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I had never been to the section of the Quarry Trail between Rand and West Quarry.

Opportunity was knocking, so I made a plan. I also wanted to walk the North Straightback Link, so I worked out a route over North Straightback to Rand. I did not want to go over East Quarry, I did not enjoy the descent on its west side a few years back.

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I estimated my plan at about 8.5 miles ( GPS reported 8.9, not bad !).  It included an unmaintained trail; I was a little anxious about that, I walked it 3 years ago, but was not sure I could find it easily. I wouldn't have much time to hunt around...

I've bushwhacked my way up Swett Mountain from the south side before, and of course have been on South Piper several times, but never hiked the Swett Mountain Trail.

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Seemed like I might as well do that today, and even though the trail is in the woods, there would be plenty of open ledge.

An important consideration on a blue-sky/puffy-cloud/still-foliage-color kind of a day like this!

Very stoked for this hike, a few weeks ago I met a group of hikers on Mt Waumbek and they were kind enough to invite me along on this hike.

The trail section is one I've thought about but not gotten around to.

The path we took runs from Mt Morgan SSW along the Crawford-Ridgepole path in the Squam Range to Cotton Mtn.

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Apparently there is some coverage in one of the AMC guidebooks ( Southern NH); I can't prove it as I've lost track of mine ... but I found enough online info to feel comfortable about finding my way out of the woods. Even in a group I like knowing more or less where I am ... and where the nearest road is  Wink

The views to the N and NW were somewhat limited on this hike, but there were excellent views to be had at several points where the trail pops out onto an opening.

Of course, Mt Morgan started the show with its spectacular ledge ...

Had some chores to winterize the camp in Bartlett, so was planning on going to Bartlett this past weekend.

Thought maybe I'd fit in a hike on Parker, see what Washington looked like with a snow cap.

Then an invitation to hike with some friends changed the hiking destination.

When that hike plan fell through, I thought back to Parker.

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But Monday morning came, and it was chilly. And I'm breaking in new boots.

Hmmm. Solo, cold, new boots and post-foliage Monday ( not many people in the woods, and Parker doesn't get much traffic).  All those factors left me just a little uncomfortable. Decided on a shorter hike where there would be more chance of other people on the trail.

This seemed a good substitute ....

Quite different from Pine Mt , at the opposite end of the Belknaps. Pine Mountain was a gentler hill, with ledge but not so much broken rock.

The trails on Pine Mtn were old farm roads, or gentle single track, with one trail being completely unmarked. All Pine Mtn's trails had grass to walk through , which just screams "Tick!" at me ... though I found none.

Lockes Hill trails were wide open, but with much rockier footing. Similar to Pawtuckaway's North Mountain trails.  But with a much more 'touristy' feel.  It is Rt 11 in the Lakes Region, after all Smile

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Locke's Hill seems designed for a Lakes Region family hike - there are some good views, the trails are well marked and there are nature signs along the way.

Entertaining and educational at the same time !

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