Second part of a two-fer. Sentinel and Bayle are both a nuisance to get to. Take a look at the Trail Bandit map - lots of twisty little roads, all alike *1
Also kind of out of the way for me and I hate driving.
They're both smallish but reputed to have good views. So made sense to do them both in one trip, right?
So ... finished up on Sentinel, hopped on ( in ) my trusty steed and HiHo Silver CRV! Away!
The trailhead is a little perplexing to find. The Trail Bandit Map shows a couple of roads leading to snowmobile trails, from which the Bayle Mountain Trail leads.
I used Jeremy's directions, always worth checking for obscure trails, and had only a little trouble, easily resolved with the TB map. The main issue was a little confusion as Ossipee Mtn Rd becomes Conner Pond Road. And Jeremy's directions describe using Pine Hill Rd; I came in via Ossipee Mtn Rd. Coming from Sentinel that made sense, but if I were to do it again, I'd use Pine Hill Rd. I was a little concerned whether Ossipee Mtn Rd was all passable; it was.
The TB map makes Bayle Mtn Road look appealing. Maybe that would have worked, but it wasnt part of the directions I was following and I didnt want to get off into a possible maze of snowmobile trails. When I passed it, I saw a 'private road' sign; not sure whether that referred to Bayle Mtn Rd or a driveway. In any event, it was worth the drive down Marble Rd because it is right on the bank of the beautiful Lovell River. As pretty a stream as I've seen :)
Finally arrived at the bridge and snowmobile trail and the parking space. Plenty of room here. Ample parking day or night. I bet it's pretty dark at night, though! ;)
Later in the day than I had planned, so rather hurriedly took off for Bayle. Realized I'd forgotten my pepper spray in the car. Urgh. No time to go back. Hopefully won't meet any rabid foxes or bears or dogs. I've hiked before without it....
So .. onward. The snowmobile trail had a few cross-paths and junctions, nothing too confusing though and there was enough of a trodden path to pick the right trail. Reaching a border sign just past a culvert near a bog was a little reassuring that I was still on track. Shortly - 100 yards - after that, the trail turned sharp left and up onto a moraine ( lateral? rogen? I dunno ) ... anyway, a long , low ridge just a few dozen feet across.
Longest one of these formations I think I've seen, though not the highest. A few hundred yards along this and the snowmobile trail drops off the moraine; at this point there is a foot path off to the left that continues along the moraine. I think this is relatively new; it is a little before where I expected the junction to be based on other descriptions. But it is pleasant and didn't lose the elevation I'd have lost following the snowmobile trail further. This path was unblazed but clear.
This path did come to an odd junction, though. To the left the trail obviously ascended. But to the right - recently blazed - was another trail. I'm guessing that is the "proper" trail , maybe a reroute after the fire(s) of 2015. It probably connects with the snowmobile trail further along than I had come.
Shortly after this point the real ascent started. It was a pretty steep ascent thru a long rock and boulder field. I reached several spots where I thought "ha! just over this next pitch!" and was wrong. Maybe I was just tired from Sentinel. Maybe next time I should look at the topo more carefully !!
This section also had lots of boulders and rocks, but pretty good footing. A little rougher than on Senitnel, not as rough as Flagg. The trail passes what looked like a fair boulder cave, and a lot of evidence of the fire last year.
So, by now it was warmer than it had been on Sentinel, and a little later in the afternoon. I may have forgotten my pepper spray, but I was very happy that I had not forgotten my bug shirt. The black flies were ready for supper! This shirt is awesome - it's a sweatshirt made of bug netting. I only use it a few times a year since it is hot , heavy and a nuisance. But it was just right for today!
NOTE: this video was taken later, as I was descending, of the signed boundary spot I mentioned. Included it here to show the bugs! All that flitting in the screen is black flies !
So ... reached the summit. Tired, a little late. Very pleased to make it though, a nice open ledge summit, quite a lot of open space, reminded me a little of Iron Mountain up in Bahtlett.
After enjoying the ledgy summit a while, it was time to head down. Grateful for a cairn; I knew where the trail was generally, but the wide ledge summit made it necessary to cast about a little to find the right spot. On the way down I thought I should stop and appreciate these flowers -
So, back to the car without mishap, well timed as I was now thirsty and out of water. Back down the road, decided to take Pine Hill on the way out.
Came to a scenic little pond, made a new friend of another photographer ...
we chatted and watched a beaver swim across the pond ...
and then I thought with a two hour drive I needed to hit the road again....
Two mountains, new terrain, new friend, nice day :)
*1 Fans of advent, aka Colossal Cave Adventure, may be comfortable with this scenario ;)