GetFit Hike #5: Mt. Liberty
Hiking/Walk DATE: 06/25/2011 - 06/25/2011
Trip/Event Location: Lincoln, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
This is it, the 4,000 footer you've been training for!
At 4459 feet, Liberty is the 18th highest mountain in New Hampshire. It sits at the southern end of the Franconia Ridge Trail and affords...
VIA LIBERTY SPRINGS TRAILHEAD:Liberty Springs trailhead is accessible by the Whitehorse trailhead parking lot off Interstate 93 Northbound on the western side of the mountain. Give off Exit 33 onto US 3 and head past the Whale's Tale Waterpark, Indian Head Resort, the sign marking the entrace into Franconia Notch and the Flume Visitors Center. Continue past the Flume Visitors Center and you'll soon see signs that will say "Trailhead Parking" on the right.
With showers and thunderstorms forecasted in the afternoon, I was a bit worried we would get soaked. The trailhead is located past the Flume Visitor Center, so it's a bit tricky to find it. We started on the Whitehouse Trail. Then we turned left following the paved Franconia Notch Recreation Trail to the start of the Liberty Springs Trail. Once turning onto the Liberty Springs Trail the footing gets a little more typical White Mountains. The work crews have done a tremondous job maintaining this trail. Sections of the trail have rock staircases.
The only water crossing that involves any rock hopping is also where the trail starts heading up. The trail is never ridiculously steep, but it is persistent. Rarely does the incline cease. We hit the Liberty Springs Campsite and chatted with the caretaker. We were looking forward to meet Pink Flamingo with his pink fingernails, but dang, today was his day off.
We had lunch at Liberty Springs and then went up the final .6 to the summit of Liberty. The summit of Liberty is great, very exposed, lots of room to sit and relax. We were pretty well socked in the clouds, but a few times the sun was trying to break through. After spending some time on the summit we headed down.
We got back down to the car and everyone headed back to my house for post-hike beverages and BBQ.
In summary, a good hike. Three guys ticked off another 4,000 footer off their list. Everybody got through it without injuries. Obviously clear weather would have been nice, but it could have been worse with showers and thunderstorms.
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