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Great hike. Challenging trail that is poorly marked and there is no official trailhead. The views are worth it!

what a nice little trail along the lake and through the woods. though trail is relatively flat, good walking/hiking shoes a must as you cross over small rocks and tree roots often.

nice easy hike. great view. too bad some dipshit with a drone was there that day. kinda put a damper on the 'out with nature' vibe. lots of people. probably 2-3 hrs round trip at medium pace.

hiking
15 days ago

Good hike, some really good views along the way. The trails are very poorly blazed and found myself having to refer to my GPS very often which was annoying. Italian Trail would be the easier route up if you plan on doing this as a loop. I went up Italian Trail and took Shaw mountain trail down. Overall it was 7.3 miles and a very good workout.

Very well marked trail, quick and easy hike. I hiked it with a pulled Achilles and it didn’t irritate my calf any further. We started b 8am with 70+ degree weather which was nice. LOTS of blueberries at the top!

Super easy trail and very well marked for the green trail, Great views from the top, you can see the chairlift at the top of Gunstock from the firetower. Very good trail for dogs!

was a great hike! nice Fire tower and cool cabins!

This was a bit confusing. It was a bit hard to find the trail head on multiple occasions. The trail was super easy though (once i figured it out), and the view at the top was lovely. It was kind of crowded even for a week day. Super super easy hike, would definitely recommend for beginners and children. Nothing super exciting for avid hikers though.

I agree with the review from hiker below. Logging made a mess. hiked this a week ago. Perfect weather. Only saw a handful of hikers. At the trailhead enter past the gate veer right. Stay straight on the path, about .5 the trail splits off. You will want to go right where you see the green/red blazes. You should not see any blue blazes until after you hit the look out for big ball (Tate). Beautiful views! If you do doubleback and find the red/green blazes again. The trail between big ball and black snout was overgrown and had a few blow downs. All passable. I took Shaw trail down. Great relaxing day.

Beautiful, easy walk through woods, very pretty and serene. And no bugs today.

Interesting trail... logging really messed it up. Was initially going to hike Mt. Shaw but the lack of signage and no apparent blaze had us following blue markings (do not recommend) into bush for a few miles before we were reconnected with the green red green (Italian flag) blaze. Made it to summit of 2000 feet of a smaller mountain and did not have enough steam to make it to mt. Shaw summit due to heat even though it was only around 45 mins-1 hour away. Coming back was effortless following green red green markings after we saw the first sign (!!!!) pointing to 171. Enjoy and be very observant.

Great family hike!

awesome trail, not very well marked at the peak. The dog's loved it.

It's a good hike, however it is not very well marked.

Great trails, well marked.

Another great day. Worth the hike to the Panorama Pub.

Lots of fun on this sunny February day! Super icy, you'll definitely need micro-spikes because some parts of the trail were glare ice. Everything was melting and some parts of the trail were like rivers. A great day hike!

I would not rate this as difficult. Even in icy conditions this was not at at difficult. The top third on the way up to Gunstock was pretty icy but manageable.

Bring a map because this is not one single trail but a series of connected trails. We actually didn't complete the "loop". We mistakenly came down the belknap fire tower trail making our own loop.

Hiked this with my ten year old who faired well.

Great winter hike.

I did this as a loop trail today. A bit confusing at the start, with NO trail markers. Starts off with logging roads so you follow those into the woods. At one point early on, the trail branches with red blazes on left (Shaw Trail - no sign) and the "Italian" trail to the right with green-red-green blazes. I took Italian trail so I could loop up to Tate (Big Ball) Mtn first. Followed green-red-green blazes up to Tate Mtn with nice views. Then kept going and came upon blue blazes which took me to Black Snout Mtn. Again NO signs or trail markers to note this. Decent ascent to Black Snout with beautiful views to south and east. Evidence of moose too and cool spiral trail to summit and a sign (SO excited to see a sign!) noting summit. Then loop back down the spiral trail a tad to head on wide trail to the north (or bushwack from a kinda trail to the north like I did) onto the wide trail which is presumably Black Spout Spur trail (again NO sign?!) Follow this north to High Ridge trail which takes you to summit Shaw Mtn. You will finally see signs soon... Beautiful views from here to the north and east and a tad bit of snow here today but not icy. Then back track on High Ridge trail down to sign that says "Turtleback Mtn. 1.5 miles". This will lead you to Shaw Trail where you eventually come to a fallen down tree with signs on it and an unmarked trail heading down the hill with red blazes. This is Shaw trail so head on down that... Again no sign, but I promise this will take you back to the parking lot you left from. Enjoy!

hiking
9 months ago

Started at the small parking area off 171 intending to ascend the Shaw Mtn Trail. However, there are so many spin-off paths in these woods, I got turned around and wound up summiting Big Ball (via bushwhacking) and from there heading up to Black Snout (on a real trail), and then over to Shaw and down the Shaw Mtn Trail. It's quite beautiful atop Black Snout and Shaw, and with 3" of snow with bear tracks! The hike down Shaw Mtn wasn't great; mainly the footing is challenging. Lots of tennis-ball sized rocks that roll underfoot leaves and make the route feel very "goaty". All in all, a great way to spend 7 miles and 4+ hours, but not my favorite hike ever. PS: my dog LOVED it. Soft snow up top to roll in and very good smells everywhere. One more thing: super-nice people on the trail. Not many, but all really friendly :)

Probably one of my favorite loops so far. Definitely not hard; should be rated moderate. Hiked counter clockwise. Since part of the trail is along the paved carriage road, I decided to hike up on pavement which is easier on knees than down.
Took me 1 hr 45 to get from carriage rd parking to Gunstock summit and 45 min to descend via orange trail. Didn’t take the winter cutoff (in November) because there was no snow, but the leaves were very slippery. Slipped and fell twice. Oops.

This trail is great!! I'm a somewhat new hiker and found this trail to be good for me. Not too easy, and not hard. Awesome trail!!

only did first 2 miles with family. my 3yr old daughter pushed as far as she could.
The first 2 miles were great hike. Trails well marked and groomed. definately a moderate difficulty. Pretty steep in parts. Cant wait to go back and finish it

Hard but worth it. Take the long way from the Mt Major parking lot for added distance.

We tried accessing the trail off Mount Major Highway, onto Jesus Valley Road (turns into a dirt road), about 500 feet before the trail mark, there were signs up for private property, no trespassing on both sides of the road. We had to tie a round and were not able to access trail from there. Just a heads up...

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