Warren Miller Movie/Black Mountain Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 11/23/2018 - 11/24/2018
Trip/Event Location: Glencliff, NH
Trip Leader(s): Gandalf
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Join us for a Warren Miller Ski Movie on Friday then hike with us on Saturday! You can join us for the Warren Miller Ski Movie on its own, just hike with us on Saturday or better yet, do both!
Chippewa Trail parking via Rt 116;
Route 93 north to Exit 32, right at bottom of exit ramp
Route 112 west towards Woodstock (and Woodsville & "Lost River") (for about 12.5 miles)
(Stay on 112 past the junctions for 118 and 116 North)
Route 116 SOUTH towards Benton (for 7.5 miles)
(Stay on 116 through Benton)
Left on to Lyme Kiln Road (for about 1.8 miles)
(Lime Kiln Road is about half mile past Windy Ridge Orchards on 116)
We'll be driving a blue Tacoma truck.
Black Mountain is one of our favorite mountains. The mountain is located in East Haverhill in western New Hampshire and is actually not that well-known. That’s really unfortunate, because it’s a wonderful mountain with fantastic views and a fairly challenging hike to the summit.
We had nice temps for this hike at 30 degrees under sunny skies. With two snowstorms the past week we were prepared to use snowshoes.
We chose to use the Chippewa Trail since it’s the most scenic even though it’s steep. The Chippewa trailhead starts off Lime Kiln Road at the parking area. The trailhead was not obvious since there is no trailhead kiosk. The trail sign lettering is facing away from the road and 12 feet into the start of the trail. Our clue was there were two vehicles already parked so Jon jumped out of the truck to investigate and found the sign. There was room for my truck. Phil arrived soon after we got there and parked alongside the road and behind us. The trail had been packed down so we used our MicroSpikes.
Our crew was Jim, Rick, Phil, Jon and Mike. We found ourselves hiking in conditions that felt like mid-winter with lots of snow covering the trees. All the rocks we would normally find in summer were hidden under the snow making the terrain smooth.
The trail itself is well-marked with yellow blazes and for about half a mile it runs through a brook and climbs the bank towards a T-junction at an old logging road. Turning left would lead us to the Lime Kilns which we decided to save for our return. We took a right and after a few minutes we took a left into the woods where we met a hiker hiking back down with his Jack Russel Terrier all covered with fleece. So cute!
The woods consisted mostly of red pines. As we began our ascent of Black Mountain we noticed the trail getting steeper and steeper as we climbed up to the ledges and ridges of the mountain. We chatted about various topics and really did not notice the steepness that much! The straps of Rick’s snowshoes broke so he decided to bareboot up only to the first lookout in the event there was ice further up. Rick will be asking Santa for some new snowshoes!
After about a mile (1.6 km) of hiking our efforts were rewarded by some wonderful western views to the Connecticut River valley, Mt. Cube and Smarts Mountain. At 1.3 miles the trail runs upwards on ledges offering terrific viewpoints. With sun and no wind, it felt like a perfect winter day…even though it was not officially winter. After we left the outlook I pulled a calf muscle on my right leg which hampered my progress but I was not be deterred to hike up this beautiful summit! We hiked up pass excellent outlooks until we reached a knob with a tremendous view of Mt. Moosilauke. It was breezy so we added a layer. We could see the actual summit up ahead. Just before the trail reaches the summit, it joins the Black Mountain Trail coming from the other side of the mountain.
The summit itself is tremendous! The trail is surprisingly steep and challenging, but the summit is absolutely worth the effort. There’s a great view of the Kinsman Mountain Range and to the right, Mt’s Liberty and Flume. We enjoyed the turkey sandwiches with stuffing that Jon made as we bathed in the sun and soaked in the view!
The descent is – obviously – steep as well. We took in the fantastic views from the outlooks. As we got near the junction to the side trail to Lime Kilns we met Rick who joined us to investigate.
1.8 miles one way, the Chippewa Trail is not the longest of all hiking trails, but it’s surely worth it! Because of its steepness it still took us two hours to reach the summit; the way back down is about one hour. Adding time to enjoy the views and exploring the Lime Kilns, it took us 3 1/2 hours for a roundtrip. It’s definitely a great half day hike!
We bid our farewells to Phil and found we had enough time to drive over to Glove Hollow Tree Farm in Plymouth to cut our own Christmas tree. The farm was incredibly busy but after walking around for a few minutes we found the perfect tree which Jon cut down. We put the tree in the truck and made our way back to the house.
Back at the house, Jon and I set up the Christmas Tree on our outdoor deck. I then lit up the fireplace adding a cozy ambience to the house! We enjoyed appetizers and wine while Jon’s homemade pizzas were cooking in the oven. While we chatting Jim had a terrific idea to reconfigure our living room which was perfect! Why didn't we think of that?
Thank you Jim, Rick and Phil for a memorable “winter” outing. We were a well matched crew and we look forward to seeing you again on our winter hikes!
Mike and Jon
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- Looks like you guys had a blast! Great pics - baezfred
baezfred Nov 27, 2018 at 10:33 PM
Comment: Looks like you guys had a blast! Great pics