Black Snout and Mount Shaw 5/10/08
Black Snout 2803'
and Mount Shaw 2990'
7.6 Miles 2300' Elevation gain
Kevin, Judy and Emma
Emma had a pull or sprain on her left rear leg from a hike in Rangeley a few weeks ago. We thought she was over it, but last Friday she must have reinjured it and our plans for the weekend went undone. Over the week she improved a great deal, so we decided we'd try a medium type hike. We had been wanting to visit Mount Shaw in the Ossipee Range for quite a while. This past winter we got caught up in "Winter 48 4K Mania", so, never made it. Now seemed a perfect time. I am happy to report she was back to her old self, bounding up and down the trail, checking out every mud-puddle, and eating ravenously at the summit of Black Snout. The hike starts out on private land, along a beautiful stream called Fields Brook. There are many fine, small waterfalls here, and it ran along at a good clip as spring brooks tend to do. I would like to thank the landowner for allowing folks to hike here, it is a truly beautiful area. Further along, the trail becomes rough, and crosses into Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) land. The trail continues to follow the brook for a good way, then eventually begins a steep climb in a more easterly direction as it leaves the brook. There is about a 1/2 mile of relatively steep, but not difficult climbing until it reaches the white blazed carriage road which leads to Black Snout. This lower, southwestern shoulder of Mount Shaw affords beautiful views to the south and west across Lake Winnepesaukee to the Belknap Range and beyond. We had a beautiful, warm spring day, though it was a little hazy, and we stopped for lunch at this fine outlook. Below to the east can be seen Dan Hole Pond with the rocky summit of Mount Flagg rising above it. After lunch we returned along the carriage road and began the gentle climb to the breathtaking views to the north from Mount Shaw. While the trails so far had been littered with moose waste, the summit of Mount Shaw was dissappointingly littered with human waste. Suffice it to say that foot travel is not the only method to reach this summit in winter. Perhaps the line of thinking is, "If you don't have to expend any effort to reach a summit, you don't have to expend any effort to dispose of your trash properly," or something along those lines. I just don't know why people would flick their cigarette butts and toss their beer cans in such a beautiful place. When I see such disregard for such a beautiful place the image that was etched into all the over 40 generation's collective mind of the native American with a tear rolling down his cheek pops up in my head. Maybe this is where he was standing. When I could lift my eyes from the trash, there before me lay all of the White Mountains, from Moosilaukee in the west, to Green Mountain in the east, with Mount Washington as the centerpiece, shining like a diamond set in the middle of an emerald brooch. To say that this hike is worth the effort is grossly understating the magnifacence of the view that is to be had from this minor summit. Put it on your list of things to see before you die!
More Pictures here:
Your TR's and photos are always a treat for me but this one is a real standout. The wildflower and wildlife shots are fantastic and the view across Chocoura to Mt Washington is amazing. Certainly clear the inspiration for your description of the "diamond in the emerald brooch" - particularly knowing how little pictures usually do to convey the actual sight.
Glad to hear that Emma is doing better. Would certainly miss seeing the queen reaching the top of the mountain...
It's a great view for moderate effort, should be on everyone's list.
Sad to say that the next day Emma went back on the disabled list. She cut a pad on her left rear paw on a piece of broken glass in a local park.
Have I mentioned how much I hate improperly disposed of trash recently?
That's neat - I often climb Mount Major on an idle afternoon, and have long wondered about that curious mountain across the lake. I'd never even heard of anyone climbing it, so I didn't even know there were trails. How exactly do you get there, and is it open to anyone?
The Ossipee Range are the remains of a ring dike, a circular formation where magma wells up to the surface. If you check it out on a topo map you'll see it is almost circular, made up of about 65 square miles, 9 miles across. There are several trailheads (most unmarked that start on private land) along route 171, or you can park at Castle Spring Bottling and hike the trails from there. These are mostly carriage roads and very easy hiking. A map of the trails is available by contacting the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. Their website is
This area is open to everyone and the only charge is if you want to tour the castle. There are also extensive trail descriptions in the AMC's Southern NH Trail Guide, which also covers the Belknaps where Mount Major is.