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This Doublehead is in the Squam Range, off Rt 113, overlooking Squam Lake..

The more familiar parts of this range include Mt.s Morgan and Percival, which are linked to West & East Doublehead via the Crawford-Ridgepole Trail.


Gallery / slide show

Trailhead was very easy to find: From the 25/113 junction in Holderness, go about 8 miles on 113, look for Thompson Rd (dirt) on the left. There is a road sign at the intersection.

The directions from my usual online sources were a bit out of date; Thompson Rd has been improved to the point where you can drive in ( slowly, the road is passable but rough)  off Rt 113 to a very nice parking area.Very pleasant surprise to avoid a .9 mile (each way) road walk !  :)


The view from the parking space seemed promising ....

The trailhead beckoned ... the trail seems to have had some rerouting done; there is a (closed) driveway on one side and the other side has had logging. It starts as single track, but soon comes out on a logging or old farm road.

The wide trail climbs steadily for a half mile or so then becomes narrower, rougher and steeper.  Around a mile or so it gets fairly steep and rough, but the footing remains good - breath stops but no scrambling needed.

The trail climbs alongside a gully, full of large rocks. Considering the Belknaps, where trail cutters of yore seem to have taken perverse delight in scrambling over rock falls, I was rejoicing that I wasn't in the gully - when at that precise moment, the trail took a turn into it. Groan.

Mercifully, that was just a short switchback and I was out of the gully quickly. A big shoulder of ledge now appeared on the right, with a herd path up it ... hmmm?  Scramble?  No - the trail proper seemed to go around it; surely there must be a herd path at the top of the ledge?

Better than that - the trail actually crosses a pleasant wide ledge, with an excellent 180 degree view.

This ledge is worth the walk, even if you go no further.

Past the ledge, the trail ascends shortly to the Crawford-Ridgepole junction.

Heading east on the C-R path I reached what I assume is the East Peak and a restricted view north to Welch-Dickey. Hoping for more, I went a little further along, but the trail began to descend and I returned.

Reaching the junction I headed W toward West Doublehead, where again a restricted view North was available. The trail involved a deeper, steeper and rougher col section than I expected, but I valiantly headed further thinking I'd like to see Squam.

However, after crossing a section of a couple hundred yards of col-swamp and a couple scrambles I had to weigh the lateness of the afternoon and tiredness of the man. I opted to head back, still a half-mile or so from Squam.

There was this for compensation, though -

A couple reverse scrambles, passing thru the swamp again and some ups and downs and I was very happy to see the junction sign; I'd made the right choice turning back :)

Descending, I stopped for a snack on the Doublehead Trail ledge. Flies were bad by this time so the bug hoodie came out; very handy again, couldn't have sat and enjoyed the ledge and view without it !

Reaching the trailhead again, I noticed something odd on the horizon - like a weird wart on one of the distant ridgelines. Interesting optical illusion; looking at it with my long lens I can see that what looks like a 'wart' on one ridgeline is actually a clearing ( with tower and building ) on a hilltop beyond the first ridge. Glad I had the long lens :)

 

 

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