Sunday the family decided it would be a good day to go for a hike. By family I mean my wife. I’m up for about anything and our daughter, well, she allows us to drag her along. It started with a sour face but got better as the hike went on.
Today we decided to hike up Belknap mountain.
It is rated an Easy hike by the Family Hike page found here: http://nhfamilyhikes.com/hikes.php?hike=Belknap%20Mountain
But I call BS on that. Is the trail challenging? No. I’ve been on hikes where I need both hands and feet. This was a nice trail but the trail was straight up! I was wiped out by the end.
It’s roughly a 2.0 mile hike. Everywhere states 1.8 miles, but we somehow gained .2 along the way.
There are two parking lots. One is at the bottom of the lowest gate. The gate opens in the morning and closes at 6:00 PM. The road is steep and counts for the first mile of the hike. You eventually make your way to the second parking lot. From here it’s only a mile to the top through a nice wooded trail that traverses a line of telephone poles that brings electricity to the tower and a radio tower that can be seen off the side of the mountain.
Before reaching the top you can see the old rangers cabin. It’s all marked off with wire and tape to keep people out, but it’s amazing to think that someone would have been stationed here.
Upon reaching the fire tower, the view was still filtered by the large trees. Despite being taller than Mount Major nearby – Mount Major has a bald top (rock only) – Belknap mountain is fully wooded.
The views on up the tower were amazing! You could see Lake Winnipesaukee, Winnisuqam, Mirror Lake and more…. And it wasn’t even the best viewing day.
What Belknap mountain did have going for it was the fact that it was barely traveled. We were the only people on top of the mountain that day, and on Memorial Day weekend none-the-less. Mount Major would have had 200 people on it at any given moment.
On they way back down we decided to use that as our time to do some Geocaching. If you’re not familiar with it, please look up Geocaching and download the app. It’s a great family activity – or an activity or anytime.
We found a Cache under some rocks by a lookout spot
The photo makes it look easy, this is what it looked like originally
Maddy added a Tracking Bug – with the hopes that it will make its way to Florida!
After that, we headed back down the road to the car. I would highly recommend the hike, but be aware, it’s a steep hike so be prepared to take your time and make a few stops, especially if you’re bringing kids, but the view is worth it!
There are 12 mountains in the Belknap range. I’ve hiked two of them, apparently if I do the next 10 I can apply for a special patch. Might just need to do that!