If you're in the Shelburne, NH area and in a "bushwhacking frame of mind", then you might want to consider a trek to Artist Rock (not to be confused with Artist's Bluff in Franconia Notch, NH). This can be done entirely on public WMNF land. The route I took covered a distance of one-mile (one-way), and only took about 45 minutes to reach the ledges on the south end of Artist Rock. I wouldn't describe the views as blockbuster or "knock your socks off", but they are pleasant nonetheless.
When doing this hike in early May 2016, I parked on the north side of U.S. 2 at a pull-off area that is labeled on the map as 'Scenic Easement'. I walked eastward for about 0.1 mile along the shoulder of the road looking for a better spot to enter the woods. Once a spot was found, it was an easy bushwhack to Artist Rock.
Shown below is a map with my GPS track overlaid.
Bushwhacking to Artist Rock really didn't involve much 'whacking of bushes'. There were open woods from start to finish.
Upon arrival at the ledges on Artist Rock, I was greeted with the Springtime scene shown in the next photo. Shadbush was in bloom at various points along the transition area between woods and ledge.
Several "busy bees" were also attracted to the Shadbush blossoms. Shown below is a close-up of one of them.
The next photo shows the view from Artist Rock looking due south. Howe Peak is the largest lump toward the left side of photo, and the much larger lump seen just right of center is Shelburne-Moriah Mountain. You might notice the lack of any signs of civilization in this photo. In large part, this is due to the close proximity of the Wild River Wilderness Area (less than 3 miles away). At the time this blog was written, information about this wilderness area could be accessed by clicking HERE.
Shown below is the view from Artist Rock looking SSW. Shelburne-Moriah Mountain is the large mass seen at left side of the photo. And regarding the very distant mountains seen on the horizon at the far right, my best guess is that these are peaks in the Crescent Range.
If you take another look at the map presented earlier in this report, you will see the words "Scenic Easement". Once upon a time, you could get a nice view directly from the roadside pull-off itself. However, the trees have since grown up and block the view. So now if you want to get a similar view, then you need to do as I did, which is to follow a short pathway that leads from the pull-off down to the railroad tracks.
Shown below is a photo collage. One of my Facebook friends (Sally Dinsmore Baldwin) beautifully captured the "once upon a time" scene in a painting that she did in 2003, as seen in the TOP PANEL. The BOTTOM PANEL shows a photo I took of this scene, as viewed from the railroad tracks. (This vista includes the Androscoggin River in the foreground with foothills to the Mahoosuc mountains in the background.)
Just as a final footnote, once on the Artist Rock ledges, I fully expected to find some evidence of a bootleg trail, but there was nothing that was obvious. Maybe there is none, or maybe I was looking in all the wrong places. Regardless, subsequent to doing this trek, I was told by a life-long resident of Shelburne that years ago there was a pathway to the ledges that came up from the west, at a point along Losier Road. However, that approach now involves tramping on private land.