Hantwick Road TH to Bells Mountain Summit & Beyond

Hike Distance: 7.1 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 54.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 1730 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 8898 feet

This trailhead is the western end of the Murphy Grade trail, but today I used it to park while I access the forest road that leads to the summit of Bells Mountain.  It turned out to be a cloudy and cool day which felt like I was hiking in the clouds!

The road basically switchbacks up the northern side of this mountain, with plenty of road offshoots along the way.  This will give me plenty of hiking opportunities to explore these abandoned roads.  There were plenty of streams, that I passed by as ascending the road.  Right before I reached the summit there was a small quarry.  There was also a view, near this quarry, that gave a view of the valley, but it was obstructed by the low clouds.

I wound around the road and came out in a logged out area that still had many large fir trees standing.  This area was covered by the low cloud base, and the mood was ethereal!  I felt like dangerous animals could come out at any time.  I love this eerie mood and stayed around a while to get many photos, as you’ll see below. 🙂

The walk back down the road, to the trailhead, was a bit brutal on my ankles and heels.  The gravel on this road was coarse, and I was constantly trying to avoid the larger pieces.  Other than that issue, I loved the hike today.  I did meet a woman walking her dog at the beginning of the hike, and we had a nice conversation.  A truly great day!

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