Map of Moose Mountain Trails
Moose Mountain is a small mountain on the Appalachian Trail near Hanover. While the view from the top is rather mediocre, it is an excellent spot for easy hiking, skiing, or biking trips. Moose Mountain is home to two student-built structures: Harris Cabin is located on the west side of the mountain, and Moose Mountain Shelter is located in between the north and south summits.
The north peak of Moose Mountain, at 2,300 feet, is the highest point within Hanoverâ€™s town boundaries. Where cleared pastures once bordered the summit of this long ridge, now the forest has grown back and returned Moose to its wilder past. For those whose picture of Hanover is limited to the busy intersection of Main and Wheelock Streets, this hike is an opportunity to see another side of town and to experience the rural landscape of the Upper Valley.
From the Green, follow East Wheelock Street up and over Balch Hill and down to the village of Etna in 4.3 miles. (In the earliest days of Hanover, several mills located along the brook here in Etna made this the commercial, center of town unlike the sleepy corner by the river where the new College was located). At the T junction in Etna, turn left onto Two Mile Road. After 0.8 miles, turn right onto Rudsboro Road, follow it along the brook for 1.5 miles, and turn left onto the dirt Three Mile Road. Follow this road as it ascends uphill, crests, and descends again. At the top of the next hill, 1.3 miles from Rudsboro Road, the AT crosses the road. Park in the small dirt parking area on the left.
Moose Mountain makes for a fun, though hilly, Bike n' Hike trip. The route up involves a lot of climbing, but passes some pretty streams, fields, and waterfalls. And if you go to the Moose Mountain Lodge rather than the Appalachian Trail, you'll get a much nicer view.
- From Robinson Hall, take East Wheelock to 120, turn right.
- Follow 120 south for about a mile, until you hit Greensboro Road. Turn left onto Greensboro.
- Follow Greensboro for two miles, then turn left onto Etna Road.
- Follow Etna for a mile and half, then turn right onto Ruddsboro Road.
- Follow Ruddsboro for two miles, then turn left onto Old Dana Road.
- After about half a mile on Old Dana, you'll see a road on the right and a sign for "Moose Mountain Lodge". Turn right!
- After about a quarter mile, Moose Mountain Lodge Road becomes very steep and rocky. This is a good place to park your bikes and walk the rest of the way up!
- Bikes can be rented from DOR. Mountain bikes are preferable, as the road can be rather rocky in places.
- Helmets! Remind your trippees to bring helmets. These can also be rented from DOR, or the attic of The Rock, if need be.
- Don't forget to bring a few bike locks to secure your bikes at the trailhead.
- The ride back is mostly downhill and can be very cold. If the weather is at all chilly, remind your trippees to bring windbreakers, hats, and gloves - then go ahead and bring some extras yourself.
- The people at Moose Mountain Lodge are very nice, and will give you maps and advice. If you're planning a trip when the Lodge is open, contact them beforehand, and you might be able to get them to cook a meal for your trip!
- Apparently there is a very pretty ridgeline trail called the "Orange Diamond Trail" near Moose Mountain Lodge. If you can find it, post a description here!
One of the most popular is to park the small pond noted on the map and ski to the summit using the remains of the old Clark Pond Loop trail. This is a pretty steep trip, so you'll definitely want to make sure all your trippees are comfortable on XC skis. If they're not comfortable and happy going up and down the hills on the golf course safely and under control, they're not going to have much fun on this trip. If they are, they'll probably have a blast.
There are lots of places to go from here. If you're headed to the summit, ski up the trail from the parking lot past the pond. Stay left at the first junction, and stay straight (rather than turning right) at the second. If all goes well, you'll come to a T-junction with the AT - take a right and you'll be at the summit in less than a mile. Return the way you came (on the map there is a second trail connecting to the AT - I was unable to find this trail). Moose is notorious for having many trails which are difficult to follow and poorly mapped. I found this map on the town of Hanover website, and marked out the route that (I think) I took. This route was open and well-travelled as of winter 2010. Leave yourself extra time, and bring a compass in case you get lost.
If you get back to the parking lot and you're still feeling energetic, go out on the pond and check out the beaver dams, race around, play silly ski games, and have a good time.
4/14/12 and 4/15/12 Leaders: Melinda Tascarella (14th) and Jeremy Brouillet (15th), Co-Leader: Jocelyn Powelson This weekend, we led Saturday and Sunday trips to Moose Mountain. The hike took around 4 hours each day including driving time and a 40 minute lunch break at the top. Weather and views were excellent on both days! On Saturday, we returned to our van on the AT via the same path that we went up. On Sunday, however, we returned on the Harris Trail, which reconnected with section of the AT that we hiked up. Overall, the AT trails were in good condition, with a few spots that might get muddy after a hard rain. The Harris trail was definitely muddier and in worse shape. This hike seems to attract quite a few students who are not normally involved in CnT/DOC.
4/20/14 Leader: Lexi Krupp, Coleader: Kathryn Waychoff Very similar to the hike two years ago, also large with students not normally involved in CnT/DOC. We went up the AT and returned on Harris, but returning on the Harris trail was extremely muddy and a little hard to follow (got slightly lost when following the map on the way down). There were fairly snowy portions of the AT and a bit of ice as well; we brought grippers but it wasn't bad enough to use them. It might be nice to have more signs directing the Harris Trail portion.
7/17/14 Group size: 5 Leaders: Greg Partridge and Fredrik Eriksson Weather: Clear Trail Conditions: Reasonably good, the AT South from the South summit should be re-blazed, and the connection between Harris and the AT was muddy. Description: We left campus around 6:30 AM, hiked up to the South summit by Harris trail and ate breakfast there, and had a nice view to the East. We hiked down by the AT and then the connector trail to Harris, arrived back at campus about 9:50 AM.