Saturday, March 24, 2012


On a gorgeous sunny, clear day, with temps in the 60s, I made a low-elevation, snow-free bushwhack to a clifftop viewpoint low down on the long north ridge of Grandview Mountain, a trailless 2012-ft. peak in Woodstock on the west side of I-93. This was another entry in my annual spring Snow Avoidance Program.

I parked at Crooked Pike Rd. on Rt. 112 and followed this Forest Service road across a bridge over the Lost River.

I followed the road a short distance farther as it curved to the right past a powerline (the proposed route of the Northern Pass).

The bushwhack, rising about 500 ft. in a half-mile, was through open woods the whole way, with hemlocks on the lower part...

...and sun-drenched hardwoods on the middle and upper parts.

At one spot I caught a glimpse of the rounded summit of Grandview off to the south.

The summit is heavily wooded and viewless. There used to be views here, however - first from an observation tower built by the North Woodstock Improvement Association in 1921, then from a 40-ft. wooden fire tower built by the Forest Service in 1939 and operated until 1948. It was torn down about 1960. (Information from

A few years ago I snowshoe-bushwhacked the north ridge of Grandview, and found the supports from the old fire tower still in place at the summit.

At about 1300 ft., I made my way down to the clifftop I was seeking. A pretty good drop below.

There's no one spot with a comprehensive view, but by moving around you get several different vistas. This view looks SE to the western and southern ridges of Mt. Tecumseh in the distance.

To the NE, the Franconia Range sprawls above Little Coolidge Mountain (on which First, Second and Third Ledges can be seen).

Flume, Big and Little Coolidge, and Whaleback.

To the ENE, you look over the towns of North Woodstock and Lincoln, and up the East Branch valley to the northernmost spur of Mt. Hancock, North Hitchcock, Northwest Hancock, and Mt. Hitchcock. On the L are East Whaleback (also once called Elephant Mountain) and Potash Knob. Loon Mountain ski slopes can be seen on the R.

The view also takes in the Loon Mountain-Russell Mountain range. Not bad for a fairly short and easy whack in the WMNF on a fine spring day.


  1. Steve, thanks for posting about some of these lesser known hikes. As a flatlander who only gets to hike the Whites a few times each year (and still working on my 48, though almost done), my kids and I usually stick to official trails in more well known areas. But it's great to read about these undiscovered gems, and I hope to find the time to hike them some day.

  2. Nice! I've bushwhacked around Grandview and found a few old cellar holes along the old road, but nothing but a big blowdown and lots of trees on the top. Glad to see there is still a "Grand view" from somewhere on the mountain! I'll have to get back there someday - there are a few spots on the lumpy ridges near Bryant Ledge that look really interesting.

  3. There must have been a "grand view" indeed from the old fire tower! As you note, there are alot of ledges and bumps on the west side of 93. Bryant Ledge is an interesting little spot, but much of that area is private land.