A Gentle Start to the Season - 4/27/13
Decided, on a whim, to go for an easy hike to fill a Saturday afternoon. Found one of the longer trails from the Goffstown Trails website, starting from the parking area at the top of the access road to the Goffstown Reservoirs. The trail follows along Mountain Road for awhile, eventually meandering into a network of snowmobile trails that crisscross through a series of power line trails.
The lower portion of the snowmobile trails ran us into a section of impassible water, so we took a small detour on a B trail that I had hoped would lead us back to the main trail. Turns out I was off by a bit, but we managed to follow some logging trails up through a wide open section of downed trees and the leftovers of the last logging effort. Once we got through the logging leftovers, we strafed the woods until we found a fairly well-kept trail that headed upward. We followed the trail (and the sound of a generator in the not-so-far distance at the base of a summit tower), eventually coming out Summit Road, which we followed for the last few hundred yards to the summit.
After spending a few minutes checking out the ruins of what I've heard to be a hotel or lodge, but what look like the remains of a WWII anti-aircraft gun station, we headed back to the trail. Followed the trail successfully until we came out to one of the handful of power line trails. We followed the first power line trail we crossed, looking for the trail to continue on the other side, but never actually seeing anything.
Eventually, I decided we'd gone too far to be on our original trail, so we searched for a quick exit, settling on a small stream that would likely lead to the reservoirs. We bushwhacked our way along a small ridge that ran next to the stream until we saw the small hut next to the reservoir. We broke off the ridge and continued our trail-less walk through the woods until we ran into the northern-most reservoir. We followed the shore south until we came to the dam that connects and controls the two reservoirs. Crossed over some rocks at the base, and followed the road back out to our parking lot.
Nothing to write home about. The views are okay at best, the trails are not marked, there are plenty of intersections and signage for snowmobilers, but lots of confusion for hikers. Haven't personally hiked the other side of the hill (Uncanoonuc Lake), but I'd suggest hitting the trail on that side. It's much shorter, and comes with much less adventure, but I'm sure it's much more clearly marked than the Mountain Road trailheads.