The Elwell Trail summits many small peaks (Little Sugarloaf (948') & Big Sugarloaf (1360'), Bear Mtn (1835'), Oregon Mtn (2301'), and Mt. Mowglis (2400'), before connecting to the Mowglis trail and heading up Firescrew Mtn and Mt. Cardigan (3155').
When comparing them to the peaks in the Rockies, they're tiny. But string them together with plenty of bouncing up & down, a trailhead situated around 600', and I finished with close to 5000' of climbing. I'm confident that when these trails were blazed 85 years ago, they had never heard of switchbacks. Every ascent was almost a straight shot up!
My folks dropped me off at the trailhead at 7:30am. Immediately, I disappeared into a thick forest. They had received ample rain in the days prior to our arrival, so my Wildcats were soaked through within the first mile. With that said, it didn't bother me much as they seem to drain & dry well. It was a windy & cool day, but I thought it was next to perfect for an autumn run. Enjoy the pics!
Newfound Lake from atop Little Sugarloaf
Newfound Lake from atop Big Sugarloaf
Newfound Lake...again...from atop Bear Mtn.
Example of why NH is called the "Granite State"...and why I "ran" 15 min miles. Yes, that is the trail.
Ah...running alone in black bear country...during hunting season. I did my best to be seen and heard. From atop Oregon Mtn....Firescrew is above my right shoulder.
There were several spots to open it up and fly. Although, a few surprises were hiding under those leaves...puddles, roots & rocks.
Even with decent signs, the trails were sometimes a challenge to follow. Can you tell which way the trail goes?
Mt. Cardigan summit from atop Firescrew Mtn. I learned quickly that was ice glistening on the granite.
The fire tower on Cardigan's summit
I ducked behind the concrete shed underneath the fire tower to get out of the 25-30 mph winds and sub-freezing windchills.
Coming down Cardigan on the Holt trail.
Had to do some "road" running at the end to meet up with my family at an apple orchard. I could run all day on roads if they looked like this!
The stats on the day were about 16.3 miles in 4:03. Tack on an additional hour for breaks (pics, food, bathroom, rocks in the shoes, etc).