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hiking
4 days ago

Take Bald Face Cirlce Trail clockwise to South Baldface, followed by North Baldface (note: do not take the trail counter-clockwise). The majority of the ascent is a consistent 1000 ft./mile up until the last bit prior to the “false summit” of South Baldface. This particular stretch of “trail” is on “The Terrifying 25” list and would be better categorized as rock-climbing than as hiking. Every three steps up places the entire climb before it out of view, but also brings more and more of the surrounding area into view. This stretch of trail is a bit sketchy, but it is manageable with some caution and good tread. It would be ill-advised to traverse these ledges while wet, or with poor tread. These ledges are not well marked and require you to zig-zag quite a bit to complete. After completing the scramble up the ledges you will arrive at the first major scenic point which is the false summit of South Baldface. Looking away from the ledges, you will see a vast landscape of mountains and lakes. We took this trip shortly after the peak of foliage in mid october and the sight was fantastic. Visibility was as far as the horizon and the colors were gorgeous, views are 180 degrees or more. Looking forward along the trail, (in the opposite direction) you will see most of the trail up to South Baldface, and to the right of that would be South Baldface. The climb up to South Baldface from here is quite steep and features some bare rock scrambles, but none quite like the ledges. As we reached South Baldface, Mount Washington came into view. It was immediately obvious that this particular mountain was Washington as the snow covered caps had a striking contrast to the surrounding shades of green, orange, yellow, and purple. The views on this summit are 360 degrees at the trail sign itself, and 270 degrees or more at any point around the perimeter. The trail between South Baldface and North Baldface is somewhat up and down and relatively mellow compared to the rest. You’ll poke in and out of the forest onto various outcroppings, from which Mount Washington will be visible at numerous angles along the way. The North summit is just as prime as the South, with Mount Washington still visible and has similar views. The first half of the descent is very similar to the trail between peaks, popping in and out of tree lines and along outcroppings. The middle of the descent down is a bit rough and slow at times, while the last 2 miles are quite mellow, gentle, and go by fast. The route we took is identical to the one featured in the alltrails link above, with one exception; at the junction of Baldface Circle Trail, and Bicknell Ridge Trail, we took Bicknell Ridge Trail to hit a few “points of interest” that were marked on a more detailed, physical copy of the trails that were not present on the outer loop suggested by the website. While there were a few of these (a couple of cascades, a few streams, etc.), we were well spoiled and too impatient to spend any time at them. Personally, I would call this hike the highlight of the season and would be more than willing to go again.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Learning difference from 12 yo to 67 yo as far as scampering up and down rocks. Excellent trail but definitely took longer than anticipated and challenging.

hiking
9 days ago

Not one of my favorite hikes. Almost every step was on/around/over a rock or stump. Very rarely did my feet actually touch the ground. That made it a very difficult walk. There were a few places where the trail was poorly marked. The view at the top was beautiful, but the rest of the hike wasn’t picturesque.

We went up on a beautiful day, taking Piper up and “west” loop down. The latter was longer but we avoided going down the rocks we had scampered over on the way up. Summit was glorious- beautiful 360 views.

This is a great hike. When wet a little slick but worth the steep ascent.

We started at the Piper Trailhead, then took Carter, Middle Sister, West Side, Liberty, Hammond, and Weetamoo back to Piper. Be careful if bringing dogs. I had my 55lb dog with me. He made it the whole loop but there were many large rocks that I had to boost him up onto. They were at the end of Carter Ledge up to and in the beginning of Middle Sister. We took the trail pretty slow with many breaks. We had 7 hrs moving and about 10 all together. All in all a beautiful trail! Well worth the work to get up.

One of the best trails we’ve ever visited, though we managed to be here during peak foliage conditions. In any case, it was strikingly beautiful.

Nice challenging trail, steep areas are worth it for the view!

hiking
11 days ago

Can't say enough about this loop... great views and a nice overall challenge. My Garmin came out to 9.6 miles, 3600 ft gain, and took us just about 5.5 hours. Beyond that, you get 360* views of peaks and valleys, with Mt. Washington glaring in the distance.

As with all other reviews, always start on the south and work your way clockwise. There is a section between 2-3m just passed the shelter that gets tricky... took up about 40 minutes to get through that .2 and trying to descend would have taken at least twice as long.

Last Tidbit: You are on a ridge line and there is not much water from miles 2-8.

hiking
12 days ago

WOW! JUST! WOW! Love this hike, especially in fall. One of my favorites in ME/NH. First hiked it in 1993 and again in 1994. Definitely follow everyone's advice and take the south leg of the Baldface Circle Trail going uphill, not downhill. An easy to moderate hike form Route 113 to the intersection with the Emerald Pool diversion. (Take that diversion on the way up, by the way, because you will not feel like it or not have the time to do it on the back end of this hike.) Still an easy/moderate hike to the Gorge diversion. (Take that little-traveled diversion to an even better, more private pool than Emerald for swimming.) The rest of the Circle Trail from there to the tight elevation lines on the map is easy/moderate. THEN, it gets REALLY fun! Steep rock climbing with sections requiring close attention to pick the best route up the open, steepish rock faces that are too slick to traverse straight up. Not for those fearful of heights or of falling. The spectacular views for which this trail is known start at the steep stuff, so take advantage of those breaks while trying to find a way up to look behind and take some pics. This section took so long to cross with our group of six, that we had to cut the itinerary short and skip going all the way to the summit of South Baldface or Eastman Mountain. Darkness comes early this time of year. Good news is that you need not go all the way to the summit to have unsurpassed 360-degree views. The "Lunch!" waypoint was a beautifully open and scenic spot, rewarding enough to make it easy to conceded the summit and hike immediately from there to the intersection of Baldface Knob Trail and begin our descent. Hiked Slippery Brook trail down as the last leg of the Boldface loop to make for a shorter loop and an easier trip. Slippery Brook is a pleasant, yet still scenic-at-the-top, contrast to that steep section of the Circle and highly recommended as a way down if you want/need to shorten or ease the last leg of your hike. Great lookout spots for lunch on the Baldface Knob Trail after the intersection with Baldface Circle Trail. Dogs on Slippery Brook Trail? Yes, very manageable. BUT NO WAY ON THAT STEEP PORTION OF THE SOUTH SECTION OF BALDFACE CIRCLE TRAIL. Way too steep and too many smooth, slippery expanses of bare rock face to navigate safely with a dog. This loop has a number of nice brook crossings, by the way, some of which do not appear on the map. See my reviews at "Slippery Brook Trail" and "Baldface Circle Trail to Emerald Pool."

Beautiful! Piper trail and Sisters have scrambling and some slippery rocks but the rewards are plentiful. The view is breathtaking all the way! We clocked closer to 19km for the loop rather than 13,7km. as indicated, so give yourself some extra time.

Great hike enjoyed the views on the ledges

Lots of fun — pay attention to the markers for sure.

hiking
23 days ago

Love this mountain. Small but mighty! Watch for markers towards the top — easy to get off track!

hiking
25 days ago

Great hike with views in every direction. It's especially nice watching an early sunrise.

Awesome views and not too difficult. Took my 12 yo daughter and her friend and we did it with no problems. Really fun hike.

Really beautiful.

Love this Hike!

Beautiful hike with an outstanding 360 degree view from the top. The piper trail offers diverse terrain - from a nice shady walk in the woods, to scrambling on boulders towards the top. I will suggest to keep an eye out for the yellow trail markings as they become pretty difficult to follow/ see once you are close to the summit. We had to turn around a couple of times because the safe way up was not extremely clear! Overall - one of the best hikes I have done this year! I saw many dogs on the trail, however, my older pup would not have been able to navigate through the steeper rocks towards the top easily, so I’m glad I left her at home!

loved the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best fire tower views in NH. Check out my full write along with directions and things to look for.
http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/redhillnh/

Great trail and well maintained. Some pretty steep sections going up but the trail is well maintained with places to step. Beautiful and breathtaking from the top! We did see a black bear and cub about 50 feet from the trail on the way down and 1/2 mile from trailhead. They did run away as advertised.

hiking
1 month ago

Incredible views. Hiked this about a month ago. Moving moderately we did this in about 6 hours. Couple of short technical scrambling on the way up. Would not do in wet conditions. Views on top were some of the best. The very top has some scaryish inclined rock face to make it to the summit. Highly recommend and would do it again without question.

Great family hike with rewarding views in all directions from the fire tower. picnic table at the summit with views toward the big lake. our almost 5 yr old grandson did the round trip in 3.5 hrs, including a lengthy lunch break at the top and several snack breaks. Trail has become more eroded and rougher underfoot than it used to be, so sturdy sneakers are a good idea.

Beautiful challenging trail. Lots of rock to climb. Views are amazing. Rocky decent. Beautiful breeze the entire hike.

Great hike. Definitely challenging. Slippery in some spots so wear hiking boots. Trail was about a mile longer than this indicates. More like 9.5 miles. With many breaks we did the loop in 7 hours . Beautiful views!

Great workout. Some climbing up boulders. Views are beautiful! Lots of mushrooms along the way. Some trees down in spots.

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