Ascent of Pawtuckaway South Mountain on 2011-05-08

Climber: Spencer Corcoran

Date:Sunday, May 8, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Pawtuckaway South Mountain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:908 ft / 276 m

Ascent Trip Report

Before I left my house, it wasn't raining, but when I left, it started downpouring. It continued to downpour all the way to the state park, and then the rain let up a little when I got to the trailhead.

The trail up this hill is very short at about 0.4 miles one way. (This trail is on its west side; the trail on the east side is much longer.) As I began the hike, the rain still kept coming down. There were two people who were hiking the hill too, so we weren't alone. The trail turns to the left after about 50-100 feet or so. The original section of trail went straight ahead, but it fell into disrepair after two vicious storms and was closed off.

The trail keeps a fair grade and loops around the old trail section. As the trail veers right toward the old section, rocky cliffs and caves line it. As the end of the old trail section passes, the trail gets steeper for about 30-60 ft. After that, there's a grassy ledge to the right of the trail that makes a good spot to take a break and sip some water.

After the ledge, the trail is relatively flat, and the rain eventually stopped. However, it turns left and gets steeper. There are rock steps that go up that part of the trail that make ascending it a little easier.

The trail turns left for the final push to the 908 ft (277 m) summit. The top is rocky and is home to a fire tower, which can be climbed to the last floor before the cab; the cab is off limits unless a worker in the cab invites you in. On the top of the fire tower, all of southeastern NH is open to you, weather depending. Above the observation deck are pamphlets telling what can be seen to the north, south, east, and west.

The summit is long and has plenty of viewpoints that make great lunch spots.

The trip down is the same as the trip up, except for a few steep sections.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:370 ft / 112 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Rainy, cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:370 ft / 112 m
    Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    Route:Tower Trail
    Start Trailhead:538 ft / 163 m
Descent Statistics
    Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    Route:Tower Trail

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