Little Objectives Around North Conway | 7/11/22
Updated: Nov 6, 2022
Boulder Loop Trail
After a shift in Concord, I was able to quickly make my way up to the Kancamangus Highway where I had pre-listed all the little routes I had to do for my trace. I decided to start with the longest one, the Boulder Loop Trail.
The Boulder Loop Trail rounded out at 3.1 miles and 857 feet of gain, most of which you get in the first mile. This was the first high gain per mile I’d done since the injury and I think it was a good place to start.
The trail up and down was very wide and would be great for kids or dogs but the way down did have some slippery leaves to be cautious of. As for the views, the ledges have got to be one of my new favorite non-mountain lookouts.
Winniweta Falls Trail
Returning for a second attempt, this time prepared to wade through the Ellis River, I finally got to the end of the Winniweta Falls Trail which revealed a stunning and mossy waterfall.
The trail immediately starts by crossing the Ellis River, which was impassible by stream crossing today and when I attempted back in April. After submerging my Salomon trail runners in the water, I was greeted by a grassy field that inspired a hefty tick check.
Beyond the grass, the rest of the trail was very quick XC trails that were only muddy in a small handful of places. The trail continues beyond the boundary of the Winniweta Falls Trail and then turns left to the actual falls is not marked and hard to notice at first- I didn’t see it until the way back but I’m sure glad I did.
Though Direttissima was not at all in my plans for the day, I had accidentally sharpied it out on my map that morning and it left me no choice- I had to do it.
Starting from Pinkham notch in my well-drenched trail runners, I walked through the parking lot and across the pedestrian bridge to the trailhead. The trail was almost a carbon copy of the first mile of the Glen Boulder Trail and while it isn’t something I’d go out of my way to do again, it was pleasant and seemed to be well-traveled.
At one point, you cross over a small ravine on a bridge and at another, there is some light scrambling before you top out on the 0.4-mile mark of the Glen Boulder Trail. I ended up looping this with Glen Boulder and then checking out Glen Ellis Falls, which I’d somehow never seen before!
Moat Mineral Trail & Thompson Falls Trail
After a morning of bagging miles alone, I met up with Diane to do some of the only trails I had left in the immediate vicinity of North Conway! To my surprise, the trailhead was packed for a Monday afternoon and we got talking with the ranger who told us she’d seen people driving up to 4 hours to the site after hearing about it on TikTok!
I, on the other hand, was here to trace; but I got so much more. After filling out a free permit to harvest rocks, Diane and I set out on the Mineral Site Trail which only took about a mile to reach the actual site. We dug for a little bit and found tiny bits of smokey quartz, pieces of granite, and a whole bunch of other rocks neither of us were skilled enough to identify. After around an hour in there, we did the next mile of the Mineral Trail which took us down to a fire road. Luckily, I had prewritten directions for getting around because the signage was lacking and Thompson Falls Trail wasn’t even on Gaia yet!
We took a right on the firewood and then saw a sign for a mountain biking trail on our left that listed Thompson Falls as a destination but said nothing about Thompson Falls Trail. We took the left and were soon greeted by the actual Thompson Falls Trail which was a smooth and easy 0.3 miles that looped around and revealed a nice little waterfall! After Thompson Falls Trail, we took a right back down the firewood and went back to the cars via the Mineral Site Trail once again.
I was so overwhelming surprised by how lovely this area was, the trails were wide and well kept and all of the new signs were gorgeous. I would certainly recommend it to people of all ages and abilities!