Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Rattlesnakes - Hiking


West Rattlesnake Mountain (1,231ft)
East Rattlesnake Mountain (1,289ft)
Elevation Gain: 900ft
Trails: Old Bridle Path, Ridge, Col, Five Finger Point, Pasture

 Distance: 6.2 miles roundtrip
Duration: 4.0 hrs
Difficulty: Easy

An easy peasy hike and I loved the views on this hike! But I did get lost on my way to the trailhead, something that's become a bit of a habit lately. I've never lost my way on a solo hike, but put me behind the wheel and I'm sure to drive myself lost somewhere!

I met up with the other members of the New England Over 50 Hiking group at the Old Bridle Path trailhead. I had some earlier weather forecasts of overcast skies, but this morning the sun was out and it looked like it was going to stay out...I was hoping. There were only 6 of us on this hike to the West Rattlesnake mountain and after our introductory circle, we started up the trail. There was snow on the ground and microspikes used by all in our group. The incline was gradual and the path wide with the some of the trail steps lined with railroad timber and gravel. This is a great trail for beginners, children and non-hikers. And many tourists who stay at the Squam Lake for the summer vacation enjoy this easy hike with its panoramic views. We were at the top in 40 minutes and spent a few more taking photos. Steve, our organizer suggested extending the hike to East Rattlesnake mountain. One of the members was not able to continue on, so the 5 of us set out for East Rattlesnake.

The Ridge trail to the east mountain is not as wide and worn like the Old Bridle Path trail, but the distance is the same and it's a pleasant walk through the woods. Once at the summit, we spent several minutes taking more photos and lunching. It was a nice spot to lunch and we were the only ones on the slabby ledge. Pauline suggested we extend the hike even further by taking the Five Finger Point trail around Five Fingers. So after lunch we hiked back down the Ridge trail, got onto the Col trail and continued onto the Five Finger Point trail. The trail took us around the water's edge and several sandy beaches. We only met 3 other hikers and 2 dogs on this trail.

On our way back we chose the Pasture trail to bypass the East summit. This lead us directly back to the west summit. That last 100 yards or so up the Pasture trail makes for a really good workout, especially at the end of a hike.  At the west summit there was a good crowd of about a dozen folks and their dogs with more coming up the trail. By this time the skies were overcast but there were still good views to enjoy. 

**Click on photos to view larger images

Old Bridle Path trail
 West Rattlesnake summit withviews of Squam Lake (5)




Along the Ridge Trail to East Rattlesnake (2)

 On East Rattlesnake, Steve and Pauline
looking over the trail map to Five Fingers Point
 Red Hill from East Rattlesnake
 Along Col Trail (2)

 Along Five Finger Point Trail

 Five Finger Point Trail (Loop)





 

3 comments:

zoompal said...

I always get lost. Thank goodness for maps.

Moreninha76 said...

Really great photos, why are these mountains called rattlesnake,are there any rattlesnakes like the western diamondback rattler

Lovey Harwood said...

@Moreninha76 Not sure why they call it Rattlesnake Mountains and I didn't see any while on the hike. But I do know that there were rattlesnakes on the Rattlesnake mtn in Rumney, NH.