• M. J. Wild

Starr King and Waumbek Mountain

The view a few yards from the summit of Waumbek Mountain
Summit Waumbek

It was later than I had planned on starting, but it was early enough. 9 am wasn’t exactly my planned 6 am starting time but there was plenty of day. When we arrived at the parking lot I was surprised to see so many vehicles. I swear everyone has picked up hiking as their activity of choice.Was there this many people out on the trails last year? Did I just start earlier? I don’t know. I missed my quiet time with the trees and my antisocial introverted environment, but not today. People were out and about. We headed up the trail and I realized very quickly why I liked starting early in the morning. It was only 9 am, but the temperature already felt sweltering or maybe it was just me out of shape after quarantine. I didn’t remember struggling this much last year but last year I was smaller and more motivated. Winter had made me lazy then quarantine added on a couple pounds. It’s ok I thought, I’ll get it back. A mile up the trail and I was out of breathe and sweating profusely. Only about another mile and a half. I’ve got this, just keep going. Upon reaching Starr King Summit the trail levels off and the steady incline becomes a level ridge hike. I made it I thought to myself. Another 4,000 footer almost peak bagged. The summit of Waumbek is less than amazing. A pile of rocks is all there is to see. A few feet from the cairn marking the summit is a nice view of the Presidential Range, but is definitely not one of my favorite views. Another 4,000 footer bagged and tagged. I felt accomplished. We conquered another mountain top. On the way back down there was less talking and more self reflecting. It was a beautiful trail. No switch backs just a steady trail up and down. The forest was lush green and the birds sang among the trees. My feet screamed every time I slammed one down to the ground. It was clear how out of shape I am. I was relieved when I could see the trail head sign in view. We made it, we did it. My feet ached and my legs were sore but I felt amazing at the same time. Another one checked off my list.

Old well at the beginning of the trail
Old Well

Going into the woods is going home. -John Muir

Mount Waumbek:

Elevation: 4,006 ft.

Elevation Gain: 2,746 ft.

Location: Jefferson, N.H.

Rating: Moderate to Hard

Distance: 7.4 miles out and back

4,000 Footer

Starr King Mountain:

Elevation: 3,907 ft

Elevation Gain: 2,700 ft

Starr King is Mount Waumbek’s neighbor. Trail head starts just off Star King Rd. Beautiful wooded trail with a steady but relatively easy incline.

A fire place is all that remains of an old shelter
Old Fire Place

Trail head sign for Starr King and Mount Waumbek
Starr King Trail

Cairn marking the summit of Waumbek
Summit of Waumbek Mountain

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