Mount Hale

Date of Hike: 1/19/13

Logging Roads: 1.7 miles
North Twin Trail: 1.0 miles
Mount Hale Trail (AKA Fire Warden's Trail): 2.5 miles 
Hale Brook Trail: 2.2 miles
Zealand Road / Route 302: 2.6 miles
Total Miles: 10.0
2,000 feet elevation gain

Trip Report:
-  The weather report for Saturday was a little iffy, calling for high winds so we decided to stay below treeline.  Our original plans were to hike Hale and Zealand, spotting a car at the Zealand Road winter lot and heading over to Little River Road so we could hike up the abandoned Mount Hale Trail (Fire Warden's Trail).  However, we got a late start and since we had to book it back to RI and back to Mr. Smackers the Golden Retriever we just decided to hike up Mount Hale.
- I was really excited to hike up the Fire Warden's Trail in the winter, I had been on it twice before but during the summer so I was looking forward to hiking through the Birch Glades.
- The hike into the Fire Warden's Trail is pretty easy, the only difficult thing about it is finding the beginning of the trail which can be found on the herd path bypass between the first and second water crossings on the North Twin Trail.  All you have to do is find the sturdiest little tree in the middle of the path and bang a left up a ten foot embankment and BAM! you're on the old Mount Hale Trail.
- Right before we jumped on the old trail we passed a group heading to the Twins, they were having fun and ended up having better than expected weather for their hike and probably caught some good views!
- The Fire Warden's Trail was not broken out but luckily there were only six inches of light fluffy new snow on top of hard packed snow so it was pretty easy to stay on the trail.  The only part that could get iffy is the last half mile when gaining the ridge as it can look like a maze if you're not paying attention.
- The trail is much more enjoyable than the Hale Brook Trail, it has easy grades and you pass through a beautiful patch of Birch glades before heading into a forest through a Pine Grove.
- Once at the top we took a snack break before booking it down the Hale Brook Trail passing by a couple of hikers on their way up to the summit.
- Next was the road walk back along the Zealand Road, this would have been the slog part of our hike if we did Zealand but it was a ton of fun and went by quickly!
- It was a fun little first hike of 2013 for me and we made it back to RI in time for Mr. Smackers to enjoy his food - YUM!!!

Zealand Road Winter Trailhead Parking Lot 
Little River Road Herd Path Trailhead. When parking at the end of Little River Road, Please do not block the bridge, do not wear spikes on bridge, and respect the the area and the local home owners who let us use their property to access the mountains.
 Herd Path
 Herd Path
 Logging Road Herd Path
 Haystack Road
 Little River
North Twin Trailhead
 North Twin Trail
 North Twin Trail at the near the first crossing
 Fire Warden's Trail
 Entering the Birch Glades
 Abandoned Mount Hale Trail, AKA Fire Warden's Trail
Birch Glades
 Alton and Kelsey breaking out the trail
 Entering the Pine Grove
 Gaining the Ridge
 Up to a sub peak of Mount Hale
 Fire Warden's Trail
 Alton and Kelsey 
 Unbroken Fire Warden's Trail
 Pine Grove in a col just below the summit
Looking down the Fire Warden's Trail 
 Mount Hale Summit
 Fire Warden's Trail goes into the woods int he middle of this picture
Summit Cairn
 Hale Brook Trail
 Looking up the Hale Brook Trail
 Hale Brook Trail
 Crossing the Hale Brook
Hale Brook Trailhead
 Zealand Road
Zealand Road
 Alton and Kesley on Zealand Road
 Looks like they are holding hands!
Zealand Road
 Zealand Road
Zealand Road


  1. The 'holding hands pic' is priceless!!

    Great photos, looked like a fun hike =)

  2. Welcome to the New Year and I agree, "holding hands" pic is great!

  3. Just a quick note to say that although I don't frequently comment on your reports, I do read and thoroughly enjoy each of them! Saying things like "terrific report" time after time can begin to sound insincere after awhile, even though it would be a truly sincere sentiment for each of your postings.


    1. Thanks John. I always appreciate your comments and those from anybody else who reads and looks at my trip reports. They could say the same thing each time and I'd still appreciate it! Looks like you are having a great winter hiking and taking pictures as well and having fun in the snow! Take care, Chris

  4. Chris,
    Just catching up on reading old post. I kind of feel like John in that saying "Great Pictures" every time sounds redundant, but they really are, and I really enjoy viewing them - thanks for posting them. _ Marvin

    1. I appreciate the compliments for the pictures and I'm glad eveyone likes them. I tell everyone that the camera deserves all the credit, I just take a ridiculous amount of pictures so some of them have to come out good!!