Mt. Israel

A beautiful hike through fall foliage.

Today was another spectacular fall day in New Hampshire. I enjoyed a lovely early-morning drive across the rolling hills of center-western portion of the state, around Squam Lake, and past the trailhead for my prior Morgan-Percival hike, to the pretty village of Center Sandwich. My destination was Mt. Israel, seen in photo of fall colors above a roadside wetland. Read on and check out the gallery.

A pretty roadside view on Rt113 in NH. A shoulder of Mt. Israel peeks out at right.

The trail itself wound up through a hardwood forest, in which the chipmunks and squirrels were constant companions. It seemed I never was far from the sounds of them scurrying among the dried oak leaves, long since fallen, as they searched for acorns and other seasonal bounty. Indeed, it appears we may be in for another banner year for squirrels in 2021, judging by the bumper crop of acorns here in fall 2020.

Oak acorns on the trail to Mt. Israel.

Mt. Israel has a rocky summit with outstanding views of Mount Moosilauke in the distance and Sandwich Dome in the near foreground. I had seen no other hikers on the climb up, but as I was enjoying that summit I was fortunate to encounter another man emerging from the trees beyond the summit. He pointed me to an unofficial trail that led down to an eastern-facing ledge with a spectacular view across the valley to the Sandwich Range and to the near side of Maine. I marveled at the vast, colorful valley, completely empty of roads or human habitation, right here in the center of the state. There are a few rarely-used trails in this valley, which I really should visit someday.

View of Sandwich range from Mt. Israel.

Several more photos in the gallery – it really was a beautiful day!

Hike stats:
Mt. Israel summit – 803m (2636′)
distance 6.52km
ascent 501m
time (including stops) 2h 5m

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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