Strafford County High Point Trip Report

Date: August 28, 2003
Author: Roy Schweiker

Used a spare moment to acquire information which may make this one of the easiest CoHPs in NH.

First hiked up the trail from the E as described by Denis Hanson. See here for a description. Note that at the end of pavement on Mountain Road, there are 2 woods roads ahead. The left one leads to the Jones Brook parking lot and is very rough, if you have a new low-slung sports car you should bum a ride from your friend with an SUV. If you hike north, you soon come to where the right branch from end of pavement joins (which Cliff Young took which is why he didn't see the trailhead sign). If you have 4wd you can come in this way and drive some distance beyond the junction to a log yard, hard core people might make it to the kiosk. At least as of this date there are no signs prohibiting vehicle travel.

The left road angles slightly uphill, making a long arc from east to north of the summit. At 1.3 miles, there is an LRCT kiosk on the left. The trail enters the woods here but soon turns right on an old woods road which it uses to circle to a point north of the peak. The trail then leaves the road which is no longer obvious and switchbacks up the northwest ridge. At the west end of one switchback, the unsigned trail from the abandoned ski lift comes in - this turn is not a problem on the way up but somebody might go the wrong way on the way down. It is maybe 0.2 mile more to the trail to "East Peak", which circles the base of some cliffs to a southern viewpoint - the actual peak is a viewless outcrop beyond with no trail. The main trail splits in a col just before the summit. The left fork passes near a bump with 1860 contour and ends at a cliff with an easterly view. The right fork passes over the official summit and ends at a ledge with a view of Lakes Winnipesaukee and Wentworth plus the White Mountains.

On my previous hike I carefully walked down on the highest crest of the ridge so I would touch the county high point wherever it was. This time, I wanted to explore the mysterious red blazes. I found that the red blazes crossed the trail to the ski lift less than 50 yards down from the junction, and there was a plastic tag on a tree above a stone pile from Lakes Region Survey Service (603-569-2555) inviting you to contact them for information about this bound. I followed the red blazes south, which was tough by myself as they were mostly on the side of trees so you could not line them up and just had to remember where they were. I realized later that I should have put orange survey tape around each blazed tree so I could line them up going out and the return walk would be trivial - this would even be a favor to the property owners as it would inhibit accidental trespass. At the second ridge crossing on this line I found the rock outcrop mentioned by Cliff Young and just beyond was the double cairn mentioned by Trapper Robbins. I did not find a register but I found a round cardboard insert like what might be in a jar lid.

If we were sure that the red blazes were the county line, and could obtain permission to approach from the Copple Crown Village District, this hike would be about 0.4 mile each way with 200 feet of elevation gain, or one of the easiest CHP in New Hampshire. Of course, some people might still choose to visit the summit also. To this end, I suggest that one of our most persuasive CoHPers call the surveyors above and see if they will tell us for free if that border is supposed to be the county line. Similarly, one of our most diplomatic CoHPers might call the Copple Crown Village District to obtain blanket permission - the New Durham town office said Sue Glidden at 603-569-0237 was the district contact person.