In mid-April 2016, I decided to make a routine hike a little less routine by incorporating a one-mile off-trail segment into the loop involving Middle and Peaked Mountain at the Green Hills Preserve in North Conway, NH. (As of the time this report was written, information about the Preserve could be obtained by clicking HERE.)
From the trailhead on Thompson Road, I hiked the Middle Mountain Trail to a point just beyond the junction with the Black Cap Connector Trail. I then left the trail to fulfill my goal of bushwhacking up the ridge leading to Middle Mountain, rather than continuing on the trail leading to this mountaintop. The impetus for the bushwhack was provided by Google Earth imagery which showed that my intended route would include open ledges that had potential for extensive views.
Seen below is a map which shows the entire route for the loop hike I did. According to AMC White Mountain Guide online software, 5.4 miles is the distance for the conventional on-trail route for this loop. Whereas, the loop I did was 5.0 miles.
The bushwhack route along the ridge leading to Middle Mountain did indeed result in some nice views, including this one that features snow-capped Mt. Washington and other peaks in Presidential Range, off in the distance.
The bushwhack route also provided the extensive vista seen in the next photo. The view stretches from Mt. Chocorua (at left) to Wildcat Mountain (at right).
Only rarely was there a need to "whack any bushes" along the bushwhack route leading to Middle Mountain. It was easy-going through terrain such as shown in this photo collage.
The next photo shows a ledge just below the summit of Middle Mountain. There are pleasant views from this ledge, but less extensive than the views along the bushwhack route.
The final approach to the top of Peaked Mountain is shown in the next photo. There are pleasant views from this mountaintop and its nearby ledges, but again, less extensive than the views along the bushwhack route.
To wrap up this brief report, presented below is another off-trail vista that includes the Presidential Range. This photo was taken from a spot located just a few hundred feet off the Peaked Mountain Trail at a point about 0.1 mile north of the junction with the Middle Mountain Connector Trail.