Friday, April 27, 2012
RATTLESNAKE MOUNTAIN (RUMNEY): 4/26/12
The morning was sunny and beautiful, though showers were predicted for the afternoon. The Rattlesnake Mountain Trail off Buffalo Rd. in Rumney provides a short hike with a stiff climb and fine views - fitting the bill for the day's weather pattern. I parked at an alternate spot by this historical marker just east of the regular trailhead, which has a small and rough parking area that can be hard to get in and out of.
A connecting path leads up through a beautiful pine grove to the main trail.
The trail follows this tumbling, attractive brook for a little ways.
The middle section of the trail has some pretty relentless climbing. The woods below the trail were coming to life with freshly minted greens.
Higher up the grade eases. This is generally a very pleasant trail with good footing.
The loop junction is reached after a climb of 0.8 mi. and 850 ft.
I usually take the right hand fork of the loop, which gets you to the views more quickly. I like the section where it ascends over semi-open piney ledges.
My favorite view spot is on a side path to the R just before the trail turns L to scramble up to the summit ledges. This secluded perch has a good view north to the various trailless southern spurs of Carr Mountain, with the darkly wooded main crest peering over in back.
There's a long view west up the Baker River valley to the broad sweep of Smarts Mountain (L) and ledgy Mt. Cube (R). Black Hill is seen between these two Appalachian Trail peaks.
I spent an hour here relaxing in the sun. The distant view extends out to the Signal Mountain range in Vermont, with Piermont Mountain on the R.
As you clamber up open ledges to the summit, you pass this south-facing perch, with Mt. Cardigan in the distance.
Wavy metamorphic ledges along the summit crest.
View east over the Baker River valley with its fields and oxbows.
The summit ledge.
Stinson Mountain looms close by to the NE.
Identifying the spurs and neighbors of Carr Mountain. Of the named peaks shown here, only Carr itself has a trail, and all except Kineo have at least a partial view, though not necessarily at a summit. An interesting area to explore.
The NE view extends all the way to North Hancock.
After descending from Rattlesnake, I did the short nearby 1.3 mi. loop at the Quincy Bog Natural Area as grey skies took over. A bridge at the east end of the trail offers this view of Stinson Mountain. Out in the pond/bog I saw a beautiful male Hooded Merganser, and flushed an American Bittern. Near the end of the loop I ran into a good friend out walking his dogs after a visit to the vet. All in all, a good day down in Rumney.