ApproachVIA BLACK MOUNTAIN TRAIL (1630'): From I-93 get off on Exit 32. When you hit the light on the ramp make a right on 112 (West) and head towards Woodstock. Go through Woodstock and set of light and stay on 112 heading west towards Woodsville. Stay on 112 past junction with 118 and past junction with 116 North toward Franconia. Keep on 112 until you reach 116 south towards Benton. Stay on 116 thru Benton. When you hit a fork on the road, stay left. Make an immediate left on Howe Hill Road. Take Howe Hill Road until it becomes a gravel road. Parking will be on your right just before the 2.3 mile post sign. (Note: the White Mountain book list the trail as 1.7 miles on the gravel road, but due to poor conditions of the road parking here and hike the extra 0.6 miles is well advised.)
Black Mountain Trail
3.4 miles roundtrip summer, 5.5 miles roundtrip winter.
Elevation Gain 1200' (summer)
The Black Mountain trail follow an old fire tower road to the summit of Black Mtn. In winter this trail start way back at the end of the residential area making for a 2.75 mile one way trip to summit. In summer this hike is shortens a good amount, although the dirt road to the summit tend to be in poor condition and many chose to stop 0.7 miles from the trailhead due to the poor conditions.
The trail itself begins off at a gradual pitch. The trail then steepens to a moderate pitch and turns left. You travel through a dense but mostly decidious forest. The trail stays the same pitch until it nears the height of land. It then head right. The trail heads to a large ledge (wooded) where it goes to the right of the ledge and then starts to steepen again to a moderate pitch. The trail then runs into the Chippewa Trail just before the summit. There is an open area here. To finish the climb to the summit you have to pass one real small steep bump 15 ft. elevation gain and you on the summit with wonderful views (if the weather is good).