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Sentinel Mountain in the Ossipees has been sort of interesting for a while, but I've been putting it off for various reasons.

The biggest was simply the apparent maze of back roads and unknown parking.

Gallery / slide show

But I had some extra time and decided today was the day.

It wasn't too hard to find the trailhead, though I missed the sign for the trail.

 

Finding the trailhead was also made easier with Jeremy's Sentinel Mtn directions.

One thing that helped was knowing the trailhead was near the gate for Terrace Pines campground. Following the campground signs was easier than looking for the town road signs; and the nice lady at the campground office directed me to the trailhead, no problem. Well, except for having to park out on the road ... turned out a meetup was doing a traverse and they sucked up all the off-road parking.

 

DO NOT block the gate!  Active gravel pit.

The road had a wide spot I was ale to park in, so no harm.

But ... I don't get why people want to hike with a dozen or so other people.  I much prefer being able to keep my own pace. Oh well, HYOH and all that :)  

 

So ... park, saddle up, dang! Where's my other hiking pole?  I  had checked that I had both poles in the car before leaving ... apparently in my usual morning fog I mistook a snow brush  handle for my other pole. Oh well, I decided one pole would be OK, so off I went.

Fortunately I had my GPS to keep me on course, as with only one pole I had a little trouble steering. Without the GPS I probably would have been walking in circles ;)

So the trail starts nice and wide, probably a former cart track, many wet muddy spots - but easy to get past. Nice and easy, then swings left on a footpath and gets a little steeper.

I had heard that part of this hike was steep , so I was kind of expecting what came near the end. Very steep, yup. 45 degrees and a bit more.

But good footing and in short order broke out onto the ledges.  Very nice view of Dan Hole Pond , and the Belknaps in the distance.

Tate and Shaw dominating the west view, pretty wooded to the east. I brushwhacked a little way east but didnt find any outlooks to speak of.

North view was partially blocked by small interior mountains, but Chocorua and Washington very easy to spot. There was a big rock on the ledge; probably a little better view atop it, but a bit more than I wanted to try to climb up & down.

Flies were not too bad, but I did want to press on. A couple weeks ago I was on Mt Flagg and was interested in the path up to some ledges.  Green's Ledges? the Trail Bandit map calls the ledge trail "Dave Green's Trail". It looked like I could do  a loop that would a) be a loop :) and b) save me descending that steep section ( it wasnt imtimidating, but still ... ugh.)

So , off to toward the west end of Sentinel and down the well marked Sentinel Connector Trail. A moderately steep descent for a little way, then back uphill, again very good footing and pleasant walking. Breaks out on the ledges pretty soon, with an excellent overlook of the pond and other points south. The clouds had come in pretty well at this point, but still a nice view.

The Canaan Mtn Trail heads off up-ledge to the west; white blazes down-ledge to the west lead to the Dave Green Trail.

Note - my copy of  the TB map has the trail colored in green. It's actually blazed in white.   Well blazed and in good shape; It's probably fairly frequently visited from the youth camp below.

Having seen the other end of this trail from the Mt Flagg trail a coupole weeks ago, I expected a smoother path; it is pretty rocky. The footing is good, just not the springy treadway I was expecting. Nice little rock bridge over Bodge Brook ( just a few rocks, but well constructed). The trail took a bit of spring out of my quads, esp with just one pole, dropping 600 ft in 3/4 mile. But not bad at all. 

Reaching the Mt Flagg trail, I went down trail a ways and found a spot I suspected would link me to some woods roads I could follow back to my car. I was a little anxious about this part of my plan, having no intel about what lay ahead. Maybe the trail is overgrown? Does it incur on the youth camp?  Submerged in a beaver bog? Blocked by a survivalist outpost? Big fence around the private campground? Maybe the map is just plain wrong?

None of these concerns kept me from heading that way; at this point, whatever obstacles I might hit I had plenty of time to bushwhack around. Bushwhacking would probably be easier than retracing back over the ledges & mountain. Hopefully :)

Turned out none of the above was a problem; the link dropped me right where I thought it would, and the woods road was only a little rougher than the road I live on. Wetter, though, with a couple spots of the slipperiest mud I've ever slopped through. Certain goose by-products come to mind.  I did manage to stay upright, though. And then ... the woods road came out on a tar road. Ok, so a tar road walk, which eventually brought me to an odd parking lot/kiosk.  Huh. You just never know ...

 

Pushing on, the road eventually comes out on a dirt road - THE dirt road - just above the campground entrance.  From here, a couple hundred meters walk brought me to the car. And it was still there :)

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