Strafford County High Point Trip Report
Date: August 28, 2003
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.
Author: Roy Schweiker