4000 Footer Club

Mt Moriah
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Summited: July 12, 2013
Elevation:   4049 Feet
Distance:    10.6 miles up & back   
Difficulty:    Easy to Moderate
Views:         Excellent, 360 @ summit
Route:         Stony Brook Trail → Carter Moriah Trail (AT) → Moriah Summit → Carter Moriah Trail(AT) → Stony Brook Trail

   The drive from Conway was an enjoyable one. The weather for the day was looking perfect for hiking, 70ís and partly cloudy. My foot was working well this morning as the solo 45 minute ride to the trailhead passed through Pinkham Notch just east of Mt Washington. The trailhead parking lot, a quarter of a mile pass the Androscoggin Ranger Station, is just before the bridge over the Peabody River, if youíre traveling north. NOTE: The ranger station is a great place to stop and use the facilities. The parking lot was quite scarce, so it looked like it was going to be a quiet hike on the trail. Having bought a new daypack earlier this year, I thought Iíd try it out. What a difference it makes on the trail not having to lug around a multiday pack all afternoon. It made for one of the easiest hikes to a 4000 footer Iíve ever done. The trail starts off by crossing a footbridge over the Stony Brook and continues along it for a comfortable grade for just under a mile. After the next river crossing, the trail turns left and follows an overgrown logging road. From here the trail ascends moderately for the next couple of miles, a pleasant and peaceful hike along dirt and stone. At 2.3 miles the trail crosses Stony Brook for the last time at a beautiful cascade and pool. I would suggest stopping here for a break as the next 1.5 miles to the AT is steep and constant. At 3.1 miles you come upon a small brook and continue along a mossy ledge that has you eventually traveling upon a boardwalk. At 3.6 miles you come to the Carter Moriah Trail (AT). You turn left and follow the boardwalk for a short leisurely distance. Soon after the boardwalk ends you start walking up rocky ledges that bring you to the first open views of the south cliffs. For the next mile you enjoy excellent views and multiple faux summits. At one point, I considered the possibility of passing the summit. Unfortunetely, I did not have my map or guide book with me. As I was on the AT, I figured I just wait for someone to pass and ask for info. Ten minutes later a hiker came up the trail and told me the summit trail was just a ways down the AT. A few minutes later I came upon the trail to the summit. Itís a vertical climb up to a rocky ledge. Hope for dry conditions as it would be scary to climb in rain or ice. Once to the summit there are excellent 360 degree views. A perfect time for a drink and a smoke if you gotíem.