Mileage: 6.6 miles (RT)
Elevation gain: 2,750'
Trailhead: Edmands Path trailhead is located on Mt. Clinton Road (closed in winter), Bretton Woods, 2.3 miles from Route 302 - near AMC Highland Center. 2019 update: Mt. Clinton Road is closed beyond the Edmands Path trailhead due to storm damage.
|Road is not passable beyond the trailhead.|
Hiked with Rich, Sandy, Joe and Claire. This is my third time to the summit of Mt. Eisenhower - all via Edmands Path - (see previous reports), but today's hike is my first post-knee-surgery four thousand footer peak. It had been 80 days since the removal of 25% of the meniscus on my right knee. I wondered how it would hold up.
We started out in the cool of the morning, parking on the side of Mt. Clinton Road as the trailhead lot was already full. There were hiking groups, solo trekkers with dogs, and several mountain bikers hell-bent on hiking up and riding down.
|Heading up the mellow trail.|
The trail starts out mellow with a few small water crossings. Eventually it steepens, but never drastically. Nursing a cold I breathed heavily as I ascended. The knee was in a neoprene brace (only as an added precaution) and showed no signs of a struggle.
2019 update: About two miles from the trailhead we passed through an area of destroyed trees, most likely damage from the Halloween 2017 storm (see related article). Trees large and small are leaning at a near 45° angle; sad and ugly.
|Trail crews cleared the path after the 2017 storm.|
|Wet slabs of varying size and steepness.|
As we went higher the trees shortened with partial views to our left. This part of the trail is cut into the side of the mountain.
|Looking left and down for views of the Mt. Washington Hotel and the Cog.|
The trail rose above the trees as we walked toward the ridge.
We got to the junction of the Mt. Eisenhower Loop trail and headed that way. This was an up and back for us, no loop today.
From the sign, the trail goes right and up the rocky summit cone - via easy switchbacks - to get to the summit.
|Looking down at the trail from the top of the switchbacks.|
|Trail system on the ridge.|
We could clearly see the summits of Mts. Monroe and Washington and points behind them, though there was some haze further out. A gentle breeze cooled us but didn't keep the bugs away unfortunately. They were fierce!
The summit cairn was a welcome sight. We had lunch and headed down, dodging the fierce black flies.
We made it down to the car quickly (swarms of bugs will do that to you!). As we descended the heat and humidity increased. I iced my knee when I got to the car simply as a preventative measure - it was fine (been a long time since I've had a painfree hike!). We went to the Moat for a beer.