Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hike to Mount Hayes

Looking out the window this morning the sky was dark with foreboding clouds. The weather forecast called for clearing skies so I was taking my time leaving the house hoping for some of that clearing. Today's hike would take me up the Mahoosuc Trail to Mount Hayes.

 Sunrise on the ride to the trailhead

 Morning sun on the summits

 Androscoggin River

 Hike starts here

The hike starts in Gorham, New Hampshire at the old railroad trestle that crosses the Androscoggin River. From there follow the AMC Trail signs. It's a one mile hike to the trailhead. Part of this path follows the ATV trail and I saw several along the way.

 Big blowdown

As I reached the trailhead I could see that the river is still low due to a potential breach in the dam. There appeared to be some work going on with a lot of noise and diesel smell in the air.

 Mascot Pond reflection

I turned left onto the Mahoosuc Trail and started my ascent to the summit. After the strong winds we had yesterday there were a lot of small limbs on the trail and one rather large blowdown. I removed many of the limbs along the way but decided not to tackle the big one.

 Mount Hayes ledges

The Mascot Pond spur trail veers right and I decided to check it out. It was a beautiful morning and the sun was warming things up nicely. The pond was smooth with a nice reflection of the surrounding scene. I took off a layer and was back on the trail again.

 Where the bear does "it" in the woods

 Where the moose does "it" too

 Ledge with a view

 Enjoying the view

This beginning section of the Mahoosuc Trail is a gradual climb to the summit of Mount Hayes. There were knee-deep leaves in some places hiding rocks, roots and mud. The mud was particularly tricky and I found myself having to use the edge of the trail.

 Presidential background

The wet and muddy trail didn't last long and I was soon walking out onto the ledges of Mount Hayes. There are spectacular views of the mountains from up here. I continued on a bit further to the summit. Wasn't much to see from there so I returned to the ledges and enjoyed a break.

 Starting point of hike zoomed in from the summit

 View toward Pinkham Notch

 Western view

There were plenty of photos to be taken from here and I also took time for a snack. The sun was warm but at the same time there was a cool breeze blowing. After soaking up the warm sun and views I began my descent.

 Gorham, New Hampshire

 Libby Pool from Mount Hayes...four miles away!

 Pot holes

Once again the wet and muddy areas were tricky but at least I knew where they were under all those leaves and was able to avoid a boot full of mud. Back at the big blowdown there was a couple there moving it off the trail. Appears they had the proper cutting tools to accomplish the job. This was the only two people I saw during my entire hike.

This was my first time hiking to Mount Hayes although I pass by here all the time. I was thinking this would make a very enjoyable snowshoe hike and will keep it in mind for this winter.

Panoramic view from Mount Hayes

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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