nature trips

dogs on leash




Did this trail yesterday and met Barbara (review below) on the top. We did the trail in the opposite direction, up Italian, down Shaw. I would suggest this way, so different opinions on direction.
I found it amazing how poorly marked the trails are. No signs at all of the lower trail junctions and old faded blazes on the trees. Maybe it would have been easier without a layer of newly fallen leaves. I've done all the 4Ks and 34 of the NH52WAV and consider myself very good at following a poorly marked trail, but this was a struggle. Everybody we met along the way struggled too. Thanks Barbara for the suggestion of using the AllTrails app. It works well and I'm glad you all found your way down OK.
With that said, the views and foliage were fantastic!!

DO NOT DO THIS HIKE WITHOUT TRAIL GPS!!!! Without my AllTrails app for GPS, this trail would have impossible to find, so poorly marked. Especially with the leaves covering the trails. Went up Shaw and down the Italian Trail. If you are doing the loop, this is the way to go. Shaw is steep in areas but not too bad. Had some novice hikers with me and one fell in the brook trying to cross, water was high yesterday and rocks very slippery. Views from all 3 summits if you do the loop are decent. Almost 8 miles RT. Would do again but only with GPS.

Wonderful “bang for your buck” hike! On the easy side of moderate, well marked, and expansive views towards Lake Winnipesaukee and surrounding mountains. Shannon Brook and waterfalls are close by and add nice variety to this hike! A definite “must do” hike!

7 days ago

Nice trail, with room cool volcanic formations at the peak.

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

Hiked this trail many times. Great trail to get the heart pumping, low impact. Nice view on the cliff, Winnipesaukee view is getting over grown with trees. A relatively short hike giving you plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your day and a nice cold IPA.

Hiked with my 6 and 10 year olds.

This hike is harder than advertised. It's not difficult but it definitely on the higher end of moderate.

First 1.5 miles has a low but steady incline with a few water crossings. After you lose the brook it starts to become more difficult. The next .75 mile you gain a lot of elevation and you will really notice it. Once you hit the carriage road the trail becomes very easy for the last mile until the summit of Shaw. From Shaw to Black Snout is all carriage rd and easy hiking.

Shaw has 180 views of the Sandwich Range and the White's. Black Snout has 180 views of the lake.

Both children faired well but my 6 year didn't want to go back down the Shaw trail because of the steep part. She conceded and did well. There is another trail to the parking lot from Black Snout to Big Ball and down but we decided against it.

Over all nice hike. Views are almost non-existent until either peak but the summits were worth the wait.

10 days ago

We did not find the climb gradual; the trail typically had repeating steep sections followed by flat. We didn't fully summit though - at the second overlook, we saw thick clouds moving in and feared rain. The decent would have been really tricky if wet. Regardless, the views at both overlooks were beautiful and the trail itself was lovely and well marked.

Light traffic on this trail with a gradual climb. Beautiful vistas along the trail with views of Winnipesaukee. View from the summit is not as spectacular. About 3/4 of the trail is deep woods.

Great hike. A little confusing out of the gate so I used the All Trails GPS to stay on track. Loved the tempo and found it moderately difficult. Stunning views once your 3/4 up. May try to get to Black Snout and make a bigger loop next time

Thankfully we read the comments from other hikers so we were mindful of what to expect. Trails are not well maintained but luckily we found ourselves only having to backtrack a couple times. We followed the green/red blazes up until it met up with the blue ones. And then turned back and followed that for the way back. Overall, it’s a good workout with great views along the way.

When you get to the end of the paved road, it splits into 2 dirt roads. Stay to the left and follow all the way to the end. Make sure your car can handle to big dips so you don’t bottom out. Brought my two dogs and they had a blast. Definitely would recommend!

I’d call this easy rather than moderate. Gradual ascent on a well-marked trail. The summit views were obstructed but a .3 mile trek to another vantage point had wide-open views.

27 days ago

All around great trail. Moderately difficult out and back but great vista point half way up and the summit has stunning sprawling views over the lake. Very well marked. There are plenty of options to connect to turtleback mountain if you are looking to pack on more mileage. I opted to explore the brook walk at the end of my hike which had SO many lovely waterfalls and wasn’t very strenuous.

Love this Hike!

The trail after the Bald Knob viewpoint has been closed for restoration.

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.

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.

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.

Great little trail, I did it barefoot and took lots of refreshing detours into the beautiful brook and waterfalls.

Waterfalls were awesome welcome to the trail! Views at the top were great. It was pretty steep. Took our time going up and took about 2 hours... coming down was a quick 45 minutes! Great having the dog run around off leash... only saw 3 Groups of people while we were there too!

Fairly moderate trail with some steep inclines. We enjoyed the dense tree growth towards the top. Different hike, but a good work out. Beautiful views of the lakes.

A pleasant hike. Previous reviews are correct, rocky terrain early on, and great views of the lakes near the summit. Recent rains made the early trail section muddy and buggy, but not enough to be a consideration.

2 months 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.

Love this hike- but this online map is wrong. The part labeled “bald knob viewpoint” is actually the top.... and the part labeled “Bald knob” is actually a different mountain called Turtleback.

2 months ago

Pretty easy and great waterfalls!

Great hike. View at the top isn’t the best unless you go up the fire tower due to tree growth blocking view. Hike about 1.5 hours up if you go at a steady pace. We did it with our 7, 9 and 11 year old children who made it up pretty easily.

nice hike right after sunrise. The bugs were kinda crazy till you get to the top. Great pics from the fire tower. warm out but mostly shaded on the decent trail up

Steep! Rocky terrain on red market path - worth the hike to climb the tower

It's short but steep. Beautiful view up top :)

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