Pine Bend Brook Trail is a 3.5 mile point-to-point trail located near Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from May until October.
This is probably a much better summer hike than fall or winter. Ascended Pine Brook to Tripyramid and down Kancamangus. The first few miles are level and not terribly scenic, though there were some pretty ice formations in the rocks and roots. The trail was not well marked or maintained and we ended up ascending a rockfall quite a way off-trail, adding to the mileage. When the trail starts going up, it's a steep ascent with some fun boulder scrambling and high steps. Took about 4 hours to reach the first summit with a few good views through the bare trees. The second summit is close by, and over a fairly level trail for your legs to enjoy before heading down.
We chose to start from Pine Brook for the more gradual descent on Kancamangus, but this was not a win. It's a long and challenging route and a mile or so from the summit, there's a portion of very steep white slab where we didn't notice a thin layer of ice. Two of us bit it here, sliding 20-30 feet at ~45 degrees before we could stop ourselves. Treated the injuries as best we could and it was baby steps and swinging from the trees on the side for the next mile, with 5 still to go.
There are several stream crossings with no good routes across. Stones are extremely slippery, and the water was high. I was soaked to the knee with 3.5 miles left. Better to have this happen on the way down than up, I suppose. Some of the trail markers here direct you to cross at 4 or 5 different places, but I believe it's all the same stream, so if you can stay on one side for the first 3 or 4 crossings, it's safer and drier. Just keep a lookout for blazes on the other side and enjoy the pretty waterfalls almost all the way to the parking lot.