Thursday, August 2, 2012


Carol and I wanted to check out the brand new relocation constructed on the UNH Trail by the WMNF Saco District trail crew. The new 0.3 mi. section connects the east and west sides of the loop partway up the mountain and bypasses a stretch of trail that was badly washed out by Tropical Storm Irene.Along the way I would do some brushing and checking for blowdown on my adopted west section.

The new relo starts 0.8 mi. up the west section of the trail, not far below Allen's Ledge.

The relo has a smooth footbed, with much good sidecutting work in evidence.

After skirting high above a recent clearcut, the relo leads through some fine woods.

After traversing the relo, we headed up the east section of the loop towards the East Ledges, enjoying this NE view towards Bear, Table and Big Attitash Mountains before the final climb.

Carol and I have long felt that the East Ledges of Hedgehog are one of the great spots in the Whites, especially as you sit on the expansive granite and gaze up at the mighty Passaconaway looming 1700 ft. above you. Per usual, we spent an hour here lounging about. A classic summer day.

Another view of Passaconaway heading across to the next set of ledges.

Carol on the "tightrope" section that runs along a clifftop.

From the next ledges, you look SW to the Sleepers and South Tripyramid...

...and up at the cliff-rimmed summit of Hedgehog.

We love the wild section of trail that wraps around the base of Hedgehog's summit through bouldery spruce woods.

Carol clambered up for a pose under one of the biggest rocks.

An outlook over the Oliverian Brook valley along the zig-zagging climb to the summit.

At the summit of Hedgehog, with Mt. Paugus in view.

The obligatory boot shot, looking out at Wonalancet Hedgehog and Nanamocomuck Peak.

This summit-hanging chipmunk snuck up beside me and started dragging my peanut butter sandwich away before I knew what was happening.

At this point it was best to let our little friend have its way with the sandwich, as I really didn't want to sample the flavor of chipmunk saliva.

After a few minutes, the chipmunk dragged its prize into the shelter of the scrub.

We spent some time checking out the view ledges near the summit, including this look NW to Mt. Hancock. Mt. Bond, Mt. Guyot and South Twin are seen over the cliff-faced Captain, with Mt. Carrigain on the R.

I dropped down to a favorite west-facing ledge, with a great view of Tripyramid beyond the Downes Brook valley.

After a long summit stay, including brushing out one of the view side paths, we headed down, pausing a short distance below the top to enjoy this vista of Mt. Washington rising behind Mt. Tremont and Owl's Cliff.

Mt. Carrigain, Carrigain Notch, Green's Cliff and Church Pond.

Ambling down through the hemlocks below Allen's Ledge.

GPS track from today's hike, showing the new connecting link between the east and west sections.
Another great day on Hedgehog.


  1. Steve, first of all, thank you for your trail work!

    Secondly, is it correct/incorrect to assume that the East Branch of the UNH Trail is blocked-off at the West Branch/East Branch split early on into the hike (i.e., 0.2 mile from the trailhead)?

    I'm certain that Larry Garland will be working his magic to produce an updated map for the online edition of the WMG which will reflect the trail relocation that you described in your Blog.

    Thanks for posting this! Very informative!!


  2. Great report Steve. You may have mention it on a previous blog but I must have missed it. Had know idea the UNH trail was hit hard by Irene.

    The chipmunk tale reminds me of a funny story. My other half Becky absolutely love Gray Jays. So much so she was letting one take bite's of her PB&J in her hand. She was then about to continue eating it. I suggested that it's probably a good idea just to give it to him/her know.

  3. John - Thanks for your comment. You know, I didn't notice if the old continuation of the east loop along the railroad grade was blocked off - I was looking at the sign that had a map of the relo.

    An updated map and description should be on the Online Guide in the near future.

    Joe - Thanks for commenting. Only one short section was washed out by a small brook during Irene, but it was felt that it would be best to decommission that section rather than try to repair it.

    Gray Jay saliva probably isn't too tasty, either!


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