Baldpate Mountain

NE 100 Highest #95

Friday, August 12, 2022

#100 of 100! We chose Baldpate Mountain to be our final mountain of the New England Hundred Highest list. We lucked out with a beautiful day. I wore my hiking pants and a light jacket to start; very different than the hot and humid weather we had earlier in the week.

Finally, a straight-forward trail head! Baldpate Mountain is located in Grafton Notch, right off of Rt. 26 with ample parking and two pit toilets. No long, bumpy dirt roads in the middle of nowhere for us this day! There were a few older guys in the parking lot who we assumed to have been “trail angels” for thru-hikers of the AT. When we started they were sitting in camp chairs with a couple hikers, learning their stories and feeding them. They were still there when we returned.

Our plan was to get Baldpate via the Appalachian Trail and hit Table Rock on the return trip.

We started our day by going left and finished by coming from the right of this junction.

This is a heavily trafficked, well-maintained trail. We encountered plenty of thru-hikers, mostly NOBOs. One thru-hiker told us her trail name was “chum.” When I asked about the story of how she got her name, she explained about leaving chum for bears when she empties her diva cup. I’ll leave you with that image…

We reached the west peak of Baldpate Mountain pretty quickly. Looking ahead of us we could see the bald summit of the east peak. That was our prize for the day.

looking at the east peak of Baldpate Mountain from the west peak
There was a ladder to get to the col between the peaks.

I was grateful for the dry conditions; the ledge would have been trickier had it been wet. We love our grippy Hoka trail runners!

There are 360-degree views from the east peak of Baldpate. John and I had to don light jackets for the few minutes we spent snacking and soaking up the sights.

this was the view to the east

We headed back the way we came until turning onto the Table Rock trail .8 mile from the trail head. This is a fun loop with some iron rungs, scrambles and boulders to squeeze between.

The views of Grafton Notch from above are spectacular. We are standing right on the edge of the cliff with Route 26 below us.

Old Speck in the background

Our victory dinner was at Big Day Brewing in Gorham, NH. The curry fries were amazing, and John was quite pleased with his flight of beers. With this list complete, now’s the time to work on “tracing” in earnest…

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