Since my May 15 hike I have returned to Plymouth Mountain several times, the pictures here are from several trips.
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At the time of my first attempt (a few years ago) the trail left from a residential road with no parking, so I had parked on the main road (Texas Hill Road) and walked about 0.6 miles along the residential road and an old logging road before the trail proper started. The bottom part of the trail has now been relocated, starting from a large parking lot
with lots of signs. One is pictured below, see more on Plymouth Mtn on PicasaWeb.
The new trail segment (0.4 miles) is now called the Fauver Link Trail, after the Fauver Preserve that it crosses.
After 0.4 miles it meets the old logging road from which the trail was relocated
Here we rejoin the original trail
which enters the Plymouth Mountain Easement
For a brief description of the preservation areas on and near Plymouth Mountain see the last item on EPA Presents Environmental Merit Awards to 6 in New Hampshire.
The part of the trail below Pike's Peak is in excellent condition, much of it very smooth
with lots of blue blazes
some painted over older disks
In mid-May there were lots of Trillium, both purple
After two miles the trail reaches a side path to a rocky knob with an excellent viewing ledge, called Pike's Peak. It has potentially great views to the south, east and north, but since the mountains are far away any haze spoils the view, as it did on all my trips there. The most interesting view is to the northeast, up Waterville Valley, with Welch and Dickey and their ledges in front of Tecumseh and Osceola
After Pike's Peak the trail changes nature pretty radically as it winds over a series of rocky ledges
beyond the ledges the trail goes back into the woods, with a sign pointing towards the summit
which has a sign
and a benchmark
The trail is 2½ miles each way, with about 1,500 feet of elevation gain. That is very similar to the Indian Head Trail on Mount Pemigewasset, a trail I often used when I wanted a short hike. The Mount Plymouth Trail is about the same distance from my home, and has much better footing, so I now hike it more often than the Indian Head Trail.