Trip report

Cherry Mt. [Mt. Martha & Owl's Head] Beginner Winter Hike

Hiking/Walk DATE: 12/21/2019 - 12/21/2019

Trip/Event Location: Twin Mountain, NH

Trip Leader(s): Gandalf

Max # People: 15

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money

Difficulty Level: Moderate

The open ledges of Owl's Head is home to perhaps the best view anywhere of the entire Presidential Range!

Cherry Mountain [3573'] and Owl's Head [3258'] are just 0.8 mile apart on a

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

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.

Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo


Mt Martha [3573 feet]

Owls Head [3258 feet] – a spur of Cherry, not the 4,000 footer peak]

Fun Fact: Cherry Mountain used to be called Mt. Martha, after George Washington’s wife. Today, it is still commonly known as Mt. Martha in the hiking community.

Parking: Parking lot on Rte 115 across from Lennon Rd. was not plowed and unless you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle, don't try parking. We had a 4 wheel drive truck so not a problem. Long tried to go into the parking lot and got stuck...we had to push him out. So both Long and Bob parked on the shoulder of 115 just past the trailhead.  

Cold start! 1° at the trailhead when we started at 9AM. We donned our MicroSpikes and wore them the entire trek. We did a straight out and back to Cherry Mountain Trail and Martha’s Mile.

This was our annual holiday hike so we donned our gay apparel of hanging jingle bells off our packs and wearing a variety festive headwear: Santa hats, Antlers and Elf hats! We had a couple of inches of snow with one set of tracks in front of us. Not enough for snowshoes, there were still plenty of rocks poking just below the surface of the snow. 

After a mile in, it became more and more winter like that’s always beautiful. The snow got deeper now - probably 4-6” of loose powder in spots and there was plenty of ice underneath. We were glad we had our MicroSpikes!

With the snowy landscape and our gay apparel, fa la la la la la,la, la; we were all in a holiday spirit and decided to name ourselves after one of Santa’s Reindeer:

Keith – Vixen

Long – Prancer

Bob – Rudolph

Luciano – Comet

Jon – Blitzen

Mike/myself - Dasher

We took an easy pace up Cherry Mountain with a couple of breaks for the ascent. Once we reached the summit of Mt. Martha, we had an enticing view to the heart of the Presidentials! We also went between the footings of a now-removed firetower to an outcrop for a glimpse of Cannon Mountain, Franconia Notch, and the Kinsman Peaks.

The 0.8 mile traverse to Owl’s head was quite a winter wonderland. The final scramble over the ledges was sketchy- large sections of ice in between patches of bare rock. The only snow cover was in shady crevices. We took it very slow and made it no problem. Having crampons and ice axe for this section would have made it safer. We thought of turning around and not reaching the peak but we persevered with a bit of anxiety. 

We had lunch on an open granite ledge that offered a sweeping panorama, and a little wind on top. We hung out for 20min or so before descending. Didn’t see another soul all day!

A special shout out to Keith on his first winter hike! Fully prepared and we hope he will join us on another winter hike real soon!

After the hike, Bob joined us for some snacks and dinner back at our house beside the fireplace

Beautiful day, perfect weather for the first day of winter climb! Cherry Mountain might not be one of the 4000 footers, but it’s one of our favorites!

Happy Holidays!!!

~ Mike and Jon

What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event

  • Viva I due Capitani! Me: out of shape, unwise, old and behind uphill (only!). The trail: pristine, silent, immaculate, immanent, rejuvenating. Buon Natale a Tutti! and...bottoms up !!! - Scorpione

Members That Participated


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Thornton, NH

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

Medford, MA

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous

Upton, MA

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate

Jamaica Plain, MA

United States

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate

Boston / Cape Ann, MA

United States
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