Fifty-Two With A View: Fall Hiking in N.H.

Oct 9, 2019

We celebrate the fall hiking season with the author of a self-published guidebook, "52 With A View: A Hiker's Guide," detailing the New Hampshire peaks under 4000-feet with trails and a rewarding vista. Originally conceived in the late 70s by a group called the "Over The Hill" hikers in Sandwich, the 52 peaks are located throughout the state, and are appropriate for different hiking abilities - lower elevation does not necessarily mean less challenging! Send us an email and photo of your favorite hike with a view in N.H.!  Air date: Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019

GUESTS:  

  • Brenden Bowen - a recent college graduate and avid hiker, he compiles information at the website NHfamilyhikes.com, with information for all hiking levels. 
  • Allison Driscoll - a realtor and mom to an 18-month old who joins her on her hiking adventures, she shares hiking information and inspiration on her Trail to Summit website.
  • Ken MacGray -  author of the self-published guidebook: "52 With A View: A Hiker's Guide"  and administrator of the Facebook group 52 with a View with lots of pictures and comments about the 52 hikes.

 Here's the "official" 52 With A View checklist and submission form. If you hike them all, you get a patch!  The city of Concord has over 30 trails totaling close to 80 miles. There are great hikes both long and short for all levels of hikers. The capital area wellness coalition created the Concord Trail passport where folks can log their hikes and send it in for a rewards discount card to local Concord vendors.  If you're looking for more trails, try www.TrailFinder.info as a resource for trail maps. They regularly add new trails and it's a great place to find trails statewide! 

Transcript

 This is a machine-edited transcript and may contain errors.

Laura Knoy:
From New Hampshire Public Radio, I'm Laura Knoy. and this is The Exchange. This holiday weekend is typically huge for fall hiking, where many people head to New Hampshire's hills for a last look at the foliage antic, get a hike in before the days get much shorter and colder. And so to celebrate the fall hiking season, we sit down with three Granite Staters who will likely be out there on the trails, but perhaps choosing hikes where the crowds won't be found, including trails highlighted in a new book called 52 With A View. Today, on The Exchange, we explore these other hikes, some easy, some hard, all with a vista worth seeing.

Laura Knoy:
With me in studio, Allison Driscoll, a realtor and mom to an 18 month old who joins her on her hiking adventures. She shares information and inspiration on her Trail to Summit website. Allison, nice to meet you. Thank you for being here. Thank you so much for having me. Also with us, Brenden Bowen, an avid hiker. He compiles the NHfamilyhikes.com website, a guide for all levels of ability. And Brenden, thank you very much for your time. Wonderful to be here. And also with us, Ken MacGray, author of the guidebook that I mentioned, "52 With A View," and an administrator of the Facebook group, 52 With A View, which includes lots of pictures and comments about the hikes. And Ken, nice to meet you. Thank you for being here.Thanks for having me. Ken, I want to start with you. You self-published this book just this year, a couple months ago. It came out in July, the first run. It's pretty simple. No maps, no pictures, but it has been selling like crazy. You're on your third printing already. You told me before the show you're almost getting ready for a fourth printing. What are you tapping into here?

Ken MacGray:
Yeah, that's correct. The response has been incredibly overwhelming. I knew there was a demand for this book. Because a lot of people have been asking why isn't there a detailed guidebook for the 52 with the view peaks like there is for the 4000-footers. Yeah. And. I said, you know, you're right. There isn't a book like that, why isn't there a book like that? And I've had this idea for several years now to do it, and I've been gathering data on the trails and such. And then I really started putting it together last year. And, you know, I started writing it maybe December 2018. And the demands of considered demand has been there.

Laura Knoy:
And so what niche do you think it's filling, Ken? What sort of a hole was it filling that wasn't out there?

Ken MacGray:
Well, this list has become very popular for folks who have already done the 4000 footers and moving on to something else. And also for beginners who are just starting out. So there's a really wide appeal there, I think. And I think people were just looking for that sort of comprehensive information on these peaks.

Laura Knoy:
You have described this book as a compliment to the 4000 footers. It's not to put down the 4000 footers, but for people who maybe don't have the time or the ability or don't live close enough to those 4000 footers, this is something for them as well.

Ken MacGray:
Yeah, well, that the list itself was created as a complement to the 4000 footers. So 48 plus 52 to make a nice even hundred. That's convenient. Yeah. But these you know, these peaks are all over it spread all over the state. Some of them are actually more difficult than some of the 4000 footer spent. A lot of them are easier.

Laura Knoy:
And are these hikes aimed at in part can at older hikers, people who might have done the 4000 footers when they were younger? Now they're into their 70s or 80s. They still want to hike, but they can't quite make it up. Lincoln, Lafayette.

Ken MacGray:
Yeah. I mean, I've seen people outside Mount Willard, for example, is probably one of the easiest to teach with a few peaks. I've seen, you know, five year old kids doing it. I've seen 75 year old people doing it. So it really just spans the gamut of age groups.

What do you think? Allison, what's your take on the need for a more diverse look at hiking in New Hampshire?

Allison Driscoll:
It's a really interesting question. So I've done the 4000 footers in each season, so I've completed them. Wow. You're serious last time. So I became a little obsessive and I was working on those are 100 highest list, which is the hundred highest peaks in New England. So it's New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, 4000 footers, plus a lot of bush wax. And when I was working on those, it was before I finished. And each season and I just kept going back to the 4000 footers. And eventually I did kind of get my fill for a little bit. I had my son is 18 months old. And when I was pregnant with him, I was doing 4000 footers still. So I hiked nine when I was pregnant with him. And, you know, we're in he's he's really heavy. So carrying him, he's about 25 pounds now, just getting out to the 4000 foot it having the time to do long, 10 plus mile hike. It's a lot. So I think a lot of people are looking for hikes that are more attainable, that maybe you have a half a day to do something. It's also many of these hikes I've done where I will look for something that has a great view that I want to bring a friend to or get someone into hiking. That's not too intimidating. If you get a reward at the end, you know, some of the 4000 footers, you know, I love doing. But you get to the top and there's a bunch of trees and then you turn around and you go back home. So it's not as rewarding for someone that's never done. You know, a bigger hike in New Hampshire before and we have a lot of roots and rocks. And, you know, it's a lot of tree line that you're competing with to then get to tree line and turn around. So having a comprehensive list of hikes that also aren't, I don't know. And Ken might be able to confirm this or not, but I don't think the 52 at The View. Some of them are very, very popular and some of them are they're not lesser known hikes. I just did Sugarloaf the other day. I didn't know Sugarloaf, which is on the list on a Tuesday and parking was completely full. However, it was on here. But if you go up north, you know, Magalloway or you know, some of the other ones that are more out there, you can go on a Saturday and not see anyone. Wow. So it really entices all sorts of people and all sorts of abilities, like Ken was saying.

Laura Knoy:
We'll definitely talk to you a little bit later and everyone else about hiking with kids, especially small kids that says you've done so. But Brenden, I want to get you to jump in here, too. What's your philosophy when it comes to finding a hike?

Brenden Bowen:
Well, I like to choose the hikes that are going to give me the most reward or that's have some unique aspect about them that's going to get me to surmount the efforts and just go out there and experience all that they have to offer. And there's a lot of wonderful destinations like Allison was talking about on the 52 of the viewe list that really don't get the attention that they deserve. Like, for example, just last weekend I went out to Mount Tremont. It was pretty much peak foliage. I was driving there. The traffic was insane. I was stuck behind like three RVs in the parking area. There's a little pull off at the trailhead from Mount Tremont. There was quite a few cars there. But on the hike, I might have seen five people. Wow. And Tremont, I would consider it to be one of the top foliage hikes in New Hampshire. It was absolutely stunning. And, you know, like I said, it's just one of the many, many places that really needs to get more attention.

Laura Knoy:
Well, and when we've talked about the 4000 footers on this program before, a lot of people have said it's so accessible to see that list of 4000 footers and you get the satisfaction like Allison clearly has, checking it off. But there does seem to be more of a movement now of people saying, you know, there's a lot of other stuff here in New Hampshire besides the 4000 footers. So that's what's interesting and unique about this book. I want to ask you something, Brenden, you just said and get everybody else to you said, I like to choose a hike with a reward. So for me, the reward is the view. But on your web site, the hike finder, on your Web site, you got other kinds of rewards, too. So what else is a reward besides a stunning view?

Brenden Bowen:
Oh, I mean, if it's a beautiful blue sky day when I'm out there, I'm going to want to see a beautiful view. Right. Like you said, there are definitely a lot more diverse kinds of rewards to achieve when you're hiking. And sometimes the reward can just be being out there in the forest and like a beautiful type of forest environment that you never noticed before, or maybe passing a scenic pond or just a following stream along the trail. It's really a lot about just getting out in nature and taking it all in.

Laura Knoy:
Waterfalls, fire towers, old stone walls, other things like that that you wouldn't expect. Go ahead, Allison. I'd love your thoughts there, too. What's the reward?

Allison Driscoll:
For me, it depends on kind of what mood I'm in. Or like you are saying, Brenden did the weather and how it affects your hike. So if I'm, you know, hiking in the winter, it might look different where you might do a hike that there's no view. And just being alone out there with, you know, only or snowshoe tracks and, you know, seeing the bird prints on the trail and some rabbit tracks and you get to the summit and, you know, everything is it's a winter wonderland kind of a feeling when you're out there and it's just really peaceful. And that's enough where I personally don't always need a view at the top. We were talking earlier before the show started about, you know, bushwhacking and the reward of getting to the top, finding the little canister. You know, putting your name in there and finding your way back is rewarding, you know, not having to call for search and rescue, using, knowing that your ability to use a map and compass is really efficient, is really rewarding. So that's great. I love night hiking, sunset, sunrise.

Night hiking? The Search and rescue people listening are going whoa, whoa, whoa.

Allison Driscoll:
If you do it, you know, if you are prepared and I am sure we'll talk about preparation and what we personally do. There's a lot that goes into preparation. So I don't just say, oh, you know, I'm bored now. I'm gonna go and do a hike and just drive and, you know, pull over at the first trailhead. I see there's a lot of research that goes into it and just weather and making sure that, you know, if if it's a full moon hike that you want to do, it can't be rainy and cloudy. You need to know most of the night hikes. I do. I've done them many times before during the day. So that's always really important, is to know the trail extremely well. And, you know, having all the gear that you need. But, you know, there's no one in the parking lot. So you don't have to deal with the crowds even in the summertime. The bugs, you know, are much better. You get not even just the regular view, but, you know, a sunset view is it can be phenomenal. Sometimes they can be disappointing where you can't predict how it's going to look. And you get there and put all the effort in. And, you know, it's pretty does. Well, you know, or it's covered up by, you know, too many clouds or something like that. But the nice hiking is is beautiful. I've done the Bonds, for example. We started in November a few years ago at 11:00 p.m. and we saw a sunrise from Bond Cliff.

Laura Knoy:
And you hiked all night?

Allison Driscoll:
Yeah. And I was going to take a nap beforehand and didn't because I was excited. So, you know, you're out for two days and you're exhausted and you know, you're on the summit of bond, you know, behind a curtain, closing your eyes for 20 minutes to get a rest. But it is it's totally worth it in the pictures. And, you know, I do a lot of what I call type 2 fun, where it's it's difficult and it's something that I don't think most people would call fun in the moment. And it's so much fun after the fact.

Laura Knoy:
It makes for a great story. And today in The Exchange, we are celebrating the fall hiking season with a look at 52 With A View. Other hikes beyond the 4000 footers that are pretty famous here in New Hampshire. We're looking at hikes for people who might need a less strenuous walk or a shorter walk. Some of the hikes, though, in this book, 52 With A View are pretty tough. Lower elevation does not always mean less difficulty. Let us know what some of your favorites are. John posted on Facebook. And by the way, lots of people are posting their favorite hikes and their photos of views. So definitely check out our Facebook page. John also writes, I remember my dad carrying me on his back 50 plus years ago up Mt. Kearsarge when I ran out of energy. He says this is pre backpack kid backpack days. It was a joy to carry my kids up Kearsarge when they were little 360 degree views. John, thank you so much. And he's so right. Ken. Kearsarge is so the ultimate way to introduce your little kids to hiking. I'd love your thoughts on that.

Ken MacGray:
My dad brought me out into the town forest when I was about. Probly around age 4. That was kind of my introduction to hiking. What time was that? Need a mass. We lived right next to the town forest. And I go back there today and walk those trails and. This is really a tiny piece of land, but as a kid, it was this vast wilderness for me and was fascinating. So I'd love to see little kids out on the trail. At an early age, I think it's fantastic. I don't have kids, but I love to see other kids out there.

Laura Knoy:
Yeah, that that one hike up Kearsarge, we basically drive almost the way air and you have to hike up maybe half a mile or something. And to the adult, it seems, you know, quick. But to a child, it seems enormous right now.

Ken MacGray:
Even a short hike like that for a kid is amazing.

Laura Knoy:
I love your thoughts, too, Allison, given that hiking with little kids is kind of your thing.

Allison Driscoll:
Absolutely. So like I said earlier, my son's eighteen months, he only started walking a few months ago and he's up to maybe a cumulative maybe a half a mile. So, you know, he he walks a little bit. The routes are pretty difficult. And I found that he really loves to take the most difficult path possible. So it'll be a flatter, wider kind of a swath and he'll find, you know, downed tree limb and climb on that or try to go up the side where there's some moss and touch that. And, you know, so when you when you are hiking with kids, it's a lot slower. You get to see a lot more, appreciate more. It does take a lot longer.

Laura Knoy:
It does take a lot longer because they want to explore. Look at the little stream or the funny rock for the funny bush.

Allison Driscoll:
Lots of snack breaks, which is great. And, you know, just carrying, you know, another person. There's a lot of work. And it's it's really fantastic to do that introduction. And right now, I'm I've been kind of working on the 52 with The View just here and there. You know, when I have time, if I want to do a half day hike or, you know, as a realtor, I I'm all over the state. I actually had a closing a few weeks ago in Bath. And so I went over and did I did Black Mountain before I went to the walk through and the closing. So, you know, this list is great because they're short enough typically that you can, you know, sneak something in if you're in an area where there's going to be one of the 52 with The View and he loves going with me, and it's just it's great to see his reaction to the view and the summit and just seeing other families out there. And I know that I will start from scratch again with this list when he is able to walk the whole thing. And I think this will be kind of our first adventure together, is him doing the list.

Laura Knoy:
Brenden, how did you get started doing this New Hampshire family hikes Web site again this is just where you put in where you live, what your ability is, how much time you have and boom, like seven or eight options.

Brenden Bowen:
Well, I actually started designing my Web site when I was in high school. I had just taken a computer programming class online and I I learned a bit of web design and I was trying to pick a topic for creating a Web site, putting the skills to use. And that was around the time I had gotten into hiking. I had actually taken the New Hampshire State Park Pursuit Challenge with my parents. So that's kind of what I have to thank for getting me into hiking. And actually, it was funny, we mentioned Mt. Kearsarge earlier. That was kinda one of the first mountains I climbed. And I was listening to what Allison was saying, the description of how young children experience hiking. And I was thinking, see, that's exactly what it was like for me when I was young doing that.

Laura Knoy:
But it seems enormous. Then you go back 10 years later. Yeah. Oh, maybe it wasn't that enormous. We'll definitely pick up on your Web site after short break. Renting. So I have another question for you and a bunch of questions for all of you about some of the things you need to think about before you head out, even if it's a small hike. All that's coming up. So stay with us. This is The Exchange on NHPR. .

Laura Knoy:
This is The Exchange I'm Laura Knoy. today. Hiking 52 With A View, a new book describes these peaks as a compliment to New Hampshire's famous 4000 footers. Many of these 52 are appropriate for those who need a shorter or less strenuous hike, but some are pretty tough. Our guests say lower elevation doesn't always mean less difficult. Let's definitely hear from you as we celebrate the fall hiking season today in The Exchange. Our guests are Ken MacGray, author of the Guidebook 52 With A View administrator of the Facebook group, 52 With A View. Also Allison Driscoll, a realtor and mom to an 18 month old who does a lot of hiking with her. Allison shares information on her Trail to SWeb site. And Brenden Bowen. He's also an avid hiker. He compiles the New Hampshire family hikes Web site. And you can find all of these Web sites on ours. It's NHPR, We go back to our listeners. Brenden, I did want to ask you a little bit more about NH Family Hikes Web site again. I went on it yesterday. It was super easy. I plugged in that I live in the Concord area, that I only had half a day, that my foot kind of hurts. So I can't do a whole big giant hike. And I got, you know, eight or nine great ideas. So what did you sort of learn along the way of putting this together?

Brenden Bowen:
Well, you know, I was talking about when I first started getting into hiking earlier and. When we were doing that to to find information about where we wanted to go, the hikes we wanted to do, we would do a search online and we were finding that there was really no one place to go that had all of the information you needed. We'd have to go from site to site and pick out pieces of information. So I was thinking I should design a resource that really puts everything in the hands of the people who are looking for it so that it's that it's all there together. You have all the information you need. So yeah, that that was kind of the reason behind it. And yeah, I've learned a lot along the way. I thought I'd gotten it to be more professional. I definitely learned some writing skills. But yeah.

Laura Knoy:
What's been the reaction since you put this up and when did you put it up, by the way?

Brenden Bowen:
It was like seven years ago. And I've gotten a lot of positive reactions. I've gotten a lot of comments from friends and strangers alike telling me what a good job I've done, how helpful it is for them. I've I've gotten a lot of people telling me that they they use my Web site. They take it out on the trail with them on their phone or something so they can read along and look at the pictures as they hike. So I'm I'm happy with what it's done.

Laura Knoy:
You know, a little history since we heard the history of Brendan's Web site. Ken the history of 52 With A View now we could spend a whole half hour talking about that. Yeah, but it got started with a group of older folks called correct me if I'm wrong, the over-the-hill hiking club. Is that right? Over-The-Hill hikers. OK. Over the hill, hikers. All right. So who are they and how did this come about?

Ken MacGray:
They're just a loose knit group of folks out of sandwich. And they sort of got together just in the late 70s. They are a group of retirees and they just kind of all congregating in sandwich. It just kind of all met each other there and just started hiking in the area. They kind of settle on Tuesdays. It was their day of the week to hike. They started working on the 4000 footers, other lists. They traveled around New England, but basically stayed in New Hampshire for the most part. And then around 1991, Lib Bates stepped into the picture and she kind of took over the organization. Again, I say organization, but it's a very loose knit group of folks. There's no real structure to it, as they will tell you themselves. And they had kind of exhausted their possible their hiking options at that time. They were looking for something new. So they created this 52 With A View list, which was 52 peaks to complement the 48 4000 photos and each one had some sort of scenic vista or view.

Laura Knoy:
And as we said earlier, some of them were getting on in years. You know, didn't feel like they had the ability to do the 4000 footers anymore, but really still wanted to be out there. Sure. Some of the folks in this group were in their 80s.

Ken MacGray:
And then they're still at it today.

Laura Knoy:
Let's go to our listeners. Tom from Exeter writes, We have two dogs who love to roam and run, but many areas don't allow dogs or dogs must be on a leash. Are there any areas where you'd recommend we could hike with our dogs off leash? And Ken, I know you addressed this in the book. So go ahead.

Ken MacGray:
Yeah, I mean, as far as the 52 of The View peaks, the only mountain that we're dogs are not allowed is Monadnock. Per state park regulations, but anywhere else.

Laura Knoy:
And on leash or off leash.

Ken MacGray:
Again, it depends on the dog. I you know, it depends on the dog. If they're very well behaved and trained. Then you probably don't need to be on a leash. But I've encountered some dogs that have been aggressive.

Laura Knoy:
Yeah, it's disturbing to be sort of in your hiking zone. Out enjoying nature and then a big dog comes and jumps on you.

Ken MacGray:
I think it depends on the terrain, too. If like we're if you're in a peak with us, a lot of precipitous ledges, cliffs, that sort of thing, it's you want to leash the dog just for safety.

Allison Driscoll:
Go ahead, Allison. You hike with your dog, right? Yes. So my dog, her name is raucus. So, you know, her her demeanor. She loves people. And I know not everyone loves dogs. So I you know, I was just talking to someone when I was on Sugarloaf. They were impressed that I was, you know, carrying an 18 month old with the dog. And, you know, in order to do that, her pace is a little different than mine. So if I'm on a trail that has lots of boulders and gaps and, you know, rocks that I'm going over. It doesn't work that well, having her on a leash the whole time. So I have a leash in my hand the whole time. She has a harness. We always keep an eye out when there's people coming up. She's really good at recall. So doing a lot of training with your dog, both physically and I guess mentally with an understanding of your dog. So making sure they know to come when you call them, having them say, I know I have her cell on the side of the trail and have another dog go by if if they might have some issues, you know, with other dogs and, you know, making sure if people don't like dogs that she's not all over them and she's a shepherd mix. She's a larger dog. So it's not so cute. You know, if she were to jump up. So we really worked on her not jumping up, her listening mostly.

Laura Knoy:
So if you are going to hike with your dog, make sure that the dog obeys the commands so that he or she doesn't disturb others.

Allison Driscoll:
Exactly. And, you know, just knowing if your dog is okay on ledges, my dog won't. She would never go over a ledge. You know, I did when I was up on Bond Cliff with her, I had her on a leash. And she was you know, she didn't want to go too far. But some dogs, you know, you'll have a very large ledge and they would just walk off of it. So it's important to really know your dog and just be aware of your surroundings and knowing, you know, when it's OK to have them off the leash for a little bit, when to put them back on the leash. Just being aware is really important.

Brenden Bowen:
Brenden You've had the New Hampshire Family Hikes Web site up for a while, as you said. Any comments that you get on that Web site from people hiking with dogs or people who don't want other people hiking with dogs?

Brenden Bowen:
Not to me personally, but yeah, I know it is a very hot topic. But yeah, I can see what you're talking about here. I have actually definitely had quite a few experiences with dogs aggressively coming up to me, but that that does kind of ruin the hiking mood. There's definitely a lot of things to consider when you take your dog out onto the hiking trail. Like, for instance, like we were talking about hazardous conditions, slippery rocks that they could hurt themselves on. I mean, there's there's wildlife that could be potentially dangerous. There are people, other hikers, that they could be afraid of dogs or that could frighten your dogs. And I think most importantly, there's other dogs that could potentially be an issue to your dog. So, yeah, it's definitely important to make sure that dog is by your side and under control at all times just for their safety.

Laura Knoy:
All right. Let's go back to our listeners. Tom, Thank you very much. Kathleen from Peterborough commented on the difference in people who rushed to the top and turn around and go down versus those who like to hang out at the top and meet other people. Kathleen, thank you for jumping in. Richard in Chester says, Great topic and book idea. I'll be sure to get it. He says, My absolute favorite in the lesser known peak category is the Welsh Dickie loop on the way to Waterville Valley. At least half a distance is open ledge with views in every direction. I'd suggest, Richard says, going counterclockwise. Although you can alternate directions for a different perspective. Sadly, he says, we are losing our views. Many New Hampshire peaks as the summits are being reforested and recovering from the devastating forest fires of 100 years ago.

Laura Knoy:
Richard, thank you very much. And I'm glad he wrote for a couple of reasons, but Ken you have some of the history of these hikes in your book? Not every hike has a interesting history behind it. But as Richard says, more than one does have a really nice bald top because of a forest fire. So what was going on in New Hampshire 100, 150 years ago where so many of these peaks were well shorn of trees basically.

Ken MacGray:
I mean, peaks like Monadnock, the bald faces. Yeah, they've just been burned over by fire either by issues around logging are just from storms, Bald Face has had a couple fires over the years.

Laura Knoy:
What about fire towers? There's a cool history in 52 With A View about fire towers and how they got started and what purpose they served and then how a lot of them have gone away now.

Ken MacGray:
Yeah. New Hampshire has a rich history of fire towers. They are spread out all over the state. There is even a separate fire tower hiking list with 90 something peaks on it, I think. Yes, I think it's almost 100 maybe at this point. But I think there's is about 15 or 16 active towers throughout the state. Yeah, they would just it was in the 20s and the 30s, I believe when they were this program was first started. These towers were just erected just to keep an eye on fires. And some of it was also connected to how much logging was done at the time because the logging presented such a risk. So these towers were constructed to kind of keep watch over some of these areas.

Laura Knoy:
You have a couple of high expended on your Web site that focus on fire towers as a reward. It's fun for kids, especially like, oh, look at this cool structure in the middle the woods.

Brenden Bowen:
Yeah, it is kind of interesting to hike up to the top of a remote mountain and see that structure there. And yes, it definitely could be exciting for kids. Funny. We were just talking about that list of 100 fire towers. It is 100 now. I have actually visited all of those personally. It's a great experience. There's a lot of history. I actually wrote an article on my Web site about the history of fire towers. You can go check that out. But yeah, even for the peaks where there once was a fire tower and there is no longer there's, that's like what we're talking about earlier, about that unique reward, you get to go up there and you get to search around for the remnants of the fire tower, like these wires and anchor bolts and most commonly that you you see the the four cement footings just just standing there. And, you know, there was a fire tower there, so. Yeah.

Laura Knoy:
I remember hiking with our kids and we would often try to hike to a fire tower because it was a cool attraction and I had one kid who refused to go up and the other who couldn't wait. So, you know, everybody approaches these differently. Since Brenden, you mentioned your Web site. I want to let everybody know again that on nhprexchange we've got links to Brenden and Allison and Ken's Web site. So you can check them out there for more information about hiking this weekend. And John's calling in from Goffstown. Hi, John. You're on the air. Welcome.

Caller:
Hi. Hi. I just kind of wanted to comment on the discussion about dogs and hiking shirt. I have a I have a dog who is not particularly friendly with other dogs and occasionally I'm friendly with people. So I worked out a rig where I can use a long flexy and he pretty much gets his freedom, but I can reel him in when I need to. And it was really useful a little bit ago when I was hiking on the North Uncanoonuc and my dog decided to tree a small bear. And so I was able to pull him back in and control him and then walk back the way I came in, averting a pretty bad situation that could have come if I hadn't been able to bring him back. So I just wanted to point that out, that there are dogs out there who don't get along with other dogs. And unless you've got real solid control over your dog, that could be a bad situation.

Laura Knoy:
So you hike with your dog on a leash. John, a long leash. It sounds like a leash nonetheless.

Caller:
Well, I have it. It's flexy with one of the flat nylon leads and it's very long. It's like three. It's eight meters. So what, 24 feet? And I attach that to the waist belt on my pack. So he can go in and out happily on his own. But if I need to, I can shorten that up to control him.

Laura Knoy:
Ok. Thank you for calling, John. And here's a comment from Laura on Facebook that I want to share with all of you. She says, I think sometimes we worry less about safety on these smaller, shorter hikes. Last winter, I was on a short, flat family walk at our local nature preserve. During a bitter cold snap, our three year old lost her footing, stumbled on a creek bank and found herself up to her neck in freezing water. Wow, Laura says, I never needed it before. But at that moment, I was so happy we had an emergency blanket in our day pack. Just a reminder to hike prepared even when it seems like overkill, especially when hiking with kids. Laura, I am so glad that you wrote in. Thank you so much. And love to hear from everybody on this. Maybe you first, Allison, even on those short little hikes where you think I'm just going out for an hour. You need to bring some measure of preparation.

Allison Driscoll:
Absolutely. So I do a lot of preparation, both research wise, gear wise. I am a little little obsessive about gear. And I just love before I had my son, I was an ultralight hiker, so I was carrying everything I needed, but for very little weight. Now, you know, every single hike, it's like a pound is added to my backpack with how much my son gains every time it seems. But just having all the necessary gear you can look at, AMC has some great resources. There's some guiding companies like Red Line Guiding that is great. And they have a blog with resources. I have lots of gear list. You know what I pack for different situations. So a day hike, backpacking trips. I've done bushwhacking. I have a specific list, you know, for that for what you need. Looking at the ten essential, there's a little beyond 10. So having your first date gear, having the knowledge of how to use it. So I've taken wilderness first aid. That's a big part of the preparation is knowing what to do in a situation if you or someone in your party gets hurt and an ambulance isn't coming in five minutes. Right. You know, you could be stuck out there for, you know, even a couple of days. So being prepared is important. You know, looking at the weather, multiple weather resources online, different Web sites to see what the terrain is, you don't want to underestimate. And this might be something we might be getting to. But one of the things with the 52 with the View list is they're all under 4000 feet. So people assume that they're going to be easier. However, I like to look at especially hiking with kids or if you're hiking with a dog that's newer to the trail or a friend who, you know, doesn't really hike a whole lot. You want to look at the distance. So the mileage and the elevation gain.

Laura Knoy:
Sure. Because shorter doesn't necessarily mean easier.

Allison Driscoll:
So if you're hiking, let's say, two miles from the trailhead to the summit and your hiking, let's say, you know, a thousand feet of elevation gain, that's a law in two miles. Just it's pretty much straight up versus if that were a five mile hike to the summit, you'll have a lot more flat sections, so just being prepared with the terrain.

Laura Knoy:
So don't look at that law and mileage and go, oh, that's too long. It might mean it's also easier, more enjoyable. Exactly. All right. We will talk a lot more after a short break. Laura, thank you for that Facebook.com. You can also post pictures of some of your favorite hikes on Facebook, the way some folks are doing.

Laura Knoy:
This is The Exchange, I'm Laura Knoy. Tomorrow on our show. Catch up on all the Granite State news you might have missed. It's the Weekly New Hampshire News Roundup. That's Friday on The Exchange. This hour, we celebrate the fall hiking season with 52 With A View. That's a list, and now a new book that includes lots of great lesser-known hikes around the state. And Ken and Allison and Brenden. I'd like to go right back to our listeners. Carl is calling in from Holderness. Hi, Carl. You're on the air. Welcome.

Caller:
Good morning. Good morning. Just like to comment on saying that you're never too young or too old to hike. When I hike the Appalachian Trail when I was 62. And somewhere down in Tennessee, I met a person, gentleman, when he called me back saying, Hey, young man, where you going? So we talked a little bit. This turned out to be, he was 76 or 78. I thought I was the oldest. We had four daughters and we started hiking when the youngest one four. And we finished 4000-ers when she was eight. And the reason it took us so long is with children you've got to be careful. We hiked the first 10 -15 mountains only when the weather was really nice and so on. So kids get easily distracted and so on. And then we always watched them, and then when they got a little bit nervous I tried to divert theirs with their thinking and say, hey, what do you want? And what kind of ice cream do you want on the way home, this type of thing. And the weather is very important when you're young. And then later on, they were allowed to bring their friends along and so on and so forth.

Laura Knoy:
So it sounds like you were really successful. Karl, at you know, providing the incentives. It isn't just. We're gonna start. We're gonna hike non-stop. We're gonna go to the top. We're gonna take a picture, we're going to come back come back down. All the sort of rewards and just making a little bit more fun. So thank you very much for calling. Also, love his story, Ken, that he was doing the Appalachian Trail at 63, I think he said and he was 90 now. And he was not the oldest person out there. So thank you for calling in, Carl. Good to hear from you. And Greg in West Ossipee, Curious if your guests have highlighted the hikes in the Ossipee mountains such as Bayle Mountain. The Ossipee Mountains are an often overlooked range with lots of variety. Greg, I'm really glad you wrote, because I think one of the ranges that you highlight in 52 With A View, Ken, is the Sandwich range. Yeah, also lesser known.

Ken MacGray:
And just to go back to the Ossipees for a second. Two of the 52 The View hikes are Mount Shaw, Mount Roberts. So those are in the Ossipee range. Yeah, there's tons in the Sandwich range. A lot of options there. Like Chocorua the premiere hike in the Sandwich range.

Laura Knoy:
And Chocorua will be crowded this weekend. But two of those others that you mentioned, maybe not so much.

Ken MacGray:
And also to answer his question about Bayle and kind of going off topic a little bit here, but I'm also working on the AMC Southern New Hampshire Trail Guide. And we're going to be putting Bayle Mountain in that guide - that'll come out next year.

Laura Knoy:
Did you want to jump in, Brenden?

Brenden Bowen:
Yeah, I just wanted to mention about the Ossipee Mountains. There's a there's an additional short little challenge in the Ossipee mountains called the Ossipee 10. It's like 10 of the nicest views in the Ossipee mountains. So it's kind of like a mini version of the 52 With A View for that specific area. And there's a lot of really fabulous, really obscure destinations there that are worth a visit.

Laura Knoy:
Cool. So say that again, the Ossipee 10.

Brenden Bowen:
Okay. It's it's not an official list that, there's no patch for it, but it's it's out there. It's pretty well known. And it's it's definitely worth a look.

Laura Knoy:
Cool. So, you know, the 4000 footer club, again, very well known. But now we've got the Ossipee 10, the fire tower 100 or whatever and 52 With A View and so on and so forth. So great. Greg, thank you for writing. Dave emails to ask, could you discuss more about Leave No Trace guidelines, including dogs and also about Hike Safe principles to protect forests and trails? Dave says recreation is such a huge pursuit in New Hampshire. But are we seeing increasing signs that not everyone is on the same page in term of in terms of collective impacts? Dave, thank you so much. And Allison, what have you noticed? You know, it's great that more and more people are getting out. That's wonderful. But there are impacts. Dave's right.

Allison Driscoll:
Absolutely. And I think resources like the 52 with The View book having different trails more accessible is really important. Recently, there's been a lot of controversy over the Franconia Ridge and people parking on the highway, which I don't know how that was ever thought to be a good idea, but the amount of impact of all of those people in this weekend will be no different. Where there's going to be so many people hiking up and down the Franconia Ridge and having more options that before I think a lot of people didn't know about some of these peaks. And I think the incentive of having the list to follow is is big for some people. So having that spreads the impact a lot more. I actually helped AMC with a four season, it's a 4000 footer list, but it's you hike each of them in each season and part of it is you have to do 40 hours of trail work. So that's giving back. You know, if if you're hiking these trails, you know, every couple of weekends or multiple times a week like some people do, it's important to help restore some of the trails. Leave No Trace, they have a great Web site, some great resources where you can learn about all the different principles. A couple The biggest ones in my book is leaving it exactly as it is or even better. Now, if you see, you know, micro trash, which is the little pieces of wrappers, just tossing them in your backpack, if you have a dog, making sure you're bringing dog bags and taking the dog bags with you and not leaving them on the trails is important. And social media is huge. So not putting out there things that are not appropriate, you know, not camping right next to a beautiful lake is is huge. There's a lot of pictures of people doing things that all the other people are interested in doing that isn't good for the trail. So setting the example is really important.

Laura Knoy:
OK. And he also writes, Ken, about Hike Safe principles that people should, you know, follow to stay safe so that search and rescue doesn't have to launch a major operation. You just want to throw a couple more in there about, you know, hiking smart. Allison talked earlier about some of these principles, bringing enough clothing and food and so forth. But go ahead.

Ken MacGray:
Well, I mean, the number one thing I think people should be on top of is the weather. I mean, just the weather in New Hampshire, especially the whites, just changes making change in minutes. I'm a compulsive weather watcher, so I'll just watch the forecast right up until hike time.

Laura Knoy:
Still, the weather at the top can be completely different from the weather at the bottom.

Ken MacGray:
A lot of people get misguided because they think, you know, down in the valley it's 75 degrees. But, you know, on the summit, it could be 35.

Laura Knoy:
So bring lots of clothes.

Ken MacGray:
Yeah. I mean, and don't do something that you're not prepared to do. You know you're not prepared to do. And that's kind of a can be a complicated question to answer. That's not something you learn until you have more experience.

Laura Knoy:
Sometimes you learn by mistakes unfortunately. We've all made mistakes.

Laura Knoy:
Thank you for that note, Dave. And let's go to Jeremiah, because he's calling in from Huntsville, Alabama, which is great. So, Jeremiah, welcome. Thanks for calling in.

Caller:
Thanks for taking my call. I just had a question for the group as someone that is out of state and may be visiting the area. Is there any recommendation as far as what's the best hike to do as someone that doesn't live in the area?

Laura Knoy:
And would you be coming this holiday weekend, Jeremiah, because things are gonna be pretty busy this weekend. So you coming up in a couple days?

Caller:
Oh, no, no, no, not anytime soon but I occasionally visit the area due to some family living there.

Laura Knoy:
Ok. Awesome. Thank you for calling. And. Wow. I'm sure everybody has their favorites. So, go ahead Ken.I

Ken MacGray:
I find the the best questions are hard to answer because they are kind of subjective, but as far as the 52 With A View hikes, the bald faces are probably the the ultimate, probably the number one hike because you're above tree line for about four miles of open ledge walking. It's got steep, rugged terrain. It's this gorgeous panoramic views. I mean, you can't beat it.

Laura Knoy:
What are some of the ones more well-known among those bald faces?

Ken MacGray:
Well, it's North and South Bald Faces. So those are the actual names.

Laura Knoy:
I thought that was a category of mountains, because there are a lot of mountains that could be described as bald-faced mountains, that's the beauty hiking of New Hampshire.

Ken MacGray:
Yes, New Hampshire has a lot of bald in mountain names.

Laura Knoy:
What would you pick Allison.

Allison Driscoll:
Yeah, to add to that, I love the bald faces, Welch and Dickey. Dickey is on the 52 with The View list. And that's a fantastic loop. A similar one that's not on the 52 what the View list is Morgan and Percival. There's ladders and caves and all of that fun stuff. So that's a really fun hike and beautiful views at the summit. I actually, a lot of friends that I would joke about this one because a friend graduated college and I brought a cake and we had cake on one of the ladders. It was just funny. You know, if you can bring something, you know, fun on the trail, that's even better. Roberts is an easier one with a great view and even easier as Mount Pemigewasset, also known as Indian H. And it's right off 93. So it's an easy one to get to as well.

Laura Knoy:
How about you, Brenden?

Brenden Bowen:
Well, those are some great suggestions. It's funny, we were talking about the bald faces. I'd have to say that would be my number one pick for the 52 of The View. I mean, that one really is fantastic because it's a loop hike and you have so much open ledge walking. For something else, I'd say if I was to take, say, a visiting relative who had never been to New Hampshire before but was interested in hiking, I'd probably go to Mt. Garfield, one of the 4000 footers, because it's it's a very long yet gradual walk in. There is just a magnificent reward. It's one of my favorite hikes of all time.

Laura Knoy:
All right. Well, there you go, Jeremiah. And I'll direct you, Jeremiah and everybody else listening again to The Exchange Web site where we've got links to all our guests, information and advice. Couple more comments from our listeners. Brian e-mails. A great view can be found on the top of South Moat Mountain. Thank you, Brian. Carol emails to say. Last weekend, our family, all adults, hiked Mount Kearsarge. A beautiful day and we enjoyed the 360 degree view. Would you mention the very important need to carry water for your dog? Also, would your guests care to comment on the topographic maps that are available to hikers to determine the elevation changes? Anybody want to comment on the topographic maps, elevation changes? I appreciate the suggestion about water for your dog. And we were on one a hike once where we had maybe enough water, but then some small child spilled half the water. So that that was a whole nother thing. Bring lots of water. Do you wanna comment on the topo maps?

Ken MacGray:
I mean, I'm not sure how many people actually use them day to day. I mean, I use them all the time because I'm usually gathering data on trails, but they're definitely helpful to have because you can see what kind of terrain is ahead of you.

Laura Knoy:
OK. Did you want to jump in Brenden?

Brenden Bowen:
Sure. I'd say the the best topographic maps for hiking in the White Mountains are definitely the AMC series, but you can also use the USGS quads. Those are very helpful. You know, we always show the accurate placement of trails, but for topographic maps, those are the standard. You should definitely always carry a map. So you're aware of the terrain and which just which direction to leave in an emergency if you say lose the trail.

Laura Knoy:
And USGS as U.S. Geological Survey. Do you buy these maps from those sources? Do you buy them? It's, you know, stores. Where do you what do you get these?

Brenden Bowen:
Yeah, you can buy them directly from the Geological Survey. You can buy them at stores like The Mountain Wanderer. You can also find them online. Web sites like Cal Topo that help you plan out your trip by measuring distances and adding waypoints using a base map of some of these these maps.

Allison Driscoll:
One thing I want to suggest is you have these guidebooks, which is key and a lot of information. It's important for you to know the basics and to do your own research. However, you know, I know Ken you're an admin for the 52 with The View Facebook group. I'm personally part o,f one of my favorites, is the New Hampshire Women's Hiking Group. And a lot of these groups, you can ask a little bit more advanced questions of, you know, I'm looking to hike in this area. What specific maps should I go out and get? And people can give you suggestions on that, And questions that are maybe more experience based. It's great to get information on that as well. So it's a good mix right now. You know, when I started Trail to Summit, it was in 2012. There was virtually no blogs and resources. And I was on hiking forums which somehow still exist even with Facebook. And getting the information is a lot easier now. So, you know, those maps, you want to make sure you're getting the correct ones for the area you're hiking in.

Laura Knoy:
Jen sent us an e-mail, some of my favorite 52 with view hikes are Black Mountain in Benton, Mount Cube, Hedgehog Mountain, Jen says, and Mount Martha. She says these are perfect half-day hikes and beautiful in winter. Thank you, Jen, for that email. Couple other people have sent in their favorites. And Valerie from Concord says, The Center for Health Promotion wants us to know that Concord has over 30 trails totaling close to 80 miles. Great hikes, long and short, all levels. The Capital Area Wellness Coalition created the Concord Trail passport. That's another list that you can log and check off to motivate yourself where folks can log their hikes and send it in for a rewards discount to local Concord vendors. So we'll have a link on our Web site towards that as well. You all have mentioned your Web sites, Facebook, social media. And I wonder, Ken, how do you use social media to spread the word about these hikes?

Ken MacGray:
I mean the 52 With A View hiker group was started 2013 or so, it's actually started by another person. I was kind of co-admin and then that person left. I've been running it ever since and that's been the biggest. It's just kind of run by itself. It's really taken off its special over the last couple of years since these hikes have gotten more popular and more people are finding them. I've just seen the usage go right up and very popular.

Laura Knoy:
Yeah. How about you Allison. The impact of social media in getting people out.

Allison Driscoll:
Absolutely. I think there is a huge increase of the people out there which which is good and bad. You know, you have people that are more active, it's healthier. And all of that is great. You know, you do have some impact. So making sure. Like I said before, you are showcasing, you know, that you're leaving no trace, that you're doing all the things you need to do. You know, sometimes not putting the location where you're at if it's a more fragile area, that's really important. But just showing your love of being out there motivates others to get out there as well and do something different. And I've loved really helping people start their journeys on, you know, different things that they want to do, you know, weight loss or, you know, battling mental illness or different difficulties where hiking has really helped them both mentally and physically.

Laura Knoy:
Okay. All of you, very quickly. Where you going this weekend? What's the hike? Have you picked it yet? Brenden,.

Brenden Bowen:
I haven't picked yet. I like to wait and decide, based on the weather.

Allison Driscoll:
So my birthday's always Columbus Day weekend and I actually avoid going north as much as possible. . And going somewhere local and for no one will see me. So I'll probably be in the Epsom town forest.

Laura Knoy:
Okay. We're gonna close it out there. I hope you have great hikes this weekend. Wherever you end up. This is The Exchange.