trail to Middle Mountain.  Thanks to this trail restoration, within an hour of leaving the trailhead on my September trek, I was in position to launch a bushwhack from the col between Middle Mountain and Bald Cap Peak.  And, in less than another hour, I was standing atop the unnamed ledge on the eastern end of Bald Cap Peak.   My curiosity was satisfied!  It was indeed a short and easy bushwhack to reach this unnamed ledge from Middle Mountain.

As an aftermath to my earlier trek in April, I did have one other curiosity that had been nagging at me, but to a much lesser degree.  In the short distance between the unnamed ledge and the Dryad Fall Trail, I had noticed what appeared to be a trail corridor.  However, I didn't have time to explore it.  A subsequent check of an older map (as seen below) showed a trail running nearly parallel to the Dryad Fall Trail.  Why there would have been two parallel trails in such close proximity, I have no idea!  Perhaps someone reading this Blog will offer an explanation.
(Clicking on the map will enlarge it.)

During my September trip, I decided to check out this old trail since I had the time and was already in the "neighborhood".  The old corridor is heavily overgrown in spots.  Nonetheless, it was still easy to follow.  After about a half-hour, I opted to abort my journey along this abandoned trail since it was becoming very boggy.  It was great fun, but there was no payoff in terms of views, etc.  However, now that I know the trail can be easily followed, it might provide a gateway to other adventures.  The wheels are turning! :-)

Regarding photos from this September "curiosity" trek, there is not a lot to show.  I can say that the unnamed ledge on the eastern end of Bald Cap Peak does provide a nice view toward the Presidential Range (see photo below).

The only other view of possible interest is shown below in the photo collage of the upper and lower portions of Dryad Fall.

In regard to my overall route, the map below gives a rough idea.  I did not run a GPS track.
(Clicking on the map will enlarge it.)

To sum it up, for me this was a fun and interesting adventure.  However, I can fully appreciate that something such as this would have limited appeal to many folks.   Also, it can be said that like so many things in life, one thing builds on another.  To my mind, this bushwhack opens up some possibilities for other adventures and loop-hike combinations.


Casey said...

My favorite hikes are always "off the beaten path." Going where fewer others have gone is far more appealing to me - sounds like you appreciate them also. Thanks for sharing! The scenery is awesome.

1HappyHiker said...

CASEY: Thank you for taking a moment to post a comment. And yes, couldn’t agree more, i.e. “off the beaten path” hikes are truly awesome!


Ted Baker said...

I spent many of my growing up years in the stone house at the head of the Peabody Brook Trail, which in those days, was still part of the Appalachian. I always liked the hike to Middle Mt. I was saddened to see the trail fall into disrepair and thrilled to learn of the work of the Shelburne Trail Club to restore it. I reacquainted myself with Middle Mt. in August on vacation. Next summer, I'll devote a couple of days to some Mahoosuc exploration. I love the blog. Thanks for the great stuff.

1HappyHiker said...

Ted, thank you! Your very generous comments are much appreciated!
Just as you, I also was thrilled to learn that the Shelburne Trails Club had restored many of the abandoned trails in that area. Their fine work provides a lot of pleasurable hiking in the lower Mahoosucs.
Best wishes to you for some marvelous hikes in that area next summer!