While looking up places to hike in southern NH, I remembered Crotched Mountain. When Isaac was younger, we hiked the short route up from the rehabilitation center (photo album). In the AMC guidebook, I found a longer loop from the Crotched Town Forest trailhead.
It was a partly sunny, partly drizzling day, which probably kept the crowds down. I discovered at the trailhead that I hadn’t brought a map. If you have hiked with me, you’ll know that I incessantly track my position on the map the same way some people pull their phones out to monitor their Facebook feed. I felt rather lost all day. Tyson had Open Street Maps running on his phone.
Following the AMC guidebook, we hiked up the East Summit trail with views along the ridge. Part way up, the trail passed through a rocky talus field. Isaac hikes uphill better if we stop for fun breaks, so we dropped our packs and explored. The rock tripe lichen covering the rocks was soft from earlier mist. We found a den under an overhang. Then we found a porcupine watching us warily from a good ways off. We moved to a cliff farther away and practiced a little rock climbing.
The views up on the ridge looked out in every direction across southern NH. The fall colors were pretty. I would tell you in which direction we saw what, but without a map and with the sun hiding behind solid gray clouds, I couldn’t keep track of which way was north.
All the views are before the summit. The summit itself is treed in and has communication towers. We followed the service road down a ways so Tyson could add it to open street maps. Neither open street maps, nor the maps at the kiosks show all the trails, so Tyson hiked out short stubs to mark each intersection. At the very end, back at the parking lot, Tyson led us on two final short loops that weren’t on the map.