52 With A View, but No View: Stinson Mtn., 6.26.12

My son wanted to get out yesterday and go hiking somewhere, so we had planned to do a Hale Loop.  Once we saw the weather report, he wasn’t comfortable with the chance of thundershowers in the afternoon, so we changed plans.  He doesn’t mind rain, but even in a relatively safe place, he doesn’t like thunderstorms.  We then talked about what we could do that was shorter and closer to home.  With a quick check of my spreadsheet of lists and summits, I suggested Stinson Mtn.  This one is on the 52 With a View list, is located in Rumney which is closer to home, and at just under 4 miles a shorter trip to keep us ahead of any thunderstorms.

Trailhead for Stinson Mtn.

This was going to be a good adventure since we’d never even been to the trailhead for this one.  It was very easy to find, following the directions in the White Mountain Guide, about 6 miles off of Rt. 25 in Rumney.  The little parking area might hold four vehicles, but no one was there.  We took off down the trail, hiking a fairly level wide trail which was probably an old tractor or farm road and easy grade through some open forest with a lot of ferns.   We saw a small amount of wildlife:  salamanders, snails and red squirrels.

Bright orange salamander on the move.

Snail, not moving too fast.

About .6 miles into the trail, we came across the old cellar hole mentioned in the guidebook.  Cameron went down into it to explore and found some bricks, along with some large granite stones outlining what was probably where some of the walls of the house had been long ago.

Exploring the old cellar hole.

Trail through the open forest, complete with stone walls in some sections.

Moving up the trail, the grade was still easy, but the trail was rocky and eroded in some sections.  We eventually came to a junction, which indicated that snowmobiles should go to the left and hikers to the right.

Snowmobiles to the left; hikers to the right.

We took the hiking trail, which now narrowed to the width of a regular hiking trail.   This is where the elevation went from easy grade to moderate and where there were some switch backs.  Soon enough the trail started to change to slabby rock, and indicator that a summit is near.  Around a few more corners and we were at the summit slabs, complete with old fire tower footings and stairs.

Summit slabs with old fire tower footings.

Stone steps left from the fire tower.

I’m sure this was an ideal place to put a fire tower, and the views must be pretty good, but today we couldn’t see that, as we had hiked up into the clouds.  We ate a snack and then explored the area around the fire tower, finding a few trails to other look outs, but none with any views.  Once done with exploring we headed back to the car, and ended our adventure with a sprint to the car.

Stinson is a quick little hike, and not a bad choice for a short and easy day!  Cameron was happy just to be out and having a little fun.


4 thoughts on “52 With A View, but No View: Stinson Mtn., 6.26.12

  1. Hi Summerset,

    This looks like a great little hike, even on a gloomy day! I’m definitely going to add it to my list. From the summit shots you have, it looks like it would have a pretty good view…not much obstructing anything. I love that you found a lot of old relic features (foundation, stonewalls, fire tower footings, etc.). Thanks for sharing this one…I had never heard of it before.


  2. Thanks, Karl! Too bad we were in that cloud, I think the view would have been pretty good. The 52WAV list does have quite a few interesting little peaks that are off the beaten path and worthy of exploration.

  3. Hi Summerset,

    As you might suspect, I love reports such as this that are from places which are a bit different! It’s been on my list for awhile to hike to Mt. Stinson, as well as to nearby Rattlesnake Mountain. After reading your report, both the Stinson and Rattlesnake hike have been bumped up a notch on my list. I’ve never hiked to either one, and since they are so close to each other, it should make for a nice combination.

    And lastly, I’m jealous that you and Cameron saw a salamander! Would you believe that I’ve never seen a salamander in NH! I’ve seen them in other locations, but never in NH.


  4. Thanks, John! I’ve hiked both Stinson and Rattlesnake and they’re both fun little mountains and would make a good combo for one trip. I had to do a little research on the “salamander” and probably need to clarify. It was a salamander, more specifically, an Eastern newt or spotted red newt. What we saw the juvenile terrestrial stage of the animal, which is bright orange. At this stage of their life cycle they are called an “eft”, not necessarily a “newt”. (It’s been a while since I taught HS Biology!)

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