The month of March often tends to be a mixed bag of weather conditions, and March 2018 was no exception here in northern New Hampshire. Mother Nature took away a lot of our snow cover at the beginning of the month, and then delivered a fresh supply that persisted for a couple of weeks. However, by the end of the month, the snow cover had once again started to diminish, particularly at lower elevations.
1) Since conditions were generally poor for XC-skiing at the beginning of March, I began the month with a hike to Peaked Mountain in North Conway, NH. Trail conditions were such that Microspikes were the only footwear needed. Due to time constraints on this particular day, the hike was done as a 4-mile loop. However, by including Middle Mountain, this hike can become a loop of nearly 5.5 miles.
|A westerly view from a ledge just below summit of Peaked Mountain in North Conway. Most prominent features in this scene include: Moat Mountain Range; White Horse Ledge; Cathedral Ledge.|
2) Also in early March, I did a trek to the Moorhen Marsh area of the Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge located near Jefferson, NH. This outing was particularly enjoyable since the skimpy snow cover had temporarily prevented snowmobiles from traveling along this route.
|Presidential Mountain Range as viewed from Moorhen Marsh area of Pondicherry|
3) By mid-March, Mother Nature delivered a fresh batch of snow. Hurray!
|A batch of fresh snow delivered by Mother Nature in March 2018 . . . Hooray!|
4) The fresh supply of snow allowed me to do some XC-skiing on groomed trail systems, such as those at the Nordic Center at Bretton Woods, NH.
|Skiing the groomed trails at Bretton Woods Nordic Center|
5) Also during mid-March, I skied on the groomed trail system at Great Glen Trails near Gorham, NH.
|A view of Presidential Mountain Range when skiing groomed trails at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center|
6) The freshly fallen snow of mid-March also allowed me several opportunities for engaging my favorite activity of XC-skiing through the woods on un-groomed corridors.
|XC-skiing through the woods on un-groomed corridors|
7) Besides skiing, I also did a few mini-adventures during the mid-March period, such as a trek that included a walk along the Ammonoosuc River near Twin Mountain, NH.
|“Floating marshmallows” on the Ammonoosuc River|
8) By the end of March, the snowpack was too skimpy for my taste to do much in the way of XC-skiing. And so, I did a hike to Black Mountain in Jackson, NH. There are several pleasant views, regardless of whether this hike is done as a simple ‘out and back’ trek of about 3.2 miles, or a loop of about 3.5 miles, which is what I chose to do.
|“Presidential view” from the Black Mountain Cabin en route to the top of Black Mountain|
9) As April approached, the winter-frozen waterways were beginning to flow once again.
|Photo shows a location known as Jackson Falls which is really more like a maze of cataracts and pools than a waterfall, but picturesque nonetheless.|
TO SUM IT UP:
And so, I bid a fond farewell to March 2018. It was filled with many enjoyable adventures, but I will admit to a tinge of sadness with the realization that the passing of this month likely marks the end of XC-skiing until at least late Autumn. However, it’s comforting to know that the Spring and Summer seasons will provide their own brand of outdoor fun. :-)