Monday, October 31, 2011


This little rounded, wooded peak (1823 ft.), located on private land in Orford, NH, was not accessible by trail until the 36-mile Cross-Rivendell Trail was opened a few years ago. This trail is managed via a unique partnership between the Rivendell Trails Association and the Rivendell Interstate School District, which serves Orford, NH and Vershire, Fairlee and West Fairlee, VT. Kudos to the landowners who have provided access across their land for the trail.

Though there are just a handful of limited viewpoints along the trail over Sunday Mountain, it's a nice hike and the small vistas that are available showcase the neighboring higher peaks.

This is Sunday Mountain as seen from Mt. Cube.

The Cross-Rivendell Trail traverses Sunday Mountain from east to west. I did the full traverse a few years ago, but today's hike was an up-and-back from the eastern trailhead. There is ample parking at a well-marked area off Dame Hill Rd., just in from Rt. 25A.

After a 0.2 mi. road walk, the trail runs through a strip of woods along the edge of a farm field.

This old piece of farm machinery resides along the edge of the trail.

After passing more fields, the well-blazed trail rides this nice old woods road, then turns into a footpath and climbs up the mountain on long, easy-graded switchbacks. It is a well-constructed route, much of which was laid out by former Dartmouth Outing Club manager David Hooke.

At 1.6 mi., elevation 1500 ft., and shortly after entering an unusual oak forest, the trail turns right at a ledgy spot with a finely framed vista of Mt. Cube. Here an oak leaf sails across on a light breeze.

A few steps down from the trail is an interesting view of Smarts Mountain and its long north ridge.

From here to the summit the trail meanders up through a beautiful oak forest.

Last foliage of the season.

There's a junction with a spur trail not far below the summit.

Another peek at Smarts on the way up to the summit.

At the final L turn on the summit spur, a window view on Mt. Moosilauke is presented on the R.

The summit is a wooded, ledgy knob.

Nice summit sign.

On the way back down, late afternoon light on Mt. Cube...

...and on Smarts Mountain. I am a confirmed devotee of Smarts, and I think this may be the best of all views of that impressive mountain, seen from just the right distance and perspective.

The hike to Sunday Mountain is 4 mi. round trip with about 1000 ft. of elevation gain (including 100 ft. on the return trip). The Cross-Rivendell site has a detailed description of the trail.


  1. Thanks-hiking it for the 1st time on this Autumn sunshiney day-much like your photos show--thank you!

  2. Thanks Steve, we're planning on hiking it Thursday after an Ore Hill/Atwell traverse.