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12 January 2014

Favorite Hikes for the Year 2013

Without a shred of doubt, my top pick for hikes done in 2013 was my trek to Tumbledown Mountain in the vicinity of Weld, ME.  The photo below is just one of the many taken on this hike.  It shows Tumbledown Pond as viewed from edge of a small tarn along the Parker Ridge Trail. (Click HERE for the complete set of photos from this trek.) 

Regarding my other outings for 2013, I logged a total of 158 outdoor adventures (includes hikes, as well as X-C skiing).  It was a challenge to narrow these down a reasonable number of favorites.  Regardless, listed below (by calendar month) is the selection that was finally chosen to be my favorites for 2013.

New Year's Day: Cross country skiing on the Mooseway Trail at Pondicherry

Early January: Mt. Willard as viewed from Sam Willey Trail

Mid January: Zoomed view from Jennings Peak showing Mad River Notch with portion of East Osceola on left, cliffs on west knob of Mt. Huntington in center, and portion of Mt. Kancamagus on right.

Early February: Bushwhack to beaver pond complex in Otis Brook drainage (located between Rocky Branch River and Iron Mountain).  Photo shows me having lunch at the beaver ponds (north end of Iron Mountain is in background).

Mid February: Found an intact moose antler while trekking on Reel Brook Trail for a day hike to Eliza Brook Shelter.

Late February: Trek to Mt. Monroe.  A heavy cloud cover remained on the high peaks, despite some forecasters who had predicted otherwise.  Still an enjoyable and memorable hike, but only got one worthwhile snapshot looking down the Ammonoosuc Ravine.

Early March:  Got some BIG views from a very short hike (less than 0.5 mile round-trip) to an old logging clearing at Fay State Forest (Lincoln/Woodstock, NH).  Particularly liked eastward vista of peaks along Kancamagus Highway corridor (Loon Mtn ski slopes on right).

Mid March: A bushwhack to various ledges and viewpoints in Mt. Langdon area.  A recent rain followed by sustained temperatures below freezing had created a hardened snowpack that was ideal for bushwhacking.  Could walk on top of the snow without sinking.  Much the same way as walking on a paved surface!

Mid April: A loop hike to Mt. Crawford involving a bushwhack approach to the summit from the west.  Photo shows Stairs Mountain with Mt. Resolution to its immediate right.

Late April: A bushwhack to South Sugarloaf (Zealand Road area).  Photo shows Presidential Range on the horizon.

Early May: A bushwhack off the Haystack Notch Trail with Steve Smith.  Among many interesting things, we saw several large hardwoods, some of which might be over 150 years old.  Photo shows Steve admiring one of these large trees.

Mid May: A bushwhack to a cliff at east end of Mt. Tremont.  Photo shows southeasterly view featuring (left to right) Bear Mountain, Mt. Chocorua, Mt. Paugus.

Late May: Memorial Day weekend in the Adirondacks with wife Cheri.  Photo shows raging cascade along West Branch of Ausable River

Mid June: Hike to Rogers Ledge with my friend Marty.  Photo shows Square Mountain and Greens Ledge, as viewed from an off-trail ledge located just below and east of the Rogers Ledge summit.

Mid June: A loop hike involving old logging road, a bushwhack, the Mahoosuc Trail, and the Centennial Trail.  Photo shows a view of Presidential Range from ledges on Cascade Mountain.

Late June: A bushwhack to an old lead mine, and an unnamed cascade in the Lead Mine Brook drainage.  Photo shows the unnamed cascade which is a bit unusual in that the brook makes an abrupt 90 degree turn at bottom of cascade.

Early July: A trip to Rangeley, ME for hikes in region of Saddleback Mountain.  Photo shows The Horn as viewed from a tarn in the col between Saddleback Mountain and The Horn.

Mid July: A bushwhack to a small unnamed pond off the Hancock Notch Trail.  While en route, did a short side trip to get a view of The Captain.

Early August: A bushwhack to East Hale.  Photo shows Zealand Notch with Mt. Carrigain and neighboring peaks in the background.

Mid August: A bushwhack to top of Eagle Cliff Ridge (Franconia Notch).  Photo shows a vista from the south end of the ridge looking southward down I-93 (Cannon Cliffs at center right; Profile Lake at bottom right).

Early September: My very first hike to New Hampshire's Mt. Monadnock.  Photo taken as I was approaching the summit.

Mid September: My very first hike in the Bigelow Mountain Range.  Photo taken from Cranberry Peak looking eastward along the Bigelow Range toward Cranberry Pond and The Horns.

Late September: A bushwhack with Steve Smith to Little Tunnel Brook Ravine (located on north side of Mt. Moosilauke).  We saw many, many cascades along the route.  The photo shows the "grand prize" which is probably about 100-ft high.  And although this torrent of water is quite striking, it is unnamed!

Early October: A traditional hike to Mt. Pierce via Crawford Path.  The photo shows the view from the top of Mt. Pierce looking toward the Presidential Range.  The colors were so vibrant and surreal on this particular October day!

Mid October:  A bushwhack to The Hogsback in the Benton Range.  The photo shows a vista of Long Pond with Kinsmans and tops peaks in the Franconia Range in background.

Early November: A bushwhack to Cape Horn (Groveton, NH).  There are many picturesque and interesting views from the ridgeline along Cape Horn.  However, my favorite image from this trek was the vista of Cape Horn itself as I approached it while en route.

Mid November: A hike to Mt. Cube via Cross Rivendell with my friend Marty.  The photo show a vista from North Peak.  Upper Baker Pond is in foreground; followed by Mt. Moosilauke on horizon.

Early December: Had several enjoyable hiking experiences in early December by poking around the recently established Cooley-Jericho Community Forest located in Easton, NH.  Photo shows a trailside vista looking northward toward Vermont.

Christmas Eve: Hiked to Bog Ledge in northern Presidential Range using the following trails: The Link; Cliffway; Monaway; Amphibrach.  Photo shows King Ravine as viewed from Bog Ledge.

End of December: A loop hike to Middle and North Sugarloaf with my friend Marty.  Loop began and ended at parking lot for Twin Mountain Recreation Area in the town of Twin Mountain.  This hike incorporated: a segment of the old Glacial Ridge Road; a snowmobile trail; a portion of the Trestle Trail; entire length of the Sugarloaf Trail; and remnants of the Baby Twins Trail (abandoned long ago).  Photo shows a vista from Middle Sugarloaf that includes a portion of Zealand Valley with Mt. Tom and Mt. Field prominent on the horizon.

~ THE END ~

10 comments:

  1. Wow, John - that's a stunning set of photos from another year of great adventures! I was honored to share a couple of them with you. Thanks for posting!

    Steve

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    1. Those are very kind words, Steve! Thank you! I also feel honored to have shared some hiking adventures with you in 2013. Hopefully, we will join forces for other mountain wanderings in 2014.

      John

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  2. Beautiful compilation of photos and all the different places there are to explore. Like Steve said, I'm honored to have shared some of these with you and look forward to more joint adventures.

    Marty

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    1. Thanks Marty! I’m very appreciative of your flexibility and willingness to accompany me on hiking adventures, including those that are unconventional!

      John

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  3. Great photo of Tumbledown from Parker Ridge. Tumbledown is one of my all-time favorite hikes, except that I wish it wasn't so darn busy all summer long. Also, your photo of Cooley-Jericho Community Forest is beautiful -- I love the birch trees contrasted with the evergreens. It looks like a beautiful and peaceful spot.

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    1. Thanks Diane for stopping by to take a look at my blog and to post a comment!

      Tumbledown is indeed very impressive. It’s easy to understand why it’s so popular and is often a very busy place. I was fortunate to be there at mid week in late September, and therefore I saw very few hikers.

      John

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  4. Hi John,

    Wow! This is an impressive summary of all your "best of" hikes in 2013. Great pictures! I'm happy to be able to re-visit these great places with you via this post.

    Also, I'm impressed with the number of adventures you completed last year. Very inspirational! You're fortunate to live near public lands and trails in a beautiful part of the country.

    And, by the looks of your wonderful winter hike two weeks ago (without those noisy snowmobiles—yea!) it seems that you're gearing up for more great adventures in 2014. I'm looking forward to reading about them!

    Rita

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    1. Hi Rita,

      Thank you for your very kind words about my photos, and a special thank you for being such a faithful follower of my blog.
      I think we are both very fortunate to live in such beautiful parts of the U.S. The photos you post on your blog from the Western region of the U.S. are astonishing to me. The topography is so different from what we have here in the Eastern region of the U.S.

      John

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  5. Beautiful photos! I always keep in mind "WWJD" (what would John do) anytime I' pondering where to hike. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Thanks Lisa! Never thought of it as being an acronym, but actually I employ another “WWJD” principle for nearly all of my hikes. The difference is that my acronym stands for “What WILL John Do” for a hike today? Since I enjoying trying something different for each hike, WWJD can sometimes be a challenge! :-)

    John

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