Howker Ridge Trail
Small parking lot on Pinkham "B" road just about one mile west of the Appalachia parking area on Route 2. Just a few hunderd yards in off route 2. Howker Ridge Trail is in good shape and easy to follow as of May 28, 2011. On the return trip watch out for slippery rocks and roots under the treeline. I ended up on my backside a few times.
Weather forecast was frightening with possible severe thunderstorms and hail but weather was not too bad and cleared as the day went on. Near 100% humidity under the treeline. Went through most of my 100oz Camelback on the ascent. Nice waterfalls through the first mile. (This is my first trip report. I'll try to post some pics.) A few ups and downs and back-up-agains as you cross over the Howks. Some very small snow patches on the way up. Great views of Adams from the summit but Washington was mostly obscured by clouds. Very strong winds at the top (est 40-50mph) but gusting not steady. Climb seemed tough but maybe that was from sitting on my butt driving a desk at work all winter.
Overall a great hike. I'm sure the views would have been outstanding had the weather been more clear. Even the few breaks in the clouds made it worthwhile.
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