Piper, Belknap, and Gunstock Mountains, May 16, 2009Preview
We'll do a loop that will take us to Piper Mountain by East Gilford Trail, then to the summit of Belknap Mountain, then over to the summit of Gunstock Mountain and return by Overlook Trail.
The total distance is a little over 6 miles with an elevation gain of approx 1400' – the summit of Belknap is 2382'. There are nice views from several points along the way. There will be spring wildflowers "a blooming" and black flies "a buzzing", so bring your favorite bug spray.
I'll bring along a few map copies for those who may stray from the group. Allow about 5 hours.
NEXT HIKE: May 16, Piper, Belknap, and Gunstock Mountains
MEETING SPOTS: Walmart, Newington at 8:00 a.m.
Exit 14 off of Rt. 93, LL Bean/Hannaford side, Concord at 8:00 a.m.
East Gilford Trailhead at 9:30 a.m
TRAILHEAD: The trailhead is in a logging yard with limited parking – please try to carpool. The trailhead is located off the end of Bickford Road which is on the east side of Route 11A: 2.8 miles from Route 11, or if coming from Gunstock, 1.7 miles from the Gunstock Ski Area turnoff. From Bickford, turn left onto Wood and follow the "trail" sign into the logging yard.
HIKE LEADER: Charlie Raeburn
On May 16th, seventeen hikers and two dogs set out on a hike that would see the summits of Piper, Belknap, and Gunstock mountains. The weather was ideal with a temperature in the high 50's, a mix of sun and clouds, and a nice breeze to keep the black flies away (mostly).
We began the ascent on East Gilford Trail and then we took the White and Old Piper Trails to Piper Mountain and back. There were several nice view spots along the way and we chose the summit of Piper for lunch number one. While returning to East Gilford Trail, the four-legged hikers got a little confused and took the trail back to the parking area. They eventually realized their erroneous decision and were able to rejoin the group on the summit of Gunstock.
The two-legged hikers took the trail to the summit of Belknap, and then continued to the summit of Gunstock for lunch number two. There were also fine views from the Gunstock summit. We returned to the parking area by taking Overlook Trail and the Round Pond cross-country ski trail which crosses East Gilford Trail near the trailhead. Given the group was dispersing in different directions we decided to skip the ice cream stop and instead socialized in the parking area.
Members may see more photos in our online photo album.