Friday, February 8, 2013


Got an afternoon loop hike in over one of my favorite North Conway mountains while having a major repair done on my car. A big thanks to Mike Anthony of the service department at Profile Subarau for providing me with a loaner to get to the trailhead.

Due to the second January thaw and accompanying heavy rain, the trails on the Green Hills were a mix of bare ground, crusty snow, and ice, lots of ice. This spot on the Peaked Mountain Trail looked more like late April than February.

There is good signage in the Nature Conservancy's Green Hills Preserve. It's a gift to have such a beautiful area right outside downtown North Conway.

Treacherous ice flows on the Peaked Mountain Trail. Today's hike tested the upper limits of Microspikes.

From the first ledge on the trail, a peek back at Cranmore Mountain and its ski trails.

The next ledge provides a fine view NW to Mt. Washington and the Presidentials.

Mt. Washington had a mottled look, not shining with its usual wintry luster.

The more westerly view takes in a number of peaks in the Montalban Ridge area and beyond.

Mts. Nancy and Bemis (L) and South and North Twin (R).

Farther along, a nicely framed vista of the Presidentials.

A plaque honoring two of the founders of the Green Hills preserve.

Marland and Katherine Billings conducted much geological research in the White Mountains during their long and distinguished careers.

The Peaked Mountain Trail ascends through some beautiful red pine forests.

Summit sign. Not a high peak is Peaked, but highly rewarding.

The summit ledges were almost completely free of snow and ice. This view looks south to nearby Middle (L) and Rattlesnake (R) Mountains.

A framed vista of Black Cap Mountain, highest of the Green Hills.

Looking across the Saco Valley to Mt. Chocorua (L) and the Moats (R).

The Ossipee Range on the southwestern horizon, beyond the wilderness of the Settler's Green shopping complex.

Summit pines.

To complete the loop, I descended along the Peaked Mountain-Middle Mountain Connector through sunny hardwood forest with many oaks.

This nasty ice bulge was an obstacle along the Middle Mountain Trail as it descends through hemlocks alongside a cascading small stream.

Ice formations on a cascade.

Driving back to Profile Subaru, I stopped alongside the North-South Road to catch this view of Peaked Mountain rising above Pudding Pond.

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