Mt. Stinson Hike
By Mike Boisvert.
It was a beautiful day, sunny and coolish in the 40’s. When you’re moving its warmer so wearing a light layer such as a fleece vest over a polypro shirt is more than toasty! There were eleven of us on this trip.
We arrived to the trailhead after carpooling from the Hannaford’s parking lot in Plymouth just before 11am. We ascended using the 1.8 mile Mt. Stinson Trail to Mt. Stinson (2,900’). We were surprised how many cars were parked here thinking this was not a popular trail. We counted at least four vehicles parked here.
The grade on this trail was easy, gradual, and follows a snowmobile road a short distance. This trail is definitely on a slope and at times, it was pretty narrow, maybe 2-3 feet wide at most.
After crossing the snowmobile road at the halfway point the trail became very rocky with lots of ice patches! The higher we climbed, the more snow we ran into; as much as six inches in some places. The trees higher up had snow on them. We reached the summit after about 1.25 hours.
There were southerly views including some amazing views of Squam Lake and Mt. Cardigan! When we arrived to the summit I estimate there were probably 12 people up there including a few kids and a couple of dogs. Their dogs barked quite a bit once they realized a dog was with us. Eventually they settled down. This peak has a rocky and open summit. It’s a rather large area that clearly can accommodate a few people.
To make it interesting, we descended using the snowmobile road until it hooked up back with the trail. Found this a nice way down as we didn’t have the rocky and icy sections we encountered on the way up. Nice option and descending was pleasant.
This is the tricky time of the year where you have that sheen of snow/ice that is treacherous and traction devices are overkill! I was surprised how many dogs we ran into on this trip! This must be a popular place for dog owners and dogs, for that matter, and they were almost always unleashed. I am un-phased by dogs or their owners, as many of my friends have dogs. I was a bit ticked off to see a couple of dogs charge at the dog we had with us while their owners were far behind.
All in all a nice hike with nice people in the Plymouth region!
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