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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Moose Mountain East Knob 5/26/11

"More Moose!" (pictures)
(Moose Mountains Facebook Group)

Difficulty: Hard (steep/loose/rocky up Burrows Farm Trail)

Directions: From downtown Farmington, NH take Rt. 153 North into Middleton about 5 miles. Continue onto King's Highway for .9 miles. Turn right at the police station onto Ridge Road. At 1.6 miles turn left onto New Portsmouth Road. Bear left onto New Portsmouth Road Exd. The trail head and kiosk will be seen ahead. You can park at the kiosk or continue 400 feet on an unmaintained road to an upper parking area just past the river.

Pink Moccasin Flower
Report: My third day at Moose Mountains Reservation. I wasn't sure just how much time I would spend as a land steward of this mountain range, but there is so much to see here I will never tire of it! Wildflowers, frogs and so much more! We returned to remove the cable I put over the gate the day before. Apparently it can't be locked because it is a class 6 road. So hopefully it can be locked elsewhere to keep the off road vehicles off the fields and hiking trails! Wendy, a Forester with SPNHF will be giving a tour soon and we will be discussing these things.

Green Frog
Anyhow, once this was done we hiked up New Portsmouth Road passing mud pits from the off road truck use which the Green and Northern Leopard Frogs were enjoying. There were dozens of them! Up to the junction with Burrows Farm Trail which is straight ahead. A left here brings you up to the Burrows Farm Site and field and up to Phoebes Nable Mt. Scott destroyed a fire circle here making sure not to leave a single rock, kicking them down the banking. The trail enters a timber landing zone then climbs passing carpets of violets and patches of pink moccasin flowers.

Ledges on East Knob
Once passing a "No Motorized Vehicles" sign the trail began a steep, rocky climb up a slippery, rock filled skid road. The heat and humidity was really killing us but didn't slow us down one bit! We passed a ledgy stream then over some ledgy parts of the trail. Soon we were passing by blue berry bushes and more ledge. Snow Mobile trail markers were present up here. The trail levels off and enters a semi-open plateau of Pitch Pine, Red Pine, Blue Berries, rock erratics and ledges. It was a beautiful area!

Pine Flower/Cone?
The breeze was blowing a welcomed coolness and helped keep the black flies at bay. We found deer and moose tracks as well as some fox scat. We also found a 10 gallon plastic pail chained and locked to a tree and wondered what it was there for. We passed through some high brush and came out with a few ticks, one of which was a deer tick, yuck! We did good all day until we hit the tall brush! Getting late, we had to head back down from here to have a quick dinner and head to work. This hike took about 1.5 hours.

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