Mt. Potash Hike Trip Report

By Mike Boisvert.

Mt. Potash fit our requirements perfectly on May 17, off the Kancamagus Highway, near Lincoln NH. It offers a great intro hike without any significant snow. The temperature was around 65 when we left the car. On this trip was Stacy, Rick, Doug, Joe, Felippe, Dave, Steve, Jon and Mike.

Many of us were in shorts and t-shirts with some guys wearing long pants. We were concerned about how much snow we would run into further up. After negotiating a few sharp turns--all marked--the yellow blazed trail settled down. 

The principal difficulty, if there was one, would come right in the beginning with the crossing of Downes Brook. We crossed all having a healthy respect for that brook as some of us ended putting our boots in the water. 

Afterwards we reached the logging road and the difficulty of crossing the lower Downes Brook was enough for us to decide to take this detour on the return. We crossed and headed into the woods. The trees at this level were just starting to get their leaves. 

Somewhere around 1800' the trail enters into the awesome domain of a Hemlock Cathedral Forest that extended pretty much to the top. 

A few hundred feet below the summit the trail comes to some sunny ledges that offered great views of Mt. Chocorua with good views of Whiteface and Passaconaway. A few minutes later we reached the final ascent up the bare ledges to the top. 

The views from the top were spectacular. By turning clockwise you could run through the list of peaks from Whiteface to the Sleepers to the Tripyramids, and the Osceolas and so forth. This is an absolute gem of a mountain with views much better than many 4000 footers and I realized that in lying low, we were nevertheless privileged to fly high with nearly unlimited views offered in almost every direction. Sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-60s allowed us to linger at this mountain vista. 

We made the trip down without incident. Interestingly, the old logging road is in very good condition, very smooth and although I didn’t realize it at the time, it no doubt offers an easier approach to the mountain than the regular trail. Most of us went back to my house for some beers on the Mad River Deck, hot showers and a barbecue.

We all slept soundly dreaming of catheral forests, sunny ledges and mountain vistas. We recharged our batteries in preparation for our next hike up Jennings Peak.

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