View to Mount Washington from Mount Shaw

Black Snout 2803' and Mount Shaw 2990'

7.6 Miles 2300' Elevation gain

Mount Shaw Trail/Black Snout Trail

Kevin, Bob and Emma


Emma and I hadn't hiked with Bob for about a year. We usually backpack and spend the night somewhere, but for various reasons that was not the plan this year. On last year's backpack to Lincoln Peak in Vermont we started out on a beautiful fall day but soon found out what it was like to spend the night on a windswept ridge in the pouring rain. I learned on that trip the importance of staking down a tent when I moved to one end to put my boots on and the wind lifted the other end up, Emma and all. She landed in my lap and we both went out into the fury and dragged the tent down into a hollow that I wrongly thought might serve some protection from the blast. Next morning we packed up early, soaking wet and headed down off the ridge.


Falls on Fields Brook

There was no such adventure this time, although hiking with Bob is ALWAYS an adventure. We had a (IMO) a perfect autumn day to hike. Cool temps, bright sun and NO BUGS! The only thing I would say was wrong with the day was that it was unusually hazy and the views not as clear as I had hoped considering the other factors. New England: The Tailpipe of the United States. OK, griping over. It was a great autumn day to hike! We started out along the Shaw Trail. There seems to be no problem parking or hiking here, but there is no signage and no blazes for the first few tenths of a mile. I imagine this is due to it being on private property.


Some Foliage on Black Snout

There are some excellent little waterfalls along Fields Brook down low along the trail. The trail itself is an old road similar to the carriage roads in other parts of the range. It continues on as a road until it crosses the brook for the third or fourth time. Here there is a short steep section which quickly levels off, then gradually climbs until there is another brook crossing. Here the trail becomes steep for several tenths until it reaches the junction with the carriage road known as the Black Snout Trail high on the ridge. From here it is a walk in the park to Black Snout and then on and up to Mount Shaw.


Franconia Ridge in the Distance

I like to visit both Black Snout and Mount Shaw on this trip because each offers a different and unique view. From Black Snout one can see southwest across Lake Winnepesaukee to the bays in Wolfboro and Alton. Views west across the lake are of the Belknap Range. Below to the northwest the summit of Turtleback Mountain can be seen, and north of that and beyond the Castle in the Clouds can be made out, although from this distance it appears to be little more than a spacious private residence. The trail from there is easy grades with some switchbacks so the stroll to Mount Shaw is rather leisurely.


Zoom towards Washington and Chocorua

There is a great viewpoint on the north side of Mount Shaw and it seems that the whole of the White Mountains is laid out before you. The list of mountains that can be viewed is extensive. It includes, but is not limited to: Moosilauke, Sandwich Dome, tip of Tecumseh, Kinsmans, Osceolas, Lincoln and Lafayette, Tripyramids, Whiteface, Passaconaway, shoulder of Carrigain and Vose Spur, Whitewall, Lowell, Anderson, Nancy, Bemis, Tom, Field, Willey, Hedgehog, Paugus, Mount Roberts and Faraway, and Black Snout North, Jackson, Pierce, Franklin, Monroes, Washington, Wildcats, Carter Notch, Carter Dome, Mount Tremont, Bartlett Haystack, Bear, Table Big Attitash, North, Middle and South Moat, Chocorua, Little Larcom Mountain, Pleasant Mountain, Maine, and Green Mountain. There are many I cannot name that could be added to this list.


Emma Likes the View from Mount Shaw

We lazed on the summit and ate second lunch. The view was great, and the colors were just beginning to change the hillsides below us. On the way down we stopped to talk to the only other hikers we saw that day, nice folks and great to meet them! They had a dog and we discussed everything from dogs to the Ossipee ring dike in about 5 minutes. Turns out the fella knew me from the forums, but didn't realize it. He later contacted me on FB, small world! So, now Bob has been to Mount Shaw, as well as volcanoes in South America, high mountains in the Alps and other places around the world. When I asked him if it was enough mountain for him he said he had enjoyed it very much. Emma said she did, too!

Full set of pics HERE:

KDT