Mt. Roberts and Faraway Mountain Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 01/19/2013 - 01/19/2013
Trip/Event Location: Moultonborough, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Loop hike with both peaks in the Castle in the Clouds property with grand Lake Winnipesaukee views! We will start on the Mt. Roberts Trail across open ledges and in 2.5 miles reach the...
We will be meeting at the upper end of Ossipee Park Road, which is also the access road to the Water Bottling Plant. According to Google Maps this spot is 122 miles from Boston and it should take about 2 hours and 20 minutes to drive there.
Click Here for directions. Once you open Google Maps simply change the generic starting point [Boston, MA] to your own starting point to get customized directions. We will be driving a blue Toyota FJ Cruiser.
Carpooling is encouraged so you are responsible for coordinating your own rides. Use the comments section below to communicate with other members who may also be looking to share a ride.
Its Saturday so it was time to hike with all the wonderful thawing that took place the weekend before. The feelings of spring, the dashes of hope that soon the trees would be budding. Sure enough, over 4 inches of new snow came in before our hike to bring us back to reality.
We love the Ossipees. We've had many a good hike there. It's another place where we can always explore new territory, or visit some old favorites. In winter with the trees all bare there are astounding views of Lake Winnipesaukee. From the many outlooks we could watch as the sun and the clouds played a magic game of dancing light on its patchwork of white and blue patterns.
We arrived at the lot at 11:00am. The parking lot was full and we had trouble finding spots for our cars. The thaw was over and it was cold again at around 30 degrees so we bundled up at first.
Down the road we went carrying our snowshoes to the trail head (follow the road to the left, signs for Mt. Roberts trail which lead beside the horse stable). The trail was broken with an icy thin cover. We probably could have used microspikes only but we put on our snowshoes. The trail follows a logging road, switch backs around and comes out at the top of the horse field along an electric fence road with signs saying HOT [of course reflecting on this group of hot guys!]. We then made the moderate climb. We followed and crossed several logging roads, but the trail is well marked by orange blazes, diamond markers and arrows.
One of the things I like about snowshoeing is seeing animal tracks were everywhere. It is always neat to see all the tracks in the snow! There were probably a mix of mice, deer, and fox; but the snowshoe hare is the one that is always instantly recognizable.
We saw glimpses of ledge through the trees, that being the first viewpoint that was looking impressive from here. We made a moderate to steep climb and followed the spur trail 50 yards to a wonderful ledgy viewpoint. I don't want to dismiss Bald Knob on the other side of the Castle, but I like this view much more! Easier to get to, and it includes a view over to the snow capped Mt. Moosilauke.
The trail now has moderate climbs through stunted oaks, following and crossing several more logging roads. The trail then crossed some ledges. We then arrived at another view point then a third looking directly across to the other mountains in this range including Faraway, Turtleback, Shaw, Castle in the Clouds, Bald Knob beyond and Lake Winnipesaukee. There are many opportunities to stop along the ledges and take in the magnificent scene of sunlight and the icy lake below us. Though Winnipesaukee is miles away its enormity takes up most of the view to the west. Across the lake the Belknap Range rises on the far shore. We now climbed over to a lovely ledgy knob. Certain this might be the top we got a bit excited, only to find there was another rocky knob ahead. We got to that knob to see yet another ahead.
We spotted a very prominent knob ahead and sure enough that was the summit of Mt. Roberts. We had lunch and enjoyed the northern views of Mt. Chocorua, Mt. Washington, Whiteface, Passaconaway, Tripyramids and much more! From Roberts to Faraway the High Ridge Trail the trail was less used with more snow so we put on our snowshoes. The trail to the summit of Faraway is not signed and not obvious in winter so we passed right by it. The view from the Faraway Mountain overlook was magnificent.
To return we made a loop taking the High Ridge Trail to the junction with of the Faraway Mountain Trail, to the Cold Spring Trail back to Shannon Pond and the parking area. And so down we went as fast as always! We cut off some of the mileage as we soon tired of the round about switchbacks along the road. With the leaves gone and the woods open it was easy to bushwhack down and pick up the road again in many places, thereby cutting off a good deal of mileage wasted on switchbacks. We finished at around 4:30pm.
Everyone went back home except for Richard, Rick and James who came back to our house for dinner and fellowship. Back home we had snacks wine/beer by the fireplace followed up with a delicious dinner cooked up by Jon that started with homemade vegetable chili soup with the main meal consisting of Jamaican jerk chicken, sweet potatoes, hot cornbread, and cole slaw.
This was a lovely hike that we certainly plan on visiting again and again! Perfect distance and trail gradient for the average snowshoeing hiker. Total time for us was 5.5 hours, and after further research; we actually hiked around 8 miles.
GOers conquered it all. A safe, fun and fantastic trip!
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- With its ledgy overlooks and south facing trails, Mt Roberts deserves another visit this summer. An immensely enjoyable hike with a great group of GO Adventurers! - JDNnh
- This was a perfect opportunity to use my snowshoes, meet and reconnect with some great guys, and see some beautiful views. At the end of the hike the fading sun behind the slivery clouds made such beautiful colors. Jon's dinner afterward was simply delicious. Thanks to all who participated. - richardc
JDNnh Jan 21, 2013 at 5:31 PM
Comment: With its ledgy overlooks and south facing trails, Mt Roberts deserves another visit this summer. An immensely enjoyable hike with a great group of GO Adventurers!
richardc Jan 21, 2013 at 3:23 PM
Comment: This was a perfect opportunity to use my snowshoes, meet and reconnect with some great guys, and see some beautiful views. At the end of the hike the fading sun behind the slivery clouds made such beautiful colors. Jon's dinner afterward was simply delicious. Thanks to all who participated.