Rattlesnake Mountain & Peaked Hill Pond Trail | 7/30/22
Updated: Nov 6, 2022
A post-shift hike usually means something close to Concord and with close hikes running out, I opted to tie up some loose ends in the Moosilauke region!
With Ryan still finishing up some climbing at Rumney, I decided to do Rattlesnake by myself and then meet up with him for the second hike afterward. I pushed up the trail, surprised by how steep it was- compared to others I’d done in the area. Looking around while listening to my tunes, I saw what looked like a rotten log in the woods. I was shocked by how dark it was until I saw it move. I was even more shocked when I saw its mom walking faster near the “log” and towards the trail.
Here lies my first ever bear encounter and somehow everything I knew about bears got thrown out the window when it was a mom and her cub. I knew not to run though, so I just went up the trail in the fastest walk I could to get out of their sight. Soon, I heard a ton of barking and shortly afterward I summited. I pondered waiting for whoever had the dog to get up before I went down, but given I could still hear the cars in the valley, I realized there was a high chance the dog was not summiting Rattlesnake.
I didn’t particularly feel like I had any reason to procrastinate going down since I had to do it anyhow, so I put on GNR's Appetite for Destruction and got my clapping hands ready. I ended up getting down in 20 minutes and though I didn’t see the bears again, I did, unfortunately, run into a hiker who had to witness me screaming "Welcome to the Jungle" at the top of my lungs while clapping ferociously… if you’re reading this, I am so sorry.
I took a brief intermission in the Rumney Rocks lot to eat a Tucker’s power cake with Ryan and then we headed a little bit further north to Peaked Hill Pond Trail- which had quite a rowdy road to get in there!
The trail was generally just a snowmobile/logging road and was very easy. It rolled a little bit, so even though we only gained around 340 feet on the way in, we gained 500 feet when all was said and done. There were not any views along the way, but Peaked Hill Pond itself was gorgeous. We spent some time at the water before jogging back to make our dinner reservation at Gypsy Café… and we somehow made it on time, to the very second.
Both of the hikes were very quick, just around an hour a piece. I would recommend Peaked Hill Pond to beginners but I’d probably recommend that beginners who value their calves not hurting (despite the short mileage) avoid Rattlesnake unless they’re looking for a good afternoon effort!