Friday the 7th was W. birthday and to celebrate the best way possible we headed to Berlin NH to tackle Mount Cabot.
We took the Mill Brook Trail to the Kilkenny Ridge Trail – parked outside the Fish Hatchery (they are open from 8am to 4pm and since there is a gate that may or may not be locked after that time, we decided it would be safer to walk a few feet and be able to leave 🙂 )
As a whole, the trail is pretty easy to hike. The terrain is good on the feet and knees and with the exception of a few steep spots here and there, elevation is gained gradually.
We headed to Rodger’s Ledge and spent the night right on the ledge (there is a tent site before heading up to the ledge) – it was fantastic! We were able to enjoy the sunset and the sunrise (the night was chilly, there was not one cloud in the sky.).
The sunset was beautiful and the sunrise was as awesome! We had the ledge to ourselves and the day started bright and sunny allowing a fantastic view of the whole Presidential Range.
After packing up we headed to The Horn, walking by Kilback Pond and the beautiful Unknown Pond (make sure to take a small detour to the water. The view is stunning! There is also a tent site).
Be sure to go to The Horn – this will be the only spot with decent views as Cabot’s summit is heavily wooded.
From The Horn we walked to The Bulge (the “summit” is marked by a pile of rocks) and headed to Cabot. From the summit we kept going and stopped at the Cabot Cabin (4 big bunk beds with bolted mats, a table with benches, a few shelves, a little grey mouse and, of course, a “guest book” – make sure to go in to sign it even if you are just passing through). We spent a few hours trying to decide if we should stay or keep going… We decided to head down and after a mile or so looked for a spot to camp (not that easy, so if you make the same decision, make sure to leave with plenty of time and daylight to try to find one. Wherever you stay, just remember to leave it as you found it!).
We stayed right by the Bunnell Notch Trail/Kilkenny Ridge Trail junction and in the morning headed to the York Pond trail. The trail is fairly easy, pretty narrow at times and as the rest of the trail, even though there are hardly any blazes or cairns, easy to follow as the path is very well-defined. We walked by North Terrace summit (marked by a sign on a tree) and took the little spur to head to the summit of Terrace (only 0.2 miles roundtrip) where, again, there are no views. Once you hit the Terraces, there is a TON of moose poop everywhere – be careful where you step. We are pretty sure we heard one, but weren’t fast enough to catch a glimpse of him/her.
York Pond Trail is flat, good for your feet terrain, with cool little brooks here and there. Once you are off the trail there’s roughly a 2 miles road walk back to the Hatchery – the road is gravel with very little traffic.