At the end of November 2016, I visited a peak named Bald Mountain (2,378 ft). It's located just a bit north of Christine Lake near Stark, NH, and is one of many peaks in New England that integrate the word "bald" into the name, e.g. Bald Mountain, Baldface, Baldpate, Bald Peak, etc.
This particular Bald Mountain has no official trail leading to it, and it also lacks "celebrity status" in terms of hiking lists. As far as I know, it only appears on an unofficial listing known as the NH500. Nonetheless, there are ledges atop this mountain that reward the adventurous hiker with impressive views.
The route taken to Bald Mountain is shown on the map below. I hiked the pink highlighted route to hook up with an unmarked and faint herd path (shown in red) that branches off the Bald Mountain Notch Trail. The round-trip mileage for the hike was just a bit over 4-miles.
|Map showing route taken to Bald Mountain|
Although Bald Mountain lacks notoriety, it is just a stone's throw away from the well-known mountain named North Percy which is on the NH 52 With-A-View list, and is also a beloved destination along the Cohos Trail.
North Percy has an adjacent twin named South Percy, and collectively they are referred to as Percy Peaks. And this brings me to the "SURPRISE VIEW" that was mentioned in the title of this blog posting. While driving home from my hike to Bald Mountain, I passed through the town of Groveton, NH at early evening. Much to my surprise, I saw Percy Peaks being illuminated with a reddish color caused by a phenomenon known as alpenglow. This event was made even more special by the entire scene being reflected in the waters of the Upper Ammonoosuc River.
|Percy Peaks illuminated with alpenglow, and being reflected in waters of Upper Ammonoosuc River|
PHOTOS TAKEN ON HIKE TO BALD MOUNTAIN:
None of the photos taken during my hike can quite compare to the photo shown above. Nonetheless, a variety of picturesque scenes were captured and are presented below
|Beautiful "November woods" en route to Bald Mountain|
Along the route to Bald Mountain is an impressive chimney and fireplace, as seen in the next photo. Once upon at time, it was part of a log cabin nestled in these isolated woods. As I understand it, over the years it had become run down and the owner stopped working on it. Then, when the NH Division of Forest and Lands bought the Nash Stream Forest, they decided it was beyond repair and demolished all but what is seen in this photo.
|Chimney and fireplace seen along route to Bald Mountain|
|Looking westward toward Percy Peaks and Victor Head from one of Bald Mountain's many ledges.|
Besides ledges offering views of Percy Peaks, there are other ledges on Bald Mountain that provide southward views, such as the one shown in the next photo.
|Among many other features seen in this photo are Rogers Ledge and nearby North Peak (both at upper right), followed by peaks in northern Presidential Range (partially obscured by clouds).|
|This zoomed-view shows a fuzzy image of Rogers Ledge (and nearby North Peak) followed by mountaintops in northern Presidential Range on horizon and partially obscured by clouds.|
TO SUM IT UP:
The trek to Bald Mountain was certainly a worthwhile experience. However, this was one of those rare times when a roadside scene rivaled the beauty of those captured on the hike itself! Somehow, it seems fitting to quote Forest Gump (from a movie of the same name), i.e. life is ". . . like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."
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