Hedgehog Mountain Winter Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 01/21/2017 - 01/21/2017
Trip/Event Location: Lincoln, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Hoping this is our first real butt surfing hike - pray for some snow! The hike is moderate but the butt surfing is easy. Get your butt surfing skills tuned up for some advanced butt surfing later t... Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:
From the east, turn off NH 16 in Conway onto the Kancamagus Highway [NH 112] and drive about 14.3 miles. From the west on I-93, take Exit 32 in Lincoln and drive about 21.8 miles on the Kancamagus.
You'll see a sign for the turn to the trailheads on the south side of the highway: the Downes Brook, UNH, and Mount Potash trails. Turn here and drive in to the large parking area. We'll be driving a blue Toyota Tacoma truck.
Don't underestimate Hedgehog Mountain (2,532 ft). Despite being the lowest elevation peak on the “New Hampshire 52 with a View“ peak-bagging list, this mountain has great views and lots of open ledge!
Mt Hedgehog is uniquely situated next to Mt. Passaconaway, which towers over its western flank. Just beyond Passaconaway, there are awesome views of the Tripyramids, with views of Mt Carrigain to the north and Mt Chocorua to the south east. It really doesn't get much better than this!
The parking lot was almost full when we arrived with 19 cars. We saw about 7 groups during our hike. Even so, we had all 3 viewpoints to ourselves as we arrived at them!
Nine GO members climbed Hedgehog and managed to only use MicroSpikes. The snow was wet and sticky …there was hardly any ice. The path follows the UNH trail named after the University of New Hampshire camp that used to be situated here.
We started around 11:15 AM. The hike started on this great old railroad with pines on each side covered with snow. After 0.2 miles we took the right turn and headed up the 0.6 miles to loop junction.
The UNH trail creates a loop around the mountain: we hiked clockwise on the east side of the UNH Loop. After we passed the loop junction, the UNH Trail became a steady incline. Nothing too bad though, as a matter of fact, the whole loop trail wasn’t too bad.
We had lunch on the eastern ledges which happened to be sunny when we arrived. It was an awesome place for lunch. The ledges were nice and the views were great even if the tops of the summits were covered by clouds. As we were getting ready to leave we saw the summit of Hedgehog looming in front of us. We then continued our ascent along the ledge which was our favorite section of this loop. Once we started up the cone of the summit, the trail became a fun scramble in sections.
The summit has some views and there were more a little further down along the trail.
It was a steep descent so there were opportunities for some butt surfing. It wasn’t long before we hit Allen’s Ledge. We were very impressed with the views. The summit of Mt. Chocorua finally appeared.
Total mileage for this hike was 5 miles with 1450 feet of elevation gain.
Afterwards, most of us returned to the Sandwich Dome Lodge for drinks and appetizers beside the fireplace followed by another delicious dinner prepared by Jon!
All and all it was a great day to be out on the trails. Hedgehog Mountain was VERY good to us today. This spectacular mountain should be on every passionate hiker’s wish list!!!
Trip Report by Mike Boisvert
Photos taken by Jon Normand
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