I had originally planned to take the boys up to the Castle in the Clouds, park by the pond and hike out to Bald Knob along the Shannon Brook Trail. However, I failed to take into consideration the business hours of the Castle in the Clouds and the fact that they close the gate down on Rt 171 at 4 p.m. We got there just after 4 p.m. and just after they had closed the gate. So instead of parking up at the pond, we parked at the small parking lot at the Shannon Brook trailhead just off of Rt. 171.
at Shannon Brook Trailhead off Rt. 171
Starting from down at Rt. 171 instead of up at the pond resulted in a shorter but steeper hike toward the top of Bald Knob.
There were some pretty nootka roses along the trail.
- Date: 25 July 2012
- Time of Departure: ~4:00 p.m.
- Time of Return: ~6:15 p.m.
- Elapsed: 2 hours 13 minutes
- Moving Time (GPS): 1 hr 23 minutes
- Stopped Time (GPS): 50 minutes
- Mileage (GPS): 2.57 miles (Note this is NOT the total mileage to the top of Bald Knob since we didn't make it all the way to the top. This is the mileage to the geocache and back.)
- Avg Speed (GPS): 1.8 mph
- Elevation Gain: 1058 feet
- Max Elevation: 1511 feet
- Weather: Sunny but breezy.
- Winds: According to NH Weather, it was 5-10 mph W, but I didn't really notice even the slightest breeze while we were hiking.
- Air Temp: 75F (from NH Weather)
- Trail: Well-defined and marked trail. Hard pack dirt.
- Hazards? Some poison ivy off the sides of the trails, but not much.
- Kit: T-shirts, shorts, boys wore regular sneakers. I wore my hiking boots, but I would have been fine in sneakers. We were under the shade of trees most of the time and didn't need sun screen nearly as much as we needed bug spray. There were a lot of mosquitoes.
- Route: At the trailhead parking lot on Rt 171 there is a kiosk with a trail map. You can also buy the waterproof trail map from the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. We went up the Shannon Brook Trail to the Bald Knob Cutoff Trail, but did not hike all the way to the top of Bald Knob. There were no facilities available at the trailhead or anywhere along the trails we took.