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Owl's Head Mtn, Galehead Mtn
August 3-5, 2000

Route: Wilderness Trail, Franconia Brook Trail,
Lincoln Brook Trail, Owl’s Head Slide,
Twin Brook Trail, Frost Trail
Map: image004.jpg (95843 bytes)
 
Elevation: Owl’s Head Mtn – 4025 ft
13 Falls Tentsite – 2196 ft
Galehead Hut – 3870 ft
Galehead Mtn – 4024 ft
Vertical Climb: 6511 ft
Distance: 28.4 miles
Who Went: Paul, Muffin

Day 1

Continuing a tradition begun last year, Muffin and I went on a backpacking trip while Toi and Holly were gone on their daycamp overnight. Our plan was to stay two nights, first at 13 Falls Tentsite, then at Guyot Campsite. As usual, we left home at 4:30 AM and made the 2-1/2 hour drive to the Lincoln Woods parking area on the Kancamagus Highway, where the Wilderness Trail begins.

After buying a White Mountain National Forest Service parking sticker at the information center there, and getting our stuff in order, we crossed the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River over the suspension footbridge and headed out on the Wilderness Trail just after 8:00 AM.

The Wilderness Trail follows the bed of an old logging railroad, so it looks more like a country lane than a backcountry trail, but it provides the main link from the south to the rest of the trails in the Pemigewasset Wilderness. It is flat and easy to walk on, so we made good time despite my nearly 40-lb load.

We followed the Wilderness Trail for 2.9 miles, passing the Osseo Trail to Mt Flume, the Black Pond Trail, and the spur path to Franconia Falls. At this point, we crossed another footbridge over Franconia Brook and officially entered the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Here, we turned north onto the Franconia Brook Trail, which also follows an old railroad bed but isn’t nearly as wide as the Wilderness Trail. The trail climbed gently through mixed hardwood and spruce/fir forests, occasionally crossing small streams over rocks. At one point, the trail detoured around a large swampy area flooded by beavers. Although there were muddy spots, the trail was relatively dry.

Suspension footbridge over the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River. This is the start of the nearly 9-mile long Wilderness Trail, linking the Lincoln Woods parking area on the Kancamagus Highway with numerous trails in the Pemigewasset Wilderness.

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Muffin on the Wilderness Trail. This wide flat trail follows cthe bed of an old logging railroad. On Thursday when we left, the weather was still nice at this point.

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Map

  Owl's Head-Galehead page: 

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