April 9, 2016: Springtime (aka Mud Season) on Bald Knob

So the hubby and I finally made it back to Bald Knob again together today. While I’ve been hiking all winter long, he hasn’t gone hiking since before the snow started falling (what little there was this winter). We (well, I) chose Bald Knob so we could get a good amount of distance in an easy hike.

Click on any of the photos above to enter the gallery and read captions.

For more details about hiking Bald Knob, read the earlier post from my winter hike.

Last fall, the hubby and I had done this hike in reverse, and it was a bit more difficult, mostly due to the steep first half of the Bald Knob Cutoff trail. (And that trail is only a mile long, total – it was a much steeper half-mile than either of us are used to.) However, except for the cutoff trail, all of the other trails are on extremely easy old carriage roads.

Flip the hike around and start off with the Turtleback Mountain trail, and take the Bald Knob Cutoff trail down instead, and it’s much, much easier. We took the same route to the peak as I took on my hike back in December. Returning from the summit, we got on the Bald Knob Cutoff trail, which meets the Bald Knob trail about halfway between the peak and the junction with the Turtleback Mountain trail. The cutoff trail is a more typical hiking trail through the woods, with lots of rocks and roots. There’s also a lot of up-and-down, with the last half being a bit steeper  and pretty much all downhill until you reach the Shannon Brook trail. Here’s where we turned right to head back to the trailhead below Shannon Pond. The Shannon Brook trail is another one of the old carriage roads on the Castle in the Clouds property, and is a pretty easy hike in either direction.

It was a beautiful day for a hike – sunny and blue skies. It was, however, a bit cold and windy at the summit, though not as cold and windy as it was when I hiked it in December. Also, with the wet winter we’ve had, as well as some recent rain and spring snow, the trail was pretty wet and a bit muddy at spots, but not as muddy as the trails I’ve hiked recently in the Belknap mountains. We did find a puddle near Shannon Pond in which to splash the mud off our boots at the end of our hike.

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