From Dawn till Dusk (Mount Zealand and Hale from the Kanc)

Date of hike: 10/17/09

Hancock Notch Trail: 1.8 miles  /  Cedar Brook Trail: 6.1 miles  /  East Side Trail: .9 miles  /  Thoreau Falls Trail: 5.1 miles  /  Ethan Pond Trail: .8 miles  /  Zeacliff Trail: 1.4 miles  /  Twinway: 4.7 miles  /  Lend-A-Hand Trail: 2.7 miles  /  Hale Brook Trail: 2.3 miles
Total Miles: 25.7 (5,300 elevation gain)

Trip Report:
- Left RI at 4am with Dad and my dog Mr. Smackers.  They dropped me off at the Hancock Notch trailhead on the Kanc at 6:45am and picked me up at the Hale Brook trailhead on Zealand Road at 5:30pm
- Temps were in the low 20's to high 30's, no wind, clear skies, few inches of snow on trail above 3,000 feet, and ice in places. Some mud, and wet spots hidden by snow cover and leaves, no traction required on any trails
- First 15 miles were relatively flat with not many views, very cold and my fingers didn't warm up until about 10 miles in
- Walked over to the old site of the suspension bridge connecting the East Side trail to the Wilderness trail, the cable is on the ground and the wood from the bridge is under tarps off to the side of the trail. 
- Thoreau Falls Bridge is cool as it was last time I was here and looking and kind of crooked with a good view of one of the Bonds
- Got lost on Thoreau Falls trail, about 2.5 miles in the trail is not blazed at all and care needs to be taken to not get lost when the trail narrows and starts climbing the short steep section along the river. I ended up a tenth of a mile to the west in a small flooded beaver pond and then to a river bank.  I then backtracked and headed east and stumbled upon the trail in a few minutes.  This didn't seem to phase me last time on this trail, maybe cause I was hiking from the other direction!
- Ethan Pond Trail always has beautiful views and is nice and level from Thoreau Falls to Zeacliff trail junctions
- Zeacliff trail is wild, steep, and has great views of Mount Bond and Carrigain Notch
- Only saw two hikers all the way until the Twinway, then I ran into a bunch, a few people were wearing microspikes on the Twinway although they weren't needed
- Views from twinway of Washington and the Presidential Ranger were crystal clear and awesome!
- Stopped in at Zealand Hut and the falls for the first time since I was a kid.
- Lend-A-Hand trail has some very well placed bogs and with all the snow it made for a soft cushiony walk for a few tenths of a mile
- The snow was a constant from Zeacliff all the way until the last 1.5 miles of Hale Brook trail. It was well packed down but made for some slippery spots. Had two falls, a face first on the Twinway and a minor fall on Lend-A-Hand where there is an outlook
- My dad and Smackers were walking up Hale Brook as I descended.  Ran into them a little over a half mile from the trailhead. 
- Ice cold Yuengling's I won from a bet with Johnny 5 waiting in the car!
- This hike kicked my A$$, should have been done the opposite way to get all the elevation gain out of the way early in the day when fresh. Early in the morning at the Cedar Brook/Hancock Loop junction I really contemplated running up and doing the Hancock loop thank god I didn't!

Pictures: Click here to view all pictures

East Side Trail
Thoreau Falls Bridge
Looking north on the Twinway
Presidential Range
Mount Washington
Zealand Notch to Carrigain Notch
Mr. Smackers!

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