Mt. Cube Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 11/04/2017 - 11/04/2017
Trip/Event Location: Wentworth, NH
Meeting Time: 11:00 AM
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Strenuous
We will hike the Mt. Cube Trail [Appalachian Trail] to the summit of Mt. Cube, elevation 2,909 feet. Great directional views from two open ledges, north and south peaks! Mount Cube, with open ledge... Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:
I-93 Exit 26
NH-25 west [for 15.7 miles]
NH-25A west [for 4.6 miles]
Parking at trailhead along left side of road, just after small bridge over Pond Brook. Trailhead on same side as parking, marked by Dartmouth Outing Club sign. Note that there's a hiker sign on right before the bridge and old logging road on left after the bridge that looks like the trail, but it's not. Trailhead is a little farther down the road, at end of parking area if coming from I-93 direction. We will be driving a blue Toyota Tacoma truck.
Mount Cube is a peak on the 52-With-a-View list, a list I'm not actively trying to complete but one I definitely would like to eventually, and it definitely earns its place on the list. It actually has two summits, which both have nice views in different directions. The interesting thing about this mountain though was that the summit is covered in large quartz ledges, a fairly unusual thing in the Northeast.
New Hampshire had a massive rain storm earlier this week that included winds over 60 miles per hour. Initially, over 260,000 residents were without power. The storm resulted with many road closures and as we found out, that included Route 25A. From the Warren NH end, we ignored the road closure signs and kept driving since the road was not completely barricaded across. Luckily for us, we were able to drive up the trailhead. The road washed out right after the trailhead. We parked where the northern section of the Appalachian Trail leaves Route 25A. We did have members driving from the opposite side making it more challenging for them to get to the trailhead. Dan was able to drive close enough to the trailhead where he could park and walk about 100 yards to join us. Just getting to the trailhead was an adventure!
We headed up the Mount Cube Trail from Route 25A, as that is the AT in this area just South of Mount Moosilauke. We started out on an old woods road under sunny skies and passed a cellar hole. The air temperature was around 50 degrees and perfect for helping us to keep cool. We did encounter a few blowdowns from the recent storm but they were easy to get around. About the halfway point to the ridge we crossed Brackett Brook that was a bit tricky but we all managed. With the leaves off the trees we were then able to see the summit ledges. We climbed easily through open hardwoods and ascending by long switchbacks.
We took the short spur to North Cube and walked on quartz rock – gorgeous – very different from the usual granite. As we gazed down NH 25A Upper Baker Pond was right above it. We spent a long while on the North summit sitting, eating lunch and enjoying the beauty. Looking up, Mount Moosilauke dominated the view.
We then headed up to South Cube. A wonderful view of Smarts Mountain, the Dartmouth Skiway, Mount Ascutney in Vermont. We tried to make out other Vermont mountains and saw Killington Peak and the distinctive Camel’s Hump.
We enjoyed sunny skies at the start of the descent. Back at the house, it’s an incredible moment to look back on the day and realize how lucky we are to love this so much and to be able to do it as often as we can! Thanks everyone who attended for a great day! Hope to see you all again soon.
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