Black Mountain seems to be a popular as a name for mountains, not just in New Hampshire, but also in other States and even in other countries. The Black Mountain that I recently visited is the one located near Benton, NH. But as you know, there are several other peaks in NH with this same name, such as the one in Jackson, and the one in the Sandwich Range (just SW of Sandwich Dome).
I find it curious as to why so many mountains are named Black Mountain. Maybe it has something to do with how the light hits these mountains which gives them an overall dark appearance. But then, why is the name Dark Mountain rarely used??
Okay, that's more than enough chit-chat about names. When I was on Mts. Flume & Liberty a few days ago, I could see Black Mountain (Benton) off in the distance. This reminded me that it had been several years since I had visited this little 2,830 ft. mountain. And so, I made a mental note to hike this mountain on the first day when I only had a few hours to spare.
I chose to use the Black Mountain Trail rather than the Chippewa for a couple of reasons. For one, I knew this trail would be in good shape since the Trail Adopters are my friends, and I know they do a good job. And secondly, that particular trailhead is closer to my home in Bethlehem.
Speaking of trailheads, for both the Black Mountain Trail and the Chippewa Trail the trailhead for each is a bit off the beaten path. However, for the Black Mountain Trail, you at least know when you've arrived in Benton. This metropolis has a prominent sign on one of its buildings which provides confirmation that you are there!
The climb to the top of Black Mountain was uneventful. Upon reaching the summit area, one of the first things I did was to pick out Mts. Flume & Liberty and zoom in on them. I don't know why, but it was sort of a kick for me to be looking at those two mountains since I had just visited them a few days prior. And when I was there, I'd been looking at the very mountain that I was now standing on. One has to get one's kicks somehow!
Black Mountain is a popular destination, and so many are already familiar with the views. Therefore, you know there is the nice ENE view with the Kinsman Range prominent on the horizon, along with "peeks of the peaks" in the Franconia Range also visible.
And of course, you couldn't miss seeing the huge mass of Moosilauke located nearly due east.
Then, looking westerly there are the sweeping views of the Connecticut River Valley, and far into Vermont. Also, probably most have visited that huge boulder named Tipping Rock, which I suppose could be somewhat likened to a smaller version of Glen Boulder in Pinkham Notch.
While descending from Black Mountain, it occurred to me that I could perhaps get a view of this mountain that I had just climbed by taking a short detour onto Long Pond Road on my way home. I decided to give it a try. If nothing else, it would be a new experience for me since I'd never been on the northern end of Long Pond Road.
Well, my short side-trip to Long Pond Road was successful. I was pleasantly surprised to get what I felt was a pretty decent roadside view of Black Mountain. It would've been nicer yet if the sun had cooperated and more brightly illuminated the ledges. But hey . . . I was happy to get what I got!
I decided to park the car and do some further exploration on foot. I did a short trek down to the lakeshore and got a nice view of Moosilauke.
Also, there were plenty of nice views of the lake itself. I'll just bore you with one of the many lakeside snapshots I took.
It was a very nice half-day of hiking, especially since the weather turned out much better than it was forecasted to be!
Plus, it was a fun and rewarding to do a short exploration of Long Pond.