Fallsway, Brookbank, Hampton & Seabrook Beach Hikes – 7.3-7.5.2014

While Summerset & Cameron were in Maine, Dakota & I headed up to Dolly Copp Campground near the base of Mt. Washington to do a little hiking. The weather was, frankly, miserable. It rained frequently, sometimes hard, on both the evenings of July 3 & 4. Lots of cloud cover, and some significant wind. We didn’t get all that much mountain hiking in as a result.

On the morning of the 4th, we got up early. There was a nominal break in the weather, so we wanted to bag a little something. We headed to the Cherry Pond area, but we wimped out. Not due to the terrain — oh no. Rather, we pulled into the trailhead and saw a dozen or more deer flies descend on the car in an orchestrated dance of doom. They stared straight at us through the auto glass, and we blinked. We pulled right back out of that parking lot and headed for Appalachia.

From Appalachia, we did a short hike up Fallsway and down Brookbank, visiting falls along the way. Those are Randolph Mountain Club trails, well signed and maintained, with gentle elevation gains and decent footing. I did slip once and land on my fanny due to the wet rocks and copious moss here and there. The brook crossing to go from Fallsway over to Brookbank required a little thinking and big steps, but neither of us fell in. Overall, a nice hike you could take kids of about any age on with attractive small waterfalls spaced closely along the walk. The views from Fallsway and Brookbank are different and offer different access to the waterways, so it is worth making the loop if you’re comfortable making the cross to Brookbank at the top of Fallsway.

For redliners, pay careful attention to the map to get the entirety of the loop. You need to drop low on Brookbank, cross over via a skimobile trail (old rail trail) back to Fallsway, then climb back up again to the intersection with Valley Way to bag the entire Fallsway/Brookbank loop. The lower sections aren’t as well signed as the upper sections, and require a bit of attention.

The following day with the weather just starting to break for the better, we drove all the way down to the Seabrook area, parking in Hampton Beach near the townline, walking south on a good bit of the beach, and returning north via the road for variety — about a 6 mile loop in total. The general idea was to do an “urban hike” as opposed to a mountain hike. Dakota is more interested in cityscapes and somewhat flatter terrain. So, the beach seemed like a good way to start with the urban hiking experiment. We are planning to try some of the small cities in New Hampshire, and then maybe try larger and more interesting cities such as Boston and NYC.

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Ascending Fallsway at the Sylvan Way junction. Dakota may or may not be starting directly at the tree in front of her.

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Lower Salroc Fall along Fallsway.

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Access to this flat rock area was not available from the Fallsway side (the right side of this shot), unless you were willing to get wet. It *was* available when descending via Brookbank (the left side of this shot).

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Amazingly clear mountain water in this pool.

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The brook crossing at the top of Fallsway over to Brookbank.

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The view to Tama Fall was better via Brookbank.

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Beautiful moss along Brookbank.

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Signage along the bottom of the Fallsway/Brookbank loop. The other corner where Brookbank comes into the open was less clear.

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Our campsite at historically significant Dolly Copp. We were located in Hayes Field.

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Along Hampton Beach in New Hampshire.

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A shot at Seabrook Beach.

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Another Seabrook Beach shot. This specific area of rocks and sand is special to me. I played at this exact spot as a child many times during summer visits with family.

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I made a memory, getting this shot of Dakota walking on the same beach I did 30 years ago.

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While there are sand beaches in New England, this is what I think of as “real” New England coastline – lots and lots of rock. Still along Seabrook Beach in this shot.

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Dakota coming over the rocks, with a nautical marker in the background. That marker was, as I recall, an orange triangle for most of the years I was growing up. The green & white diamonds are a change.

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The bridge between Hampton and Seabrook. This is a small drawbridge that allows tall-masted boats to travel through the channel. I remember watching the bridge go up and down with great interest when I was small. It was an event!

 

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