Friday, August 1, 2014

Mt. Uncanoonuc North Peak July 30, 2014

Mt. Uncanoonuc North & South Peaks (peaks hiked on different dates).

(South Peak info at the end of this report)

Mt. Uncanoonuc North Peak (1,324') via Summit, Link, Class 6 Road and unnamed trails, July 30, 2014. 

Mileage:  4.7 miles (RT)*

Elevation gain:  1100'ish*

Trailhead: 163 Mountain Base Road, Goffstown, NH.  Parking area is for beach-goers and hikers.

*If hiking both peaks it's a 4.5 mile loop (South reached first via Incline trail and then North via Red Dot trail), elevation gain 1,664'.

Hiked after work with a group.  Rich and I wanted to hike Uncanoonuc this summer as we both work nearby and heard this pair of peaks is quite popular. According to our coworkers we were the only ones who'd not yet hiked it.  A hiking group offered it up and we signed on.

The trailhead is easy to find.

We walked past this kiosk, heading down the road on the right.
This trailhead will get you to South and North Uncanoonuc. The map is available online (click here). The leader planned on summiting North peak this evening. 

We walked down a dirt road that skirted Uncanoonuc Lake (a little spit of water) to the beginning of the summit trail.

Head left.

This is one mellow walk in the woods, with just the slightest incline.

We took the right onto Link Trail (South peak would be straight up the Summit trail - will save that for another day). 

Path dips down and winds up on Mountain Road. 

Nice view of the power line swath.

We crossed the road onto the Class 6 Road trail (funny name, don't you think?).

Once on Class 6 Road trail, it was pretty obvious how it got its name - it's one of Goffstown's back roads.  There's a muddy area to cross, with plenty of felled saplings to help.  Buildings are on the left through the trees.

A few cairns and slabs

Instead of taking the Red Dot or the Blue trail, we skirted the area up and around onto an unknown trail - to the summit.

Nice view of Manchester

We enjoyed the view (to the east, no sunset view tonight), took a few photos and then headed back. 

Things get dark fast in the woods, particularly mid-summer when the leaves are fat and thick on the branches.  As we crossed back over Mountain Road we got our headlamps out.  We went left back onto the Summit trail and were down at the cars in no time.

Easily navigated in the dark.

The trails are very wide and well maintained  - with good signage - and the map is very helpful in sorting out the labyrinth of paths.  This makes a great short hike! 


Mt. Uncanoonuc South Peak (1,321') via Incline, access road, and Summit trails, September 25, 2014

Elevation gain:  600'ish

Mileage:  1.6 miles (loop)

Trailhead: 163 Mountain Base Road, Goffstown, NH.  Parking area is for beach-goers and hikers.

Hiked with my friend Julie.  We met after work to check out South Uncanoonuc before dark.  Note parking for both North and South peaks is at the same spot.  There's the very small Uncanoonuc Lake nearby and this is a popular spot for picnickers, swimmers, and dog walkers.

We took the Incline trail, named for the old Incline Railway (the electric trolley, took visitors up this path to the summit of South Uncanoonuc). There is a great website that discusses the history of the railway. 

The Incline trail is just to the left of this kiosk.

The trail lives up to its name, basically .6 miles of steep pitch (650' elevation gain), with some erosion but pretty good footing.

Incline trail.

We could see a few houses off to our left, a reminder that we weren't far from the neighborhoods of Goffstown. There is a path off to the right that takes you to several viewpoints, complete with a peak guide.

We reached the paved access road (and the end of the Incline trail) in no time and instinctively went right to get to the top.

"Summit" means the Summit trail, not Uncanoonuc's actual summit.  The Incline trail ends here.
Cross the road to hike the Summit trail, for views and to continue the loop.

Cell towers crown the top of South Uncanoonuc.

This dirt road takes you to the concrete block and summit marker seen below.

Summit block.
"Disk" as in summit marker.

We looked around for a summit viewpoint; there isn't one so we walked the Perimeter Road and then headed back down to the trail sign.

No-so-fetching view from Perimeter Road.

The Summit trail brings you to views of Manchester and southern points.  It is said that one can see Boston on a clear day (we couldn't).

The sun sets to the right of this view of Manchester. We didn't stick around.

Where the Summit trail continues from this viewpoint is not as clear as it could be. Slabs lead you right, and back up into the woods. The trail is blazed.

Facing the view, the trail is to your right and up.

Trail crosses the road.

We passed the BACK of this sign, heading down.

The hike took us ninety minutes with stops.

Heading down the road to the car. Lake is on our left.

 Great after work hike.