Black Mt (Wachipauka Pond subsitute)
Hiking/Walk DATE: 04/25/2020 - 04/25/2020
Trip/Event Location: Pike, NH
Trip Leader(s): tdefauw
Max # People: 5
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Unfortunately the forest service has closed off both trailheads for the originally Wachipauka Pond hike, so this is a subsitution hike. We're going to hike Black Mountain via the C... Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:
To get to the trailhead, you can put "Chippewa Trailhead, Pike, NH" into your GPS. From Rt 25, you turn north on Lime Kiln Rd, which is about 3.4 miles west of the Wachipauka Pond parking lot and 5.2 miles west of Glencliff. On Lime Kiln Rd, turn left at a major fork at 1.4 miles to stay on Lime Kiln Rd, and the trailhead is 3.1 miles from Rt 25 on the east side of Lime Kiln Rd.
Thanks to everyone who joined both for their camaraderie and great conversation, but also for their flexibility. The US Forest Service came out with a bulletin last Friday closing trailheads in the White Mountain National Forest, and the trailheads for Wachipauka Pond were on the list. Joe and I have done Wachipauka Pond trail before from both Rt 25 and Rt 25C, but we never encountered many people on it and always considered it a lesser used trail. But maybe it was because it's part of the Appalachian Trail and relatively near Dartmouth. I guess the forest service are the experts I guess.
I found about this on Saturday morning, the day of the hike. Rather than cancel, we picked a subsitute hike in the same vicinity, Black Mountain via the Chippewa Trail. Joe and I have done this trail several times before, but had not this year yet. The trail is a very steep 1.8 miles up to the summit, with bang for the buck views on granite ledges on the way up, including great views of Moosilauke. One guy got to the trailhead and realized he forgot to bring his hiking boots, so he left. Two other guys ended up turning around on the hike as it was steeper than they anticipated (and definitely steeper than Wachipauka Pond!), but they said they were happy with the day in that their goals were satisfied in getting out and getting some fresh air and conversation. At the end of the day, it's the journey not the destination, and there's no shame in turning around (speaking from my own experience too!). The rest of us continued up and enjoyed the views from the multiple ledges, and had a leasurely lunch at the top. I think everyone enjoyed talking so much that nobody was in a hurry to start heading down, and we did the descent leasurely too. At the bottom we took a short walk to see the ruins of an old lime kiln. Even though it was chaotic finding out the morning of the hike that our intended hiking trailhead was closed, the subsitute hike ended up being great, and the weather couldn't have been better this time of year, 60 and sunny!
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