Best Loop Hikes: New Hampshire's White Mountains to the Maine Coast
by Jeffrey Romano (The Mountaineers Books)
© Jeffrey Romano/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
The drive into the White Mountains was beautiful, driving down windy narrow roads until you reach the trail head. Be prepared to have already purchased a parking permit or leave $3 in an envelope at the drop box for the day.
We followed Mud Brook trail up and the Caribou trail on the way back down. The Mud Brook trail comes by its name honestly, there were very few sections that you could walk through pleasantly. We spent most of the hike up hopping from rock to rock or carving out our own path slightly off the path in drier areas. Even in nice LL Bean boots the mud and water can overrun the top.
The trail starts gradually allowing you to get comfortable and loose. You follow a brook for the first section of the hike until you start to gain elevation. The path, from this point forward, is mostly comprised of roots, stones and mud.
There are a couple of decent views on this hike. There is a great rock ledge most of the way up that allows for a nice picture opportunity. Don't get too comfortable though by this point you are most of the way up the mountain. I considered reaching the top rather anticlimactic. Rest on the top was rather short lived, there were a considerable amount of insects happy to have human flesh to feast on. The top was not marked entirely well and locating the Caribou Trail to head back down was a small challenge.
A good portion of the trail down was a combination of trail and brook. At points it was hard to discern one from the other. Quite often they were the same entity.
I would recommend that if your already in the White Mountains other trails are far more worth your time.
My absolute Favorite Hike! Done this hike every memorial day weekend since 2000. Best time is at the end of may, warm but not humid, and the water is still coming down falls. Caribou trail loops around to Mud Brook trail. First hour on both trails are gradual inclines. Last hour on both sides are steep climbs.
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