Thursday, November 3, 2016

Hayes Mountain - A Peak With A View (Just!)

Last weekend we were in New Hampshire, and we had to work hard to find a hike that wasn't in the clouds.  We drove up through a mixture of rain, sleet and snow and spent Saturday running errands and dodging the showers.  By Sunday we were ready to get outside, but the forecast was for very low clouds in the mountains.

We picked a peak from the "52-with-a View" list called Hayes peak (2555-ft).  To get to the start of the trail we headed north to Gorham and then realized that we had forgotten to look at the guidebook for detailed directions on how to find the path!  A quick Google search sorted us out, and we parked by a disused railway bridge and headed out across it with some trepidation.  After winding around amongst some old railway tracks, footbridges and ATV trails we eventually got to the real the hiking path.  We then proceeded to hike steadily upward through open woodlands and through several inches of fallen leaves.

We enjoyed nearby views of ponds, rock formations, and lichen along the way.  After about 2-hours of climbing were emerged onto a large rocky ledge with open views to the south (Pinkham Notch) and east (the Moriah range).  On a fine day it would have been a spectacular view; on this day we were just happy to be below the clouds!

We celebrated with chai tea from our vacuum flasks and rhubarb cake baked and packed by Sheri.  Then we hiked back to the car to head home before the weather got any worse.

Crossing the railway bridge

The world's smallest trail markers

At the start of the trail

Playing in the leaves

Lots of good moss and lichens

Snow on the trail

Our viewpoint, just below the clouds.  Looking south to Pinkham Notch.

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