STATE: New Hampshire
DESTINATION: Mt. Moosilauke
ELEVATION: 4802 Ft.
TRAIL: Ravine Lodge Rd, Gorge Brook Trail
DISTANCE: 10.4 miles
HIKING TIME: 3 - 4 hours
DATE: February 7, 2010
WEATHER: overcast, snow, wind
From 93 take Route 112 West to route 118 south/west. Follow 118 and just after the height of land Ravine Lodge Rd. will be on your right. The road is gated in winter however during normal hiking season you can drive the road 1.6 miles to Mountain Lodge and park along the side of the road.
This was a winter ascend and I didn't realize Ravine Lodge road would be gated. This required an additional 1.6 mile walk (each way) to Ravine Lodge and the Gorge Brook Trailhead. Descend behind the lodge and follow the carriage road to the right leading to several trailheads. On the "class of 1982" bridge, cross the Baker River and look for signs marking the Gorge Brook Trail. The Gorge Brook trail ascends gradually along Gorge Brook over a relatively light grade crossing the brook twice. At 1.4 miles and approximately the 1/2 way point the trail reaches a memorial plaque for Ross McKenney (a Dartmouth Outing Club member) and the last good water source. This route was relocated in the early 90's and turns right then climbs more steeply joining an old logging road before encountering a series of switchbacks. You eventually reach an open area known as "The Balcony", makes a short drop, hits tree line as it approaches the open and bare summit.
The summit is marked with an extremely large cairn and provides substantial views of Franconia Ridge and the nearby mountains.
Ravine Lodge road - Gorge Brook Trail = 1.4 miles (Winter Only)
Gorge Brook Trail - Ross McKenney plaque = 1.4 miles
Plaque - Summit = 2.3 miles
Ravine Lodge road - Gorge Brook Trail = 30 minutes (Winter Only)
Gorge Brook Trail - Ross McKenney plaque = 30 minutes
Plaque - Summit = 60 minutes
NOTES / COMMENTS:
At 4802 Mt. Moosilauke is the 10th highest peak in New Hampshire and is the highest point in both the towns of Benton and Woodstock. It has a bare summit with views in all directions. The summit contains stone foundations of a former ski area. The name Moosilauke is the Algonquin Indian word for "bald place" and a very apt description of the Moosilauke Summit.