Saturday, June 17, 2017

Shelburne Moriah Mountain

Shelburne Moriah Mountain, not to be confused with Mount Moriah or Middle Moriah Mountain, is one of the summits in the 52-with-a-view list.  Without a doubt it has some stunning views, in particular for the last half mile or so as you approach the actual summit.

Hike Stats
Distance:  11.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,380'
Total Duration:  7 hrs. 30 min.
Trails Used:  Rattle River & Kenduskeag Trails
Difficulty:  Moderate to Difficult
Water Availability:  Water sources exist in multiple locations along the initial 4 miles of this trail; always filter or treat your water!!
Driving Directions:  Head East from the intersection of Routes 16 & 2 in Gorham, NH for 3.5 miles.  An ample parking area exists on the right hand side of the road.  

This hike begins on the Rattle River Trail which runs alongside the Rattle River (brilliant hey).  I always enjoy hiking along a river and listening to the cascading water.  On this hike you will cross the Rattle River and other tributaries a number of times.  Two of the water crossings are a bit more challenging but with the low water flow today they were not too bad, though the rocks were slippery.  In times of high flows these crossings would be more challenging.

The Rattle River Trail, up to its junction with Kenduskeag, is a part of the Appalachian Trail.  If you are doing this hike from about mid-July through mid-September you are bound to run into some AT hikers.  Not so today.  In fact, we only saw 10 people all day and that was on a Saturday.  I like that kind of peacefulness.

The first 1.7 miles from the trailhead to the Rattler River shelter is a walk in the park with under 500' of elevation gain for the entire distance (spread out almost evenly).  The next mile or so climbs a bit more but is still easy to moderate.  Then the heart thumping begins all the way to the junction of Kenduskeag and along this section you will climb dozens and dozens of stone steps.  

Once on the Kenduskeag Trail things begin to open up after about a half mile and you will spend significant time exposed.  You'll be treated to views of Gorham and Berlin area as well as the Androscoggin River, several of the Presidentials including Washington and a stunning view overlooking the Wild River Wilderness.  Watch for a short spur trail to the right well below the summit of Shelburne Moriah which takes you to a rocky knob overlooking the Wild River Wilderness.  You will see the knob on your right well before you reach it so it is easy to find.

So, how far is it from the Rattle River Trailhead to the junction of Kenduskeag?  I guess it depends if you are going up or going down.  I always get a kick out of disparities in signage like these:

Sign at the lower starting trailhead says it is 4.2 miles to the junction.

Sign at the junction says it is 4.5 miles to the trailead.

So, which is it??

In closing, this is one of the prettiest hikes on the 52-with-a-view list, though it is certainly one of the more challenging ones due to the distance and elevation gain.  Now on to some more photos:


Definitely not a Four Seasons Resort but shelter nonetheless.

This 'hairy' boulder needs a cut and color.

 There are many, many bog bridges on this hike.  Even so, more are needed. 

This is a photo of some folks on the knob that I noted in the text above that overlooks the Wild River Wilderness. 

  This is Sue's "so why are you taking another picture of me" look.

Shelburne Moriah in the distrance.

 Still some snow on Washington.

Clouds are moving in across the Wild River Wilderness.  It was rather beautiful.



Anonymous said...

You passed right by my house and didn't stop by to say hi???!!!!! 😱😭

Glad to see you out and about. Miss you and Sue lots. I have Sundays off for the summer so maybe we can have you two over for a BBQ sometime. Say hi to Sue for me.

Xoxo Whitney

Beckie Jani said...

Found you on New England Trail Conditions. We wanted to do this for quite some time. Now I really want to do this!

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