Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Exploring Mount Prospect, Holderness, NH

I enjoy exploring trails that are off the beaten track, and had read a description of the trail up Mount Prospect, and downloaded a GPS track from Wikiloc. The forecast for today was for a sunny morning, with rain and maybe thunderstorms in the early afternoon. The ideal day for a short morning exploration!!

My GPSr guided me to the trailhead high up on Mount Prospect Road, where a car was parked by the roadside. There is room for perhaps three cars there. This is as good a place as any to put a map of my trip.  The embedded map is a fully interactive one, you can zoom in or out, pan, and clicking on the parking icon will allow you to ask for directions to the trailhead.

View Mt Prospect in a larger map

The trail enters the woods and descends to a small stream, crosses it and then rises. The first part of the trail is nice and wide (two or three feet) with wonderful footing, I felt that it would almost be possible to hike barefoot!

After some time the trail became somewhat narrower and rougher; more trail-like:

After about 1.3 miles the trail forked, with the fork marked by a small cairn and an arrow on a tree:

The arrow points to the right fork, which goes to two viewpoints, both looking south to the Squam Range, Squam Lake and the mountains further south.

The second outlook is the destination for most hikers; beyond it the trail narrows and shows much less use.  It continues to a round rock with a cairn and a survey benchmark

I though that was the summit, but a spur path did lead to a slightly higher point.

The path had forked before the viewpoints, the other branch also reached the rock with the benchmark.  I returned by that branch, it had no viewpoints so was obviously much less used, but still was reasonably easy to follow.

About half way down I noticed a spur trail, which I hoped would go to a westerly viewpoint looking towards Plymouth.  I followed it for some time, and it kept going on, downward.  I suspect that it leads to the road, but as time was running out decided to leave its exploration for another day.  While on it I saw my first Painted Trilliums of the year, including one just starting to open up

All in all a very worthwhile short hike, about 1½ miles each way with around 1,000 feet of elevation gain.


  1. If you follow the trail to the North from the benchmark, there is another viewpoint (although very narrow) off to the left of the main trail, from which you can see from Cannon Mountain all the way to Mount Washington, on a clear day. It's no more than 2 minutes walking from the benchmark.

  2. Beautiful view from the second "summit". Was there yesterday. It was clear and beautiful but freezing! Great little hike.