I spent the morning at The Flume Gorge located at the base of Mt. Liberty. The visitor's center is easy to find, located just off of I93 in the Franconia Notch State Park. At the center I bumped into an old friend, his wife and his son, and went on the self-guided 2-mile hike with them. The hike takes approximately one hour and 15 minutes but we took our time snapping many photos (I took a couple of vids) and overall it took us 2 hours. Sure, it's a short hike, but there are alot of features packed into this hike. I wasn't put off by the $13 entrance fee, especially after seeing how well-maintained the park is. Sorry for the somewhat dirty lens and blurry iPhone shots!
Still having a bit of trouble with getting enough sleep so I got really tired on the way back down on this hike. But I was really surprised at how pretty the Mt. Starr King trail was. The day was perfect and the temperatures were on the cool side when in the shade, which was most of the hike! Our meetup group (http://www.meetup.com/New-England-Over-50-Hiking-Group/) met at the Starr King Trailhead in Jefferson, NH. There isn't much parking at the trailhead and it abuts several homes with views to the Presidential Range. The hike to Mt. Starr King summit is 2.6 and the incline, although steady, is gradual. This trail is also the usual access to Mt. Waumbek and for those hikers looking to bag a 4000+. Nice to be able to reach two summits in one day!
** Click on the photos to see a larger view
Stream at the trailhead
Our group just reaching the summit of Mt. Starr King
Technically, this little bit of slab is the Mt. Starr King summit (3,898 ft)!
At the Mt. Starr King summit
Some photos taken while at the
clearing near the Mt. Starr King summit
At the Mt. Starr King summit there isn't much of a view but there is a large clearing where a cabin once stood. All that's left is a stone fireplace.
After a brief rest at the stone fireplace, we headed up to the Mt. Waumbek summit. The hike was only a mile and below the tree line the entire hike.
The summit is wooded but just beyond that on the Kilkenny Ridge Trail is a small clearing to view the Presidential Range. Our group spent a few minutes at this clearing taking photographs.
On our way back down our group spent about 30 minutes at the Starr King summit eating lunch and relaxing. Our hike back down to the trailhead was done in an hour and a half with few rest stops along the way.