|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Campton Mountain, Mt. Weetamoo, East Weetamoo, Catamount Hill, Mt. Squam, NH|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, May 31, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail |
|Water Crossing Notes:
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
|Lost and Found:
||Starting from the gate at the western end of FR400, I followed the old Beebe River railroad grade eastwards and eventually started bushwhacking N/NW through open hardwoods. After a mile of ascending the southern slopes of Campton Mountain, I reached the upper Crystal mica mine (1943-44), one of the most interesting historical features of the Campton Range. Of the two mines (lower and upper), the upper mine is the larger of the two, measuring 160 feet long and up to 25 feet deep. In the USGS publication titled “Pegmatite Investigations in New England (1942-45)”, Eugene N. Cameron et al. describe 3,200 tons of rock having been removed from the upper mine, of which 1.65 percent was mine-run mica. Along with extensive mica deposits, there are many rusting artifacts from the operation all around the area.|
Following the visit to the mine, I traveled over the Campton-Weetamoo ridge to reach the summits of both of those mountains, finding mostly open woods. The bushwhack to East Weetamoo was a different story altogether: slow-going, with dense woods and lots of blowdown. After a short break on the East Weetamoo summit, I descended the southern ridge and paid a visit to the D&J Wallace and R. Crowell cellar holes, both of which are listed on the 1860 map of Grafton County. These sites can be tough to find, and their remoteness is similar to some of the Wallace Farm cellar holes over on the North Road (off Sandwich Notch). Both of these Campton sites have barn foundations, and one has a dug well.
Returning back down to FR400, my next objective was a bushwhack up the SW side of Catamount Hill. Various names have been assigned to this hill, including “North North Doublehead”, “West Dinsmore”, and “Sandwich Notch Road Hill”, but Catamount is the name that early Sandwich settlers assigned to it. After summiting Catamount, I took a direct line across to Mount Squam, whacking through fairly open woods; along the way I stopped at a spectacular ledge band on the northeast side of Mt. Squam, at ca. 1950 feet. I summited shortly thereafter and then descended via the 1.5-mile long trackless spur ridge that extends north of Squam’s summit. Lots of knobs on this ridge, but the birch/fir forest is wide open, reminiscent of the south side of Sandwich Dome.
All in all it was a most interesting day, with 11 miles of bushwhacking and visits to three very intriguing historical sites.
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.