Cherry Mountain Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 11/10/2012 - 11/10/2012
Trip/Event Location: Twin Mountain, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Cherry Mountain [3573'] and Owl's Head [3258'] are just 0.8 mile apart on a stand-alone ridge. From the summit of Cherry [also known as Mt. Martha], there is a good view of the Presidentials from one...
It's approximately 152 miles from Boston and 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Take I-93 North, then U.S. 3 to Twin Mountain. From the traffic lights at the junction of U.S. Highways 3 and 302 in Twin Mountain, drive 2.0 miles north on US 3 and then turn right onto New Hampshire Route 115. Continue north on Route 115 for 1.9 miles. A gravel parking lot is located on the right directly across the highway from the intersection with Lennon Road.
Jon and I have been looking to hike Cherry Mountain [Mt. Martha and Owl's Head] for a while now. We left our house in Waterville Valley and met the group at 11:00AM.
Starting out with a couple of inches of snow during a warm, sunny, beautiful, late November day with temperatures in the 40's and little wind, we headed up the seemingly gentle Cherry Mtn. trail. The Cherry Mountain Trail is a really nice one.
Glancing at the map, the trail looked like it would go straight up and it did. No switchbacks here. The trail follows the Carter Brook first at moderate grades and the steeper with good footing.
The Randolph Mountain Club had done good work on maintaining this trail. The Cherry Mtn. trail runs through very interesting glades of hardwoods and spruces. I noticed several huge and what must be very old beeches and birches.
The trail soon becomes steady and steeper at times. Some of us were starting to get tired from the hike. Just when the tired feeling started to take control, the trail became more gradual.
We reached the junction with the summit spur. Taking a left on a snowmobile path, we quickly hit the summit of Mt. Martha. Cherry Mountain is Mt. Martha on the USGS maps, named after George Washington's wife.
The views from the top of Mt. Martha were very nice from the limited outlooks. We could see the Presidentials and all of their early snow shining clearly. Crawford Notch looked impressive for being twenty miles away. The pictures we took will not give this view justice. There were also two other good views as well. One view was of Franconia Notch and the western White Mountains, and one of Littleton in the foreground and the distant Green Mountains in the background.
We then headed off to Owl's Head on "Martha's Mile." It's a great little trail that felt like we were walking thru a tunnel in the thick, snow covered woods. It's really about a half mile.
The trail gets very narrow and squeezes around some very large boulders near the top. After a bit of an icy rock scramble, we emerged on the summit of Owl's Head. We found the view from Owl's Head quite stunning.
President Washington made himself known today! We enjoyed lunch and some hot apple cider. The hike back was quick and fun. It took us 50 minutes from the top of Mt. Martha to go 1.9 miles down the mountain. That's quick!
Overall, it was a very fun hike. Now we know why it's a favorite of many locals! This hike was proven to be a great winner!
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