Mt. Pemigewasset - Indian Head
I wanted to post this small hike mainly because I was unable to find out much about it before going. With a hike this short and described as moderate, I would not normally have looked for information, but I brought my 3 yr old so I was more curious than I would have otherwise been.
The Mt Pemigewasset trail was easy to find, as described at the north side of the parking lot at the Flume visitor center, there is a sign at the beginning of the bike path. We started hiking at 8:30 AM on labor day (yesterday). There were very few cars in the parking lot, maybe because the visitor center does not open till 9:00?
My plan was to have the little one hike as much as she could and I had a kelty kid pack in case. My wife carried a small day pack.
The sign right off the bike path said 1.6 miles to Mt Pemigewasset and the hike was moderate as described and it was very easy to follow the many blue blazes. You go under 3 tunnels to get to the otherside of I93 and there are 4 small river crossings towards the beginning that have wooden log bridges. Parts of the trail had a lot of exposed roots and made it sort of tough to negotiate for a 3 yr old, with some moderate/steep areas, otherwise pretty easy. This was her first hike (with her on foot) and she did great. She was able to hike about 75% of the way up with a short stint in the kid pack, I needed the training of carrying weight for a hike coming up in a couple of weeks.
Great views at the top, both looking to the south and to the north end of the Franconia Ridge. Like the book says the rock area up top has quite a drop off so we made sure the little one was under control.
Overall great hike. It took us about 1-1/2 hrs to get up, we spent 1/2 hr at the top and about 1hr to get down, so finished about 11:30 I usually do not travel that far north for such a short hike, but it was worth the trip. I would say that would be the longest hike I would take her on until she gets older, about 3.2 round trip. She was pretty beat at the end evidenced by the early nap on the way home.
Other notable was that we encountered nobody the entire way up or at the top. We saw our first people about 3/4 of the way down. I was surprised given that it was Labor day, even with an 8:30 start. Before we went I had pictured it to be sort of like Mt Major by Winni, very busy if you don't get there early enough. Later that day about 2:30 PM, we drove by Mt Major and it was still very busy.
Hope this helps anyone looking at taking a small child up this trail, I am glad I brought the kid pack though.
Excellent to have her on foot at 3! Start 'em young! My 8 and 5 year old both started to hike at 3 and prior to that were in a Kelty pack as soon as they could hold their head up on their own. Now they're like dogs, run up ahead a bit...stop and run back to us, run back up again.... I have a 2 year old in the pack now and he already spends more time on his own feet than my other two did.
Thanks for sharing your trip report.
The Kelty pack worked great for us when the kids were really little. We hiked in the Smokies with them. It's a great way to get the kids in the woods at a young age.
Is there really any BAD
Sounds like your family had a really nice time! Keep doing more!