Middle and South Carter Summits Loop

HARD 4 reviews

Middle and South Carter Summits Loop is a 9.3 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Gorham, New Hampshire that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
9.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3257 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dog friendly

hiking

trail running

forest

views

Includes trail info for Middle and South Carter Summits. If traveling up 19 Mile Brook Trail to Carter Dome Trail to Carter-Moriah Trail, it is an easier grade than going up the Imp Trail to Carter-Moriah Trail and thus can be summited faster. Going up the first route is easier and unique from other New England trails due to the use of switch backs (zig zagged trails that work up the face of a mountain reducing a steep climb rather than a straight trail up).

hiking
1 month ago

WARNING THIS IS NOT A LOOP THERE IS NO TRAIL CONNECTING IMP TRAIL TO NINETEEN MILE BROOK TRAIL

Damage from the storm on these trails was pretty rough.

Nineteen Mile Brook - fairly manageable, more branches than anything. A few downed trees that were easy to go over.

Carter Dome Trail - in the beginning wasn't terrible then you start going through the switchbacks and thats where it got tricky. Toward the last few there were so many downed trees you couldn't easily climb over, we ended up going up the trail and around for most of them. The ground was very soft and we were fighting it pretty hard sinking into the ground as we maneuvered around these downed trees.

Carter-Moriah Trail(Zeta Pass) - This in my opinion was a bit worse as it was almost consistent blowdowns. Particularly Between the start through to South Carter. Even the rock cairn at South Carter had a tree on it. The trail between South and Middle Carter was way more manageable compared to the hell we dealt with getting to South Carter. We even saw a guy at South Carter who had a pretty decent scratch on his head which he claimed he got from a tree on the way from Carter Dome. After Middle Carter we started to encounter more black ice than blowdowns. Bridges were very slick.

North Carter Trail - I'm sure this trail is always like this but this was our 1st time on this trail series but you are essentially walking in a creek bed the entire time. The water level seemed high but manageable just more annoying between that and how narrow the trail is. A few downed trees towards the bottom, some you could go over and a few we decided to go around as we couldn't see how much water was on the other side.

Imp Trail - similar to nineteen mile brook more branches than anything, same deal with the brook etc. Towards the bottom of the trail it was really deep leaves luckily dry.

We must've been using an old trail from All Trails but it essentially took us down a non existent trail so we pretty much bushwhacked back to nineteen mile which was a bit anxiety ridden as we weren't expecting that and the sun was going down, lucky we had head lamps but fortunately got back to our car before sundown.

Because of all the blowdowns and detours the trail took us way longer than expected. I'm sure in decent conditions (pre-storm) it wouldn't have been so rough or long. I wouldn't recommend you tackling this series unless you are ready to be crawling under trees or going off trail around them etc. We knew there were going to be blowdowns but it was sad to see the extent of damage on these particular trails.

3 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

❄️