This is the first time in 2-months since my friend Marty and I have hiked together. Our schedules simply did not mesh during that time frame. For our "reunion" hike on 13-October, we chose Rumford Whitecap. Neither of us had previously visited this little 2,214 ft mountain.
It's about a 70 mile drive (one-way) from our Bethlehem location to reach the trailhead which is situated just a bit west of Rumford, Maine. The Mahoosuc Land Trust website(click HERE) has directions and other information about hiking to this mountain. Also, for anyone unfamiliar with the general location of this mountain, perhaps the map below will be helpful. (Click on map to enlarge it.)
Map showing location of Rumford Whitecap Mountain
Shown below is a map that is posted near the trailhead. Marty and I did a loop by ascending via the orange trail (Trail #1 on the map below), and then descending via the yellow trail (Trail #2 on map). The elevation gain for this hike was about 1,600 ft. There have been some relatively recent re-routes over the course of our loop, and so it's difficult to provide a precise mileage. Our round-trip travel is guesstimated to be somewhere between 5 to 6 miles. We did not run a GPS track.
Trail map posted at trailhead for Rumford Whitecap
From the top of Rumford Whitecap, there are outstanding 360 degree views which include high peaks in the eastern part of the White Mountains, as well as peaks in the Mahoosuc Range. However, many of the most attractive views are on the summit itself! There are over 130 acres of open ledges which are beautifully interspersed with blueberry bushes, conifers, and a variety of sub-alpine flora. Perhaps the best way to illustrate the massiveness of this bare summit is to show an aerial photo taken by the Mahoosuc Land Trust.
Aerial image of Rumford Whitecap (as taken by Mahoosuc Land Trust)
It was a bit of a challenge to take photos on this particular day since the sun would dart behind a cloud after we had already prepared to take a picture at a particular setting. It started to become comical after awhile! Regardless, shown below are a series of ten snapshots taken during our hike. As you look at these images, perhaps you will understand why this report is entitled "Rumford Whitecap in Technicolor!"
To sum it up, the hike to Rumford Whitecap exceeded our expectations! It was a pure delight to roam over such a massive complex of ledges, and to be presented with a beautiful scene at every turn. As the autumn colors begin to fade in many regions of northern New Hampshire, this was a fantastic way to close out the prime foliage season.