South Hancock 4,319 Ft, Hancock 4,420 Ft
Hancock Notch Tr, Cedar brook Tr, Hancock Loop Tr
With only six more mountains left in my second round of the forty eight I was eager to make it up north. My boss Josh was also along to get in a good hike so with a good cold weather hike I chose the Hancocks for us this week. The wonderful loop hike has great views and the south Hancock trail is a leg burner challenge fit for any hiking enthusiast. With our fairly normal starting time we were able to experience the cold air blowing along the roadway of 112. It was a cold start, but as soon as we started hiking I was down to a t shirt. The beginning of this hike is a long flat stretch that works as a great warmup, there are a few water crossings but nothing to worry about. They were easily hoped over.
Now when you get to the parts on the Ceder Brook trail where the water crossings are you have a choice to follow a bushwack along the side of the brook as opposed to making the next 3 water crossings. We opted to go this route. It is totally up to you but the trail is easy enough to follow and if you happen to lose it just stay along side the brook and you will catch back up with the trail.
When we got to the Hancok Loop trail we noticed a camp off in the woods. It looked like a cozy little place to spen the night. There were a good amount of camp spots on this trail if anyone is so interested in making this trip a bit longer or perhaps making a long loop out of it. So bring your sleep set up if you the type.
At this point we were passed by a couple of trail runners making their way over the loop in reverse order of our trip. We decided to go up South and down Hancock. So we parted ways and made our way up the steep slopes of South Hancock.
Frost was the word of the day as we were making way up the steep trail to South Hancock. we were making really good time and we hit the summit about 10:30 or so. It was now really cold as I tried to layer up from the t-shirt I was wearing. My hands did not want to work as I tried putting my gloves on and once I did I still needed Josh’s help opening my beer as my hands had lost their utility. We enjoyed a beer while I grabbed some pictures from the lookout point of Carrigain in the distance.
The ridge trail between the two mountains is not very difficult at all and the 1.4 mile trip went quickly as we sat in the clouds on the rocks of Hancock. We opened another beer and had a snack hoping that the clouds would lift if only for a short time. To our enjoyment they did and we got the best views of the day at this point. Shortly after the clouds lifted there was another group of guys that joined us for hearty conversation and a summit beer it was a great time.
The trip down Hancock was a lot easier that it would have been going down South Hancock and it is the recommended way of doing this loop. If you avoid the crossings using the path I explained earlier then this hike is an easy way to get two 4k’s in one hike. Thanks to Josh for going on the hike with me and it was great to meet all the folks out on the trail. This trips beer selection was Moat Mt’s Oktoberfest. It was delicious and a perfect match for the day. Check out the Moat mt. selection of pint cans for a great hiking addition. See you all next week!