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A little tired of adventures with the Squam Range, thought I'd pay a visit to the Belknaps.

 But I wanted views, and a little something different.


Gallery / slide show

Hmm ... I was fascinated with an old unmaintained trail on the Dave Roberts map, and had actually done it in one direction.

 

Calling it an unmaintained trail is overstating it. It's actually more of a brushwhack with an occasional cairn.... the East end is easy to find; could I find it from the West?

 

 

From the map, the trail intersects the White Trail from Piper at around 2100 ft ...  so the first order of business was to hike up Piper.

Trail was dry, no problem with bugs, and I reached Piper in short order.  It being a weekday, there were no other people on Piper, although a couple of young men did show while I enjoyed the views and looked over Mt Belknap's Southern flank.

There were the outlooks on the White Trail, and a couple of rock falls above and to the east of them. Good landmarks.

So off to the White Trail.

Past the outlooks, and checking the altimeter for elevation, eventually reached the contour I wanted.

Looked carefully, but no sign of a terminus on the trail. Good. I wasn't really wanting an established trail :)

So ... I picked a spot and entered the woods, trying to navigate to stay on the contour. Eventually I crossed just over the top of the upper rockfall, and started to angle downward a bit, looking for some signs of openings onto ledge.

After a bit of casting about I did start to encounter some ledgy openings and followed these to the Boulder Trail.

Reaching the Boulder trail , I found a likely rock, had some water and a snack and just sat a while.

Eventually an ear-budded young man popped up ; he was working on his redline quest. We chatted a bit, then set out for Belknap.  

I continued on past Belknap, headed for Gunstock. Was forced to stop and marvel at some of the stone step work the BRATTS have been doing. Hard work, excellent craftsmanship!  Several spots have much improved footing over my last trip across the Blue/Saddle Trail.

The real prize was the spiral steps over what used to be a somewhat sketchy spot at the opening onto Gunstock.

Down to the viewing platform for another stop; not sure whether the chipmunk in the trash barrel was trapped or just enjoying the trash.

Then it was back to the summit for the descnet to the car on the carriage road. This trail has had a bit of rerouting since I last used it; I'm sure I would have remembered the excellent outlook.... anyway, nice outlook on the trail.

Glad I had my bug glasses on; the trail had quite a few dead limbs hanging just at eye height. The trail is generally well maintained, but I guess I'm tall enough to be out of the trail maintainers' brushing zone :)

Soon enough, I was back to the car. Happy that I'd had the foresight to park *outside* the gate  :)

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