Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Kineo - East Peak, Black Hill, NH
Trails: Three Ponds Trail, Mt. Kineo Trail, snowmobile paths, bushwhack
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: First car in the large Three Ponds Trailhead, two others at noon  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Ice - Blue, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Leaves - Significant/Slippery 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Hoppable when not on the snowmobile path, all bridged on wider snowmobile paths 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: All good 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: n/a 
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: Three Ponds Trail was in great shape for the 0.1-mile stretch I was on, quickly veered onto the narrow footpath of Mt Kineo Trail which was in stellar condition - dry soil, waterways easily crossed on bare rocks, a pleasure to trek. Once on the snowmobile paths that was a different story, some wet/muddy areas which were mostly avoidable, other patches with hard snow/ice which was rather grippy and easy to run upon, needless to say shoes got wet and feet got dunked in mud - such is springtime hiking.

Once on the narrow footpath of Mt Kineo Trail to ascend the ridge, the path was easy to follow but contained a supreme amount of fallen branches, too much for me to tackle today; overall the path remained very easy to follow. Left the marked trail at the HOL and followed the ridgetop east. About 6" of snowpack remained at ~2750', some supportive/some collapsible, perhaps snowshoes would have helped for a very small section, I don't regret not carrying them for this low elevation, however.

After the main col before reaching the East Kineo landmass I ended up picking up a yellow blazed snowmobile corridor and following this until about 2920' or so, at which point I bee-lined for the high point. The forest is littered with blue double-blazes which I was trying to understand - originally I thought a property boundary overtop of the ridge, then thought a survey line for the snowmobile pathway, upon reaching the summit and finding the blue blazes go off in multiple directions with a tree number tagged at the peak I realized I have no idea, interesting little mystery, I guess.

Instead of dealing with snow on the return trek, I bushwhacked south/southwest from the deep col to pick up the wider snowmobile path to guide me back to my car. Ended up climbing Black Hill as well since I was out there and it was still early into my day. Nice, steep ascent over fallen hardwood leaves along the NE slope. Signed into the register notebook and had myself a tea break. Figured I'd boogie down toward my car so I descended off Black Hill E/SE over 3 bands of exposed rocks, each with landings comprised of hardwood and soft footing - really neat low mountain, terrifically enjoyable route.

I'll throw in a link to a write-up below with some photos and fun tid-bits. Enjoy!
Happy Climbing!
Name: Erik Hamilton 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-04-20 
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