A bit of a late post here about a hike I did with my wife up to the summit of Mt. Israel in Sandwich, NH on Columbus Day. We wanted to do a longer hike, but having to deal with kids made us choose a hike we could fit into about 4 hours or so. I love the Sandwich/Squam Lake area, and the AMC book description of Mt. Israel sounded appealing.
There’s a few different approaches to the summit, accessible via Sandwich Notch Road. Yeah. Sandwich Notch Road. Sandwich Notch Road is more of a wide trail that was paved at one time, but has since been left to turn into whatever the cruel seasons of NH could throw at it. In other words, no place for my car, which rides pretty low to the ground. The lumps and bumps in the road were just too much for my nerve. I kept waiting to hear a hideous scrape that would signal some expensive repair. I wussed out probably 2 miles from the trail I wanted to start out on, Guinea Pond Trail. I turned around, and we parked at the trailhead for Bear Camp. From the AMC maps, we knew we could hike over to Mead Base, and then grab Wentworth Trail to the summit.
As it turns out, this was a happy accident. The half-mile or so over to Mead Base took us by some interesting caves and Beede Falls, as nice of a little waterfall as you could ask for, especially when you’re not looking for one.
The hike to the summit of Mt. Israel was a pleasant ramble through the autumn colors. The Wentworth trail is not overly steep, and footing was good. It’s not terribly well blazed, although it was easy enough to follow. The last few tenths were confusing, in that we didn’t see any signage, but thought we were at or very near the summit. In fact, we hadn’t gotten quite that far yet. We actually had to descend briefly, pass a sign for another trail, and then the summit was found shortly thereafter, marked by a large cairn.
The views to the north were good, with an eyeful of Mt. Sandwich, also known as Sandwich Dome. Enjoy a couple of summit shots below.