Rattle River

The following write-up is for the Rattle River Trail in to the Rattle River Shelter. It does not cover the trail beyond the shelter.

Estimated Time: 2-3 hrs roundtrip

Distance: 3.4 miles roundtrip

Level: Easy

Directions to the Trailhead

The hike into the Rattle River Shelter makes for a lovely stroll in the woods. With only 500 ft of elevation gain between the trailhead and the shelter, the trail is very gradual. The trail also almost always stays near enough to hear and sometimes see the river, which makes it quite peaceful. It is a relatively easy trail to follow (when hiking into the shelter you are hiking south along the Appalachian Trail) with white blazes predominately marking the trees.

The shelter makes a great destination for a lunch, or on hot summer days, a swim in the nearby hole appropriately dubbed “Bigfoot’s Bathtub”. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can pack a tent and proper overnight equipment and spend the night at the shelter. There is an outhouse there as well.

Mascot Pond

Estimated Time: 1-2 hours round-trip

Distance: 1 mile on trail round-trip (plus 2 miles on gravel roads round-trip to reach trailhead)

Level: Easy

Directions to the Trailhead

Mascot Pond makes for a great destination on a hot summer day, or when you want an easier hike to what feels like a remote location. To reach this trail, park at the Trestle Bridge in Gorham and follow the directions to the Mahoosuc Trail found here. It is a bit complicated to find, so make sure to follow the directions carefully. Once you reach the trailhead, take the Mahoosuc Trail as if you were heading to Mt. Hayes. Soon after you start up the trail you will cross under power lines. After just about 1/2 of a mile, you will reach the side trail to Mascot Pond on the right. Take this side trail. It is flat from this junction all the way to the pond, only one or two minutes down the trail.

mascot

From the sandy shores of Mascot Pond you will be able to see all the way to Mt. Washington on a clear day. If you turn around and look “behind” the pond, you will see a fairly large rock slide. Mascot Pond is also the site of the abandoned Mascot Mine. The mine was built in the 1880’s to extract lead, zinc and silver ores from the sides of Mt. Hayes. These materials were then sent via train to New Jersey. The buildings that once stood here are long since gone, but if you are feeling adventurous you can carefully climb up the rocky slope to some of the mine entrances. Today these entrances are gated off to protect over 1500 bats from five species that hibernate in the cave and Mascot Mine is the largest hibernaculum (location used for hibernation) in the state of NH!

Mascot Mine

Mascot Mine c. 1880s- Photo from Guy Shorey Collection