Tuesday, August 4, 2020

OutdoorSteve Has Hiked all Fourteen Trails of the 75-Mile Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway!


Trail 9 New Canada Road to Proctor Academy was the last of the fourteen trails needed for me to complete the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway (SRKG) 75-mile loop. Trail 9 was extra special as family and friends accompanied me. Starting at 7 am at the northern trailhead at New Canada Road, Wilmot, NH, we hiked up, over and around Ragged Mountain for 5.5-hours before finishing the 6.5-mile trail at its southern trailhead at Proctor Academy, Andover, NH.
 

My sons Timothy and Shaun, Shaun’s daughter Madison and friend Sam, and grandson Carson, University of Mississippi junior, and friend Savannah, all joined me at 7 am at the New Canada Road northern trailhead in Wilmot, NH. The weather was clear and 72 degrees with wet and trail slippery conditions from the previous night’s rain. 


After going through a wet field, we began our uphill climb through the woods. We unexpectedly did a talus field climb for a few minutes, and after 2.7 miles of uphill, we came to the clearing at the ski summit of Ragged Mountain. We passed by the communications tower that helps at a distance, recognize Ragged from other mountains. We were two- hours and ten minutes into our hike.

After a fifteen-minute lunch break on the Ski Patrol hut deck and a brief tour of the scenic view of New Foundland Lake and surrounding countryside, we continued our trek following the trapezoid SRKG signs to Proctor Academy.

We found the trail to be very well marked. The one exception was the Balance Rock Trail where for about a mile, it we saw no signs in the direction (north to south) we were traveling, but once we turned around we readily saw the trapezoid sign. We surmised the person who put these signs out was traveling south to north. Later at the five mile mark, the signs returned visible to our direction of travel.

Spectaclar View of the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway peaks and Lake Sunapee

“The SRK Greenway is a 75-mile loop of hiking trails in central New Hampshire. The Greenway Trail System circles the Lake Sunapee area and connects Sunapee, Ragged, and Kearsarge Mountains.”

The above definition/description of the Greenway is taken directly from the SRKG.ORG web site. And what got me excited, was at the 4.1 mile ledge West Peak view, we could see directly in front of us the ski slopes of Mt Sunapee; from the right the Ragged Mountain tower we have just our lunch on; and to our left a clear view of Kearsarge Mountain and its communication and fire towers. And to top this off, we were able to discern a section of Lake Sunapee. Wow!! For a simple outdoor enthusiast, this point of view, was remarkable! Check out the below picture with the three red circles identifying each of the three mountain peaks. There in front of us is the SRK Greenway 75-mile loop. 


The Guide, Proctor Trail Sign, and our Phone Map App


As in all my prior SRKG hikes, I have relied on and referenced as I hiked, the SRKG Trail Guide. As we passed the six-mile voice call-out from my iphone we indeed were getting tired and looking for the end of the trail. The Guide listed 6.1 miles – meaning one tenth of the mile until we celebrate my 14th hike on the SRKG. This was the longest one-tenth of a mile I have ever hiked. It was steep downhill woods and went on for what seemed forever. When we finally emerged into the Proctor Academy parking lot, the sign at the southern trailhead said this was a 6.4-mile trail! Indeed, my MapMyRun had my hike at 6.5 miles, but who is counting. Expecting a tenth of a mile and receiving four to five times that distance caused us to chat about our exhaustion.

Summary

Overall a very well signed trail. The SRKG Trail Guide lists this trail as “Difficult.” I would agree, but it is not overwhelming. Of all the fourteen trails, this was not, to me, the most difficult or challenging.

This Trail 9 section is used SRKG and is maintained by the Ragged Mountain Fish and Game Club and Proctor Academy. Well done to all caretakers.

I now, never have to say, "I wish I had hiked the 14 Trails of the Sunapee-Ragged Greenway."

Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway (SRKG) Trails Hiked by OutdoorSteve and Friends - Click below links

  1. SRK Greenway Trail 1 Old Province Rd, Goshen to Newbury Harbor
  2. SRK Greenway Trail 2 Old Province Rd, Goshen to Sunapee Town Hall
  3. SRK Greenway Trail 3 Sunapee to Deerhill Springfield (Video on Bedford Community TV)
  4. SRK Greenway Trail 4 ProtectworthTrail, Springfield, NH
  5. SRK Greenway Trail 5 Springfield/New London to Great Brook Bridge
  6. SRK Greenway Trail 6 Great Brook Bridge to Wilmot 4A Wolf Trees and Trails
  7. SRK Greenway Trail 7 NH Route 4A to WilmotCenter
  8. SRK Greenway Trail 8 Wilmot Center to New Canada Road
  9. SRK Greenway Trail 9 New Canada Road to Proctor Academy
  10. SRK Greenway Trail 10 Proctor Academy to Winslow State Park Mt Kearsage
  11. SRK Greenway Trail 11 Rollins State Park via Lincoln Trail to Kearsarge Valley Road
  12. SRK Greenway Trail 12 – Kearsarge Valley Road to Wadleigh State Park
  13. SRK Greenway Trail 13 - Kezar Lake at Wadleigh Park to Chalk Pond
  14. SRK Greenway Trail 14 – Chalk Pond to Newbury

    THANK YOU

    Summary
    Overall a very well signed trail. The SRKG Trail Guide lists this trail as “Difficult.”  I would agree, but it is not overwhelming. Of all the fourteen trails, this was not, to me, the most difficult or challenging.

    This Trail 9 section is used by SRKG and is maintained by the Ragged Mountain Fish and Game Club and Proctor Academy.  Well done to all trail maintainers.

     Thank You.
    My membership in the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway certainly enticed me to continue my quest. Thank you to all the volunteers who maintain the trails. The SRKG shares and uses many other trailway organizations, along with towns, state government, and private landowners.  Please know your commitment is very much appreciated.

    Doing the 75 miles of fourteen trails of the SRKG it was never an individual effort – it included a variety of family and friends spread over two years.  I very much bow to them with many thanks.

    In chronological order of participation are my thanks to: Jim (2), Patty (1), Catherine (2 plus scouting of 14 trailheads), Tim (4), Mike (1), Steve (2), Craig (1), Ellen (1), Mark (2), Kendall (2), Shaun (1 plus all blog posts editing), Madison (1), Sammy (1), Carson (1), and Savannah (1).
    ++++++++++++++++++
    "Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

    Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Kindle and hardcopy at Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH.

    Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics.



    Additional Sources of Books at:
    Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
    E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X