Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Iron Mountain, November 1, 2015

Iron Mountain (2,726') via Iron Mountain trail, November 1, 2015.

Mileage: 1.8 miles (RT)

Elevation gain: 806' 

Trailhead:  Parking is on Iron Mountain Road (FR119) in Jackson.  Take Route 16 north to Jackson and take a left onto Green Hill Road (.2 miles north of the red covered bridge).  Pavement ends on Green Hill Road at 1.2 miles, continue another .2 miles and bear left at the fork - onto Iron Mountain Road. Travel about 1.2 miles and you will see parking for the trail.  NOTE: Iron Mountain Road is closed in winter. 

Iron Mountain is on the 52 with a View list (a list I'm not working on but you may be!).
A weekend up north hiking is just what most of us need to "reset" after a long work week - particularly if the weather is good.  After a wonderful hike up Cherry Mountain the day before (see previous report), I longed to squeeze in one more peak before the drive home. 

We did it in between the raindrops (forecast was "iffy"). Several like-minded buddies (Sandy, Becky and Rich) joined me on this short, steep hike.
We needed to head home early so we picked Iron Mountain because it is just a few miles from where we were staying.  And in the interest of time, we hiked just to the summit  - and not to the South Cliffs or the iron mines. (If interested in these points, visit the Hike New England site and read their trip report [here]).

Iron Mountain Road is a fun ride.  The road's windy but well graded and the views are breathtaking (particularly at the parking area).

Parking area - note sign on right and smaller "trail" sign on left.

It was sprinkling on the drive over but not when we hopped on the trail, a path through two fields and sweet greenery (before it gets steep and more trail-like).
Beginning of the trail.
First field.

View from the fields.
The trail gets steep and is eroded in spots.  But it's short - less than a mile - and in no time we were seeing great views through the trees. 
Evidence of some of the erosion.
 The terrain tops out and the trail descends a bit before heading up again, just below the summit.  We found ourselves maneuvering around large rocks. 

Rocky by the summit.
The summit is rocky with a few trees, and remnants of the fire tower. Sandy and Becky walked around looking for views, which are now mostly blocked by trees. 
Wreck of a firetower.
At the marker (by the fire tower foundation).
Becky had been complaining about her back so we had some fun with her, stretching her out on the firetower's fallen planks.
We took a moment to put Becky on "the rack."

Heading back we took a small detour on a path with some nice views. We returned to the trail and got back to the car quickly, despite gingerly descending the steeps (loaded with wet, slippery leaves).
I'd like to return to this peak at some point and explore the cliffs and mines but for today just summiting was a nice way to stretch our legs before the ride home.