Saturday, July 7, 2018

Mt. Success (3565 Feet) and a DC3 crash site

Mt. Success from the Outlook loop
STATE: New Hampshire
TOWN: Berlin
DESTINATION: Mt. Success
ELEVATION: 3565 Feet
SUMMIT COORDINATES: N44 28.290, W71 02.353
TRAIL: Success Trail, Mahoosuc trail (AT)
DISTANCE: 6.3 miles (Round Trip)
ELEVATION GAIN: 1950 Feet
HIKING TIME: 3 hours
SEASON: Summer
DATE: July 1, 2018
WEATHER: Hazy, hot and humid.  90 Degrees

PARKING: From route 16 in Berlin cross the Androscoggan River on the Unity street bridge. Bear left onto Hutchins street and follow to (dirt) Success Pond Rd on the right.  The road is marked "ATV trails" coming from the south, if you drive too far and U-turn there is a sign defining the road entrance. Road coordinates N44 28.711, W71 09.847.

Follow Success Pond road 5.35 miles to the trail head.  Look for a wooden AMC trail head sign, the side road is marked with a standard street sign however the overgrowth makes it difficult to see.  There is a single large boulder blocking an eroded drainage washout. Park along the roadside.

Driving time from Manchester is 3 hours.

USGS QUAD: USGS Shelburne Quad

MAP: (Mt. Success)


DESCRIPTION: Follow the sandy road 0.15 miles to a Y intersection.  Bear right and continue another 0.25 miles to an open field. Stay to the right and look for a small Success Trail sign leading east into the woods following blue blazes. The incline begins gradually but soon transitions to moderately steep showing signs of erosion down to the granite slabs that can be slick when wet.  At 1.7 miles you reach the "Outlook loop" which offers a nice reprieve from the steep trail. The views are worth the short 0.3 mile side trip. Follow the mustard colored blazes to a precipice with great views towards Success Mountain and the east.  Continuing along the 0.3 mile loop returns you to the Success trail. Continue east to the crest of the ridge and descend into a boggy area over decaying log bridges before a short and steep incline to the Mahoosuc Trail (AT).  Follow the Mahoosuc Trail (AT) 0.6 miles south to the rocky Success Summit. 


TRAIL DISTANCES:

HIKING DISTANCES
DESTINATION
DISTANCE TOTAL DIST.
Success trail - The Outlook Spur 1.7 miles 1.7 miles
The Outlook loop 0.3 miles 2.0 miles
Success Trail - Mahoosuc Trail (AT) 0.7 miles 2.7 miles
Mahoosuc Trail - Success Summit 0.6 miles 3.3 miles

HIKING TIMES:

HIKING TIMES
DESTINATION
TIME TOTAL TIME
Success trail - The Outlook Spur 45 minutes 45 minutes
The Outlook loop 10 minutes 55 minutes
Success Trail - Mahoosuc Trail (AT) 20 minutes 1 hour 15 minutes
Mahoosuc Trail - Success Summit 10 minutes 1 hour 25 minutes

NOTES / COMMENTS:

At 3565 feet Mt success is ranked #93 (depending on what list you refer to) on the list of New Hampshire highest mountains. It is trailed all the way to the vastly open summit making it a popular destination for hikers.  It is #8 on the NH 52 With a View list and additionally, on the trailwrights list of 100 mountains.  The summit is marked with a trail junction sign post and there is no indication that you're at the summit other than a golden benchmark embedded in the granite and the knowledge that you've reached the highest point.

Following the Mahoosuc Trail south approximately 0.25 miles will lead to a blazed spur path leading another 0.1 miles to the impressive wreckage of a DC3 plane crash which occurred in 1954. It's a ominous feeling to encounter a rather large crash site just off the AT corridor with a plethora of debris all over the place and a large section of fuselage is still intact.  All passengers and crew survived the initial crash due to pilot creativity and ingenuity however, two members passed on while waiting for rescue.  My directions to the crash site are intentionally vague. It's an incredible story that should be researched.

Success Trail head on Success Pond Road
View from The Outlook
Wooden bridges through a boggy area
1954 DC3 crash debris
fuselage still intact





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