Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Loop Hike in Pinkham Notch

Visibility was less than 100 yards in thick fog as I drove to the trailhead this morning. Destination was the Pinkham Notch parking lot. The plan for today was a loop hike starting up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the Huntington Ravine Trail down the Raymond Path and back to the parking lot via the Old Jackson Road. This would be a solo hike today.

There would be no panoramic views on this hike, just a nice walk in the woods. It was 7:30 and the temperature was 65 degrees when I reached the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. As expected there were plenty of people on this popular trail. The woods were cool and damp. There was heavy rain showers last night and I found plenty of slick spots along the way on this hike. Also saw many waterfalls and mushrooms.

I reached the Huntington Ravine Trail junction and turned onto the Raymond Path. There were many hikers bound for Huntington Ravine and this is where I left them. At the same time clouds rolled in and it was soon dark gray and gloomy.

The Raymond Path is a beautiful walk through the forest and it was my first time on this trail. The quiet solitude was deafening and I could almost hear a leaf hit the forest floor. I met no other hikers on the Raymond Path and found this trail to be the best part of today's hike. This is a well maintained trail but does not seem to have a lot of use. One sure sign of this was the amount of spider webs I broke through, they were TNTC (too numerous to count). And yes, I got all of them and no, I didn't miss any.

While trying to be extra careful to navigate around wet, mossy rocks I wasn't paying attention to the wet, slippery roots and I went down hard. Well, there was nobody there to see my fall so I got up brushed myself off and kept going feeling lucky to have not been injured.

As I reached the end of the Raymond Path the sun broke through the overcast and the skies cleared. Turning onto the Old Jackson Road I once again found a steady stream of hikers. As I was making my way down the trail I stepped on a wet log and yes, I slipped and fell down again. That one hurt but nothing I couldn't brush off and I continued onward.

It was not long before I was back at the Pinkham Notch parking lot. This circuitous loop of 5.5 miles was the perfect hike for a Saturday morning walk in the woods.

Having fun in the great outdoors!

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