April 16, 2017: Pine Mountain

My criteria for this hike on Easter morning was that it be short and easy, but still with a view. So I headed down to Alton for a quick trip up Pine Mountain in the Evelyn & Albert Morse Preserve, managed by the Society for the Protection of NH Forests.

I went minimalist with the equipment on this one: car/house keys, driver’s license, phone, hydration belt with a couple small bottles of water and a pocket to hold my stuff. No backpack, no ten essentials. Don’t scold me… this is really just a walk through woods and fields up to the top of a hill with a view, not a full-fledged hike. Plus, I wanted to be able to break out into a trail run if I felt like it (which I briefly did a few times).

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Entrance to the Morse Preserve.
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Panorama from the summit of Pine Mountain – Belknap Range to the left, Lake Winnipesaukee to the right.
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Yes, it’s 60 degrees (Farenheit), I’m wearing a tank top, and there is still snow in the woods.
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Straight ahead, the tallest mountain in the distance is Belknap – trail is pointing right toward it.

There were some bits of snow remaining off-trail in some shady spots, and only a couple small but avoidable patches on the trail. The summit was sunny and open with no snow at all. With all of the recent melting and a little rain, there were lots of wet and muddy spots (again, avoidable, as long as you’re careful of branches that may want to poke your eyes out).

Taking the Arlene Morse trail to the summit, then following the Robert Greenwood loop around and back to the Arlene trail to return to the entrance, I completed the 1.8 miles in a little over 46 minutes, including photo breaks. I didn’t run into anyone else on the trail, though on the way down I did hear a dog barking, probably down near the parking lot or at one of the nearby homes down along the road.

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