Peaked Mountain and Middle Mountain

Mountains:  Peaked Mtn. (1739'), Middle Mtn. (1857')
Trails:  Peaked Mountain Trail, Middle Mountain Trail, Middle Mountain Connector
Region:  NH - Central East  
Green Hills Preserve
Location:  Conway, NH
Rating:  Moderate  
Features:  Summits, views, loop hike
Distance:  5.5 miles  
Elevation Gain:  1650 feet (cumulative)  
Hiking Time:  Typical: 3:35  
Outing Duration:  Actual: 4:30   Typical: 5:00  
Season:  Spring
Hike Date:  05/17/2008 (Saturday)  
Weather:  Sunny, clear
Author:  Claudette Raymond
Companion:  About 10 SDHers

Route Summary   

This is a loop hike first summiting Middle Mountain, and then continuing along to summit Peaked Mountain.

  • Start at the common trailhead for Middle Mountain, Peaked Mountain, and Pudding Pond Trails.
  • Follow the trail which parallels power lines for 0.2 mile.
  • At this point you will arrive at an information kiosk (#1). Pudding Trail goes right while Middle and Peaked Mountain Trails turn to the left.
  • On the trail (photo by Mark Malnati)
  • Turn left and follow the trail for 0.5 mile which is both Middle Mountain Trail and Peaked Mountain Trail.
  • At the next junction, Peaked Mountain Trail (also Black Cap Connector at this point) goes to the left while Middle Mountain Trail goes straight.
  • Go straight and follow Middle Mountain Trail for 0.6 mile where there will be another junction.
  • Here Middle Mountain Connector goes left and Middle Mountain Trail goes straight.
  • Keep going straight and continue to follow Middle Mountain Trail for another 0.8 mile to reach the summit of Middle Mountain.
  • From the summit of Middle Mountain, retrace your steps for 0.8 mile back to the prior junction.
  • Turn right onto Middle Mountain Connector and follow it for 0.3 mile where it meets up with Peaked Mountain Trail which goes both straight and right.
  • Turn right and follow the path for 0.2 mile to reach the summit of Peaked Mountain.
  • From Peaked's summit, retrace your steps for 0.2 mile back to the prior junction.
  • Turn right to descend on Peaked Mountain Trail.
  • After 0.4 mile you will reach a junction with Black Cap Connector. Turn left to keep following Peaked Mountain Trail.
  • After 0.3 mile your will be at another junction and at a different information kiosk (#2). Turn left to stay on what is now both Peaked Mountain Trail and Black Cap Connector. (Turning right is only Black Cap Connector and going straight would bring you to the end of Thompson Road.)
  • Continue along for 0.5 mile until returning to the junction with Middle Mountain Trail.
  • Turn right to follow the combined Peaked Mountain and Middle Mountain Trail for 0.5 mile back to kiosk #1.
  • Turn right again to walk the final 0.2 mile back to the parking area.
  • Don't worry, this loop is a lot easier to hike than it is to explain!

On Peaked Mountain (photo by Mark Malnati)

Place         Split
Trailhead on Thompson Road (530') 0.0 0.0
Information kiosk #1 0.2 0.2
Jct. Peaked Mountain/Middle Mountain Trails (700') 0.5 0.7
Jct. Middle Mountain Trail/Middle Mountain Connector 0.6 1.3
Middle Mtn. (1857') 0.8 2.1
Jct. Middle Mountain Trail/Middle Mountain Connector 0.8 2.9
Jct. Middle Mountain Connector/Peaked Mountain Trail 0.3 3.2
Peaked Mtn. (1739') 0.2 3.4
Jct. Middle Mountain Connector/Peaked Mountain Trail 0.2 3.6
Jct. Peaked Mountain Trail/Black Cap Connector 0.4 4.0
Information kiosk #2 0.3 4.3
Jct. Peaked Mountain/Middle Mountain Trails (700') 0.5 4.8
Information kiosk #1 0.5 5.3
Trailhead on Thompson Road (530') 0.2 5.5

Painted Trillium (photo by Dennis Marchand)



Map of hike route to Peaked and Middle Mountains (map by Webmaster)

Trail Guide   

The weather looked shaky as most of us traveled to our carpool meeting spots in the pouring rain. Surprisingly, we arrived in North Conway to a beautiful, warm, blue-sky, sunny day in the high 70's. Three new people showed up at the trailhead along with six regulars who hike under any condition–rain, thunderstorms, blizzards, etc.

We climbed 2.1 miles to the summit of Middle Mountain in merely an hour. A few people were still "rattled" by the three trail occurrences of slithering snakes looking for prey. At our first summit break we enjoyed the beautiful views, ate snacks, and swatted black flies.

Snake (photo by Mark Malnati)

Next, we traversed a mile over to Peaked Mountain - no stopping for breaks as the black flies would eat you alive! The entire trail was very dry and leafy, our first hike of the season without any snow. The sun was shining brightly at the top of Peaked Mountain so we spent about an hour having lunch, sunbathing and reapplying bug spray. No mosquitoes, just black flies.

We descended a couple miles and made it back to the parking lot by 2:30 p.m. There was a man trying to finagle his way into his car with a coat hanger, as he accidentally threw his keys in his backpack and shut the trunk. Dennis was able to wedge his door and the Portland man popped his lock. He was very relieved to get back into his car as he drove all the way from Portland and just wanted to hike.

We ended the day at Ben & Jerry's for some yummy creme brulee, lime/mango, and scrumptious hot fudge sundaes!

Clouds (photo by Mark Malnati)

On the trail (photo by Dennis Marchand)

Shadbush (photo by Mark Malnati)

NH - Central East

  Driving Directions   

View of Middle Mountain (photo by Mark Malnati)
  • From Rt. 16 in Conway, turn onto Artist's Falls Road (across from the Millbrook House). This will be a right-hand turn when heading north; a left-hand turn if heading south and is about a half-mile south of North Conway village.
  • After 0.3 mile on Artist's Falls Road, bear right onto Thompson Road.
  • After 0.4 mile on Thompson Road, turn right into the Pudding Pond Trail parking area, just before power lines cross the street.

Other Notes   

Note that there used to be a parking area at the far end of Thompson Road but parking is no longer permitted there; however you can still access that trailhead by foot. Park as described above, then walk 0.6 mile farther down Thompson Road to its end. Then follow the trail for 0.3 mile and you will end up at information kiosk #2. From here, going straight, you'd be following Peaked Mountain Trail up towards Peaked Mountain's summit. The trail that turns left at information kiosk #2 is the lower junction of Black Cap Connector that eventually (after 3.8 miles) leads to Black Cap summit (2369').

More Peaked / Middle Mountain Trail Reports   


View of Mount Washington (photo by Mark Malnati) View of Mount Chocorua (photo by Mark Malnati)


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