Morning on Moriah

Date of Hike: 11/17/15

Stony Brook Trail: 3.5 miles  / Carter-Moriah Trail: 2.7 miles  /  Stony Brook Trail: 2.4 miles  /  Abandoned Stony Brook Trail & Road Walk: 1.1 miles
Total Miles: 9.75 miles (3,181 feet elevation gained)

Trip Report:
- Tuesday morning I hiked up my new neighbor, Mount Moriah.  Having just moved to Gorham, New Hampshire, the mountain is virtually in my back yard so I took to the trail just as the sun rose to get in a hike before starting work.
- I headed up the Stony Brook Trail, which travels close by a real attractive brook for the first two miles before finally leaving it and heading up an old logging road.  The trail has very easy grades with good footing for the first 2.5 miles until it passes a little cascade, from here it takes on the usual White Mountain feel as it becomes more rugged and steep in spots as it gains the ridge and ends at the Carter-Moriah.
-  From the junction it's a nice steady climb up to the summit of Mount Moriah.  The trail passes over some very nice ledges with really great views, especially this time of year when the Presidential Range takes on a 'vivid' white color above treeline as the cold air brings in crystal clear views.  There are also good views to the east of the Wild River Wilderness and the Baldface, north into Maine and the Mahoosuc Range, and south of the Carter Range.
-  On the descent I took the old route back to the car.  With two miles left the trail takes a sharp right and makes a water crossing and parallels the brook back to the car.  At this spot I stayed straight on the old logging road and made my way down hill through open woods that passed over other logging roads before popping out on Mount Carter Drive in the Stony Brook Neighborhood.  Fun fact, pre 1960 the Stony Brook Trail was actually the western section of the Moriah-Brook Trail, which started at the Wild River and went up and  over the ridge and down to US 16, and the trail came out on an old road called the Moriah Brook Road.  In 1960 the part of the trail on the western side of the mountain was changed to Stony Brook Trail.  Then some time in the late 60's the trail had it's first relocation due to logging, it was relocated close to where it's located now.  Then in the 90's a nice parking lot was built and the start was moved again a few hundred yards closer to US 16.
- Anyway it was really nice to mic it up and take the old trail and head through the Stony Brook neighborhood back to the car.  A few hundred yards before reaching the trailhead I even spotted an old blue blaze on a tree right on the side of the road from the first trail relocation.

 The trail starts at a nice little bridge over Stony Brook

The trail heads over a narrow little gorge over a footbridge

I wonder why the call it Stony Brook??!!

A majority of the first 2.5 miles is a really nice walk over an old logging road

The logging road sits high above a nice little valley

After 2.5 miles the Stony Brook Trail becomes a 'real' trail

Carter-Moriah Trail junction

The last 1.3ish miles heads over ledges with great views.  Carter and Northern Presidentail Ranges (top), Carter and Wildcat Ranges (below)

Northern Presidential Range

There was one or two icy spots and a couple of inches of snow over the last mile or so

More great views.  Mahoosuc Range (top), Sun shinning brightly over to the east

North Moriah and Shelburne Moriah

Presidential Range

Heading back down over some frosted over bog bridges

Like I said, great views from the ledges

Not a bad view to have while descending!

Pine Mountain below.  Kilkenny Range lining the horizon

At the double blaze I stay straight and take the old trail out

The old trail comes out on a wide dirt turn around then heads out to Mount Carter Drive
A few hundred yards from the trailhead I spot a blaze from the first re-route of the trail.  It passed by two small cabins, one of which can kind of be seen in this picture

Route for the day, click here for details

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