Via the White Dot trail. Approx 3 hours out and back.
My schedule, being a bit packed this week, precluded a trip to the Whites. So I got my fix more locally. And besides, it’s been a bit since I went up that old favorite.
There was a trail maintenance team from The Student Conservation Association doing some work. I don’t know if I’m just forgetting how many new stone stairs are now on the trail, or if they’ve expanded them this summer, but it seems that the trail that I once euphemistically regarded as a stair climb is more literally becoming one. I don’t have much of a beef against it, especially on this massively trafficked a trail. Erosion is a visible problem everywhere on its length, so steps are a logical mitigation strategy.
Weather was clement, and the views from the top were only attenuated by late summer haze. The way going was clean and clear, as always — even stepping across the trail work wasn’t an issue. From the top, I could easily spy Sunapee, Watatic, Wachusett, and peaks in Vermont. I didn’t check with my app, but it felt like seeing the Whites well enough to recognize them was a bit of a stretch. My guess is it was about a 40-ish mile day.
As a side mention, the new sanitary facilities at the base are… well, they’re big, and they’re shiny. I think what really takes me is that the outside doorways are glass. That single design element, in my mind, made me think that if they ripped out all the bathrooms and installed cash registers, it could function perfectly well as a Bass Pro Shop or something like that. For a state park in New Hampshire, it was very nice, but it felt a bit over-built, and I’m left wondering what’s going to happen when the glass inevitably breaks. Then again, if the building is heated and open in the wintertime, maybe it won’t be that bad. Time will tell.