Saturday Hikes to Red Hill and Mt Cotton
Tom Smith*, Larry Green, Fred Knight, Steve Smith, Scott Stuart, Ozzy Gunduz, Doug Anderson**
* could be over age 70
** way under age 30
The temperature started near 10 and got to near freezing. The snow varied from a few inches to ~8″ deep. The trails ranged from trampled to unbroken. The skies were clear. The team (mostly) met their challenges. There were one balaclava, two separate hikes, three opinions on the best nationality making baklava, four trailheads visited, five hikers on Eagle Cliff, six hours of hiking, and seven intrepid hikers on the team. Good fun!
We all arrived at the appointed trail head (Red Hill) at the appointed time. After placing the van at the proposed destination down Eagle Cliff, we (right and left pics) headed up Red Hill to the Tower for the view down to Squam Lake (middle pic) and with the expanse of Lake Winnipesaukee to the south. At this point, Tom and Steve went back down Red Hill while the rest of us did Eagle Cliff to the Tee-Dee spur, requiring a 1/4-mile roadwalk to get the van. Arriving back via the two routes at the same time, we all met again at the Red Hill Trailhead. Scott, Doug, and Fred were eager for another hike, so we parted, dropped Ozzy in the hamlet of Holderness to fend for himself, and headed to the Cotton Mt. Trailhead. Cotton Mt is quite steep (see topo map)! With Fred’s energy flagging and being short on time, we omitted the 0.4-mile spur to Mt. Livermore but did the loop: Cotton Mt Trail, Crawford-Ridgepole Tr, Prescott Tr, and Old Highway S, which is mostly a creek bed and only a highway for squirrels.
~9 miles, ~5.5 hours, two peaks, varying teams from 3 to 7 hikers.