Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dixville Notch and Table Rock Hike

It was probably a day to sit inside but I couldn't take it any longer and decided to drive up to Dixville Notch and take in the foliage and maybe a short hike. The weather was drizzly, gray and gloomy other than that it was a beautiful day to be in the woods.

Going up...

Reaching the top of the climbing trail

Top o' Table Rock

No leaning back while sitting on this seat

The windshield wipers were needed to wipe away the mist that was coming down for the entire drive to the trailhead. Our destination was Table Rock at the top of Dixville Notch. I was a little concerned that we would be in the low clouds but we were in luck and the clouds were hovering above our hike.

Looking down at The Balsams

Looking over at Table Rock

Heading back down the easy trail

The maps I have were limited on the exact location of the trail we wanted. It just so happens we took the wrong one which was the Table Rock Climbing Trail. This short trail would be steep and challenging on a dry day but today it was wet and slick. Climbing was the key word and it required the use of our hands for most of the way. The trail was straight up in every sense of the word "up"!

End of the easy trail down

We reached the trail junction and there was finally some horizontal walking. Turning right we went out onto Table Rock. The cloud cover was still above us and we had a clear view of The Balsams resort directly below. It was a breathtaking scene and no place for a misstep on slippery granite. There was a couple out on the end of Table Rock carefully making their way back off the end of this ledge. We decided that halfway was close enough on this wet day.

Lake Gloriette

The Balsams Resort

A few more photos and we decided to make our descent before the weather got worse. After talking with the other two hikers we decided to take the easy way down. We came to a trail sign that had the word "Easy" on it and continued onward. It was a very nice and easy walk back down to Route 26.

Loon - upper right of center

Table Rock from below

We then had to get back to where we parked our vehicle and that required walking back on the road. No problem, I got some nice photos. There was also an added bonus, the call of a loon could be heard from Lake Gloriette, it's one of my favorite wildlife sounds! We soon caught sight of this aquatic bird and I was able to get a photo although not a close-up.

Traveling back on the road afforded good viewing of Table Rock. Whether admiring from below or standing on top, this rocky outcrop is an impressive granite spire. We made a good decision to venture out on a dreary, misty, cloudy day. While not a monumental hike it sure was challenging on the way up and definitely beat sitting inside.

Flume Brook Dixville Notch

Looking through Dixville Notch

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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