Monday, October 10, 2011

2011.10.10 Mt Roberts - A Beautiful Baby

At just under 2,600' in elevation, most hikers would consider Mt. Roberts a baby.  That may be true but I would argue it is a beautiful baby.  This hike has many rewards for such little effort.  There are several ledges that overlook Lake Winnipesaukee, each more beautiful than the last.  That all culminates with a summit that looks North to the Whites with Chocorua very evident in the distance.

Mt. Roberts is on the Castle in the Clouds property and is owned and managed by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust.  They have done an amazing job of marking and maintaining this trail.  I cannot wait to try some of the other trails in this conservation area.  It is very difficult to find information online about this trail system.  Before leaving the Castle in the Clouds complex we stopped at the gift shop to buy a map for future hikes (maps are probably a revenue producer for the trust but I absolutely support that).  Unfortunately, they had run out of them.  Next time...

We finished this 5-mile hike at just under 4-hours and that was at a very leisurely pace.  With other commitments requiring we be back home by 5:00 PM, this hike made sense.  It was closer to home than the White Mountains, which is where we typically hike, by nearly an hour and we knew it would be a reasonably short jaunt.  What we did not know was just how rewarding it would be for such little effort.  The views over Winnipesaukee are similar to Mt. Major without all of the hiker traffic.  I cannot imagine how busy Major was this weekend but Mt. Roberts was very peaceful.  A gem for sure. 

We met a lovely couple from Maryland who were taking a fall foliage vacation at their family summer home in Wolfeboro.  They had hiked Mt. Roberts in the past and they helped us with some details and features.  We leap frogged each other several times and had nice conversation each time.  They were taking a different and longer loop down but we needed to head back via the same trail.

We also met another young couple at the summit and we helped take photos for them.

Though it was Columbus Day in New England, the weather for this entire weekend was record setting (I believe Concord, NH set records on Saturday, Sunday and today, Monday).  It was a weekend to remember!

Let's move on to some photos with more commentary to follow.

A photo of the sign at the trail head.
We took the trail furthest to the left in this image (Mt. Roberts Trail).  As you can see there are a number of other trails and loops. 

Even the view from the parking lot is idyllic!
A field with a white fence, a small mountain in the background and fall foliage beginning to set in.  Who could ask for anything more?  Sometimes I am amazed had just how good life is. When I am hiking I often have that exact thought.  Clearly that is one of the things that attracts me to this past time.

The morning sun casting through the trees.
Much of the early part of this hike follows an old carriage road that is extremely smooth and wide.

The couple we met from Maryland took this photo and the next for us.

Lake Winnipesaukee in the background.

Fall foliage has just begun in this area.  Another week or so and the colors will peak.

This is not a photo of the bald guy.  We were trying to catch the color in the near background.  And what is that bandana thing he wears anyway?

For those that follow my blog you know that there must be a vegetation shot of the week.  This is it for this hike.  These red berries were beautiful with the sun shimmering off of them.

This photo and the next several are views northward from the summit.

On the descent Sue peers out over the lake.

Can you find the Castle in the Clouds mansion in this photo?

A shot from the back of the stables just before we return to the parking area.

Okay, I could not help myself.  I just needed to take another photo of this beautiful setting as we loaded up the car.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ray, Great photos and nice commentary! We (the couple from Maryland) did the loop, which was pretty but the section you did was by far the best. One lovely overlook at Faraway Mountain, but otherwise in the woods. Happy trails (especially on snowshoes)! Jonathan & Dotty