Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation gain: 800 feet
Trailhead: Route 16 to Dolly Copp Road to Pine Mountain trailhead (about one mile from Route 16)
Lessons learned: Lack of research on my part does not give me the right to complain that I think we may have taken a wrong turn. A graded road does not guarantee sure footing.
This weekend Rich, Sandy and I volunteered at another of AMC's front country destinations, Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. During our break we decided to hike Pine Mountain as the road to the trailhead (known as Pinkham B Road) is not plowed in the winter and we figured this may be our only chance to hike Pine this year. Guests at Joe Dodge Lodge raved about the views and we figured we could hike, shower and be back on duty within a few hours.
We drove to Dolly Copp Road, past the campground (closed) and parked at the Pine Link Trail parking lot. The trailhead for Pine Mountain is across the street. Walking down a gated road, we could see Pine Mountain in the distance.
|Pine Mountain's ledges allow hikers some great views!|
On the right was a sign that took us up the Ledge Trail.
|Trail sign. We turned right to start our ascent on the Ledge Trail.|
The trailed turned left and opened up with steep slabs.
|Slabs were dry thankfully. Although steep, we simply walked up!|
We never saw a blaze on our hike but up on the slabs there was a considerable amount of arrows painted on to the rock, pointing the way to the summit. Which to my disappointment was wooded.
I had not done any research on this peak and expected the top to also have amazing views. We considered backtracking on to the slabs for the views, but were running out of time and had to be back to the Visitor Center soon. Fortunately there are several herd paths that lead you to more beautiful views as we descended down the Pine Mountain trail.
|Amazing views of the Whites (and some of the town of Gorham).|
|On top of Pulpit Rock.|
This must have distracted me because I slipped on the gravel on the roadside and fell into the road, ripping my pants. I was bleeding but more upset that I just ruined my favorite pair of biking (and now hiking) pants. I limped another quarter mile to see that we were simply walking down that same road we started on in the beginning of our hike. We had come full circle and were now heading to the car.
This hike has beautiful eye popping views and is a great option if you only have a few hours to hike. If you don't care to hike on roads, however, this may not appeal to you as half of the mileage is down a wide, well maintained private road (watch out for that gravel!).