Blueberry Ledge Trail, Rollins Trail, Dicey's Mill Trail.
About twelve miles roundtrip.
It's almost time to go highpointing again! The girls and I have plans to hike Mt. Marcy, the tallest mountain in New York, next weekend. I've been debating on whether or not to make that hike a daytrip or a backpack...a daytrip means I don't have to carry three sleeping bags and a tent, but it also means that the girls and I have to cover fifteen miles in one day. Alex can handle that, but Sage...?
In order to better make a decision, I chose a difficult hike for this week's 4K(s). Ascending both Whiteface and Passaconaway means tromping up and down twelve miles of trail and covering 3800 feet of elevation gain. Mt. Marcy is fifteen miles roundtrip with either 3800 or 3100 feet of elevation gain (depending on the source), so I figured if Sage could handle the Whiteface/Passaconaway loop, then she'd be good to go for Mt. Marcy. Also, highpointing rules differ from 4K rules; if I end up carrying her down Mt. Marcy, she can still count the peak for highpointing purposes.
I explained the plan to the girls, and they agreed the loop would make a good prep hike for Marcy. The next morning, off we went.
The parking area at Ferncroft...
The trail signs...
The bridge with the "hikers welcome" sign (love that!)...
The beginning of the trail is packed dirt with easy to moderate grades. Then come the initial ledges through the woods...
...then some more dirt...
...and some rock steps here and there...
...and then, the serious ledges.
I've no pictures of the seriously steep ledges since it's difficult to spot two children and a dog while holding a camera. Let's just say this bit requires some extended scrambling.
Once at the top of the ledges, one is treated to views...
...then it's onward and into the trees for the summit.
After eating our customary chocolate, we headed toward Passaconaway. Rollins Trail was a relatively easy stretch, just 2.4 miles of mostly packed dirt...
We reached the intersection with Dicey's Mill and headed up...
There are nice views near the summit...
...though the summit itself is in the trees.
We weren't sure whether the highest point was here...
We went back to the viewpoint and ate some more chocolate. The girls seemed in fine spirits -- so far, so good. The Marcy-in-a-day plan looked more feasible by the hour.
Down we went on the relatively smooth Dicey's Mill Trail.
Fatigue set in a mile from the trailhead, but all four of us made it out in relatively good cheer.
So, Marcy-in-a-day it is. We'll start early and take it slowly next weekend...plus, we'll have the good company of Cumulus from RocksonTop. Should be a fine time, looking forward to it.
Congrats to Sage for being halfway through the NH4Ks! 24 White Mountains down, 24 to go.
Next stop: highpoint #36, New York's Mt. Marcy.
- UP: REVIEWS and PRESS
- GraniteGals PODCAST
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- Alex in the White Mountains (Alex's hiking blog)
- Sage's White Mountain Treks (Sage's hiking blog)
- California's Lost Coast Trail. June 8-9, 2019
- England's Coast to Coast Trail 2018
- Cohos Trail 2017
- Iceland's Laugavegur Trail 2016
- Great Wall of China Trek 2015
- John Muir Trail 2014
- El Camino de Santiago 2013
- NH Four Thousand Footers (Alex and Sage)
- NH Four Thousand Footers -- WINTER (Alex and Sage)
- Trailwrights 72 (Alex and Sage)
- 52 With a View (Sage)
- The Terrifying Twenty-Five
- The White Mountain Grid