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10 December 2016

A Surprise View in Groveton (NH) Following a Hike to nearby Bald Mountain


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

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.
This photo was taken near the trailhead parking area when I returned from my hike.  A portion of Christine Lake is seen in the foreground.  On the horizon is South Percy at left, with a slice of North Percy to its right.  Victor Head is seen to the right of South Percy.


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."



Larry Wood said...

hey John, That Alpenglow shot of the Percy peaks is absolutely stunning, the colors even appear more vibrant in the reflection. Quite a chocolate you found on that roadside. Happy solstice and holidays to your and yours! Larry-NYC

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Larry,

Thanks for your compliment about the Percy Peaks photo. The only credit I can take is being at the right place, at the right time. :-)

Also thanks for the Happy Solstice and Happy Holiday good wishes, and I want to extend those same wishes to you and yours.


One Day in America said...

Hi John,

Your reply to Larry about being at the right place at the right time is so true. But, too many people don't get to appreciate those views or have those "box of chocolates" experiences because they won't leave the comfort of their homes during late fall and winter. The alpenglow photo is indeed stunning!

The photos from the ledges are wonderful, too. And about that cabin—what an ideal place for a get-away home!

1HappyHiker said...

Thanks Rita for your comments!

Yes, in order to have those “box of chocolates” experiences, one needs to ‘be there and be aware’. In other words, it’s not enough to simply be there (wherever ‘there’ might be), one also needs to be vigilant for beautiful things that are present, oftentimes in plain view, but other times it takes some deeper inspection to uncover the gems that are obscure or hidden. Life is far more fulfilling by being a participator, rather than a spectator. :-)


Karl said...

Hi John,

Hope you had a great holiday!

This is a great report! The picture of the alpine glow on the Percys is quite impressive. You always comment on how it must be nice to be able to small jaunts at lunch time...well I must comment that it must be nice to drive home and get scenery like that!!!

It really looks like Bald Mountain (in Stark) does have some great, noteworthy views. It's too bad that so many of these smaller mountains exist, that just don't get the attention they deserve. The cabin chimney is quite impressive too. I wonder why they decide to remove the cabin even if it's beyond repair. Maybe for safety in the event someone gets hurt checking it out???

Take care,

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Karl,

Mega thanks for your comments, and my best wishes to you and yours for a fantastic New Year in 2017, and for many years to come.

Regarding removal of a structure that has become dilapidated (such as the one mentioned in this report), probably safety and economics are determining factors. Presumably, demolition (versus repair) was the most cost-effective means to address the safety concerns associated with this old cabin.