To our regular readers, you may recall the blog post about two sisters. Doing crazy stuff in the Northern Presidentials, they were. Well, they’re back. This time the objective isn’t quite as exposed as it was on that last trip, but a gnarly water crossing takes center stage in this program of concerns, and rightfully so. We’re talking about Owls Head, the lowly 4029-foot hump in the middle of woods surrounded by a ring of unforgiving water — getting past some of it on the “Black Pond Bushwhack” with its well tramped “herd path” showing the way is easy. Most of the trip is a nice walk through the woods as some will tell you. The distance, river crossings, and slide — which is where the views are best. It’s a lot of mountain in many regards, but there are joys. We’ll let Redline Guide Chase Hall tell it…
Owls Head can be a head scratcher because there are so many different ways to hike it. It’s one of the 48 4,000-footer that’s usually hiked later down the list when you have those hiking legs under your belt. The whole hike is roughly sixteen miles out and back (as routed) with at some challenging water crossings and a steep rock slide.
Two sisters who are working on their own 48 list asked us if he could help them hike their 47th. Of course, I said yes because I love the water crossing challenge. I’ve hiked with these two before and it was a privilege to hike with them again. We exchanged emails of what we would pack and we set a time to meet. We met at 5:30am because these guests were afraid of crossing the water at night so we wanted all the daylight we could use. We started hiking down Lincoln Woods Trail and soon found ourselves at the Black Pond Bushwhack. We were making very fast time because it was a beautiful day and we got lost in conversation about life.
We reached the crossing and made the decision to change into our water shoes. It was so relaxing to do because it was such a warm, beautiful day and it felt amazing to have the water cool down our hot feet. We did see some other hikers rock-hop which was safe enough to do because the water levels were so low. We played it safe and used water shoes for both crossings. After the crossings we we slowed down our pace to summit but did not break our spirits. We reached the summit and found other hikers just having lunch and enjoying the day. It was perfect. The air in the forest was so nice and comfortable. I can’t wait to go back. —Chase Hall
We’d tell you these are the standard sentiments when it comes to people’s feelings about Owls Head, but that would be untrue. This was a private tour (no identifying photos), but Chase was still able to capture these moments in time.