Dome Rock – Sept 15, 2012

We watched the forecast for Saturday and knew we needed to stay below treeline.  We also needed a “warm-up” hike to wake the legs up for a longer, more strenuous hike on Sunday.  After much debate between this hike, Imp Face and one other we settled on Dome Rock/Inlook Trail.

We started off at a packed Appalachia parking area (but then again when isn’t it packed).  At 9 a.m. we were forced to park on the road.  We quickly gathered our stuff and hit the trail.  The first trail was Valley Way and followed along side a brook.

This trail was graced with various fungus. Every where I looked there was a different type of fungus.

At .9 miles we hit an intersection of trails. We continued on Brookside for a smidge.  On the other side of Snyder brook, I noticed there THE largest boulder.

We then joined Inlook trail for .7 miles. We left a fairly easy graded trail for Inlook steepness.  To me this was typical White Mountain Hiking in the forest. Rocks and just going up and up.

Shortly after this, I stopped to catch my breath, when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I let out a big girly screech, which I normally don’t do.  A huge toad had landed in my path and scared that scream out of me.

This gave me a little extra energy , quickening my pace for the last push up to the ledges.

The trail at this point went from open ledges to forest to open ledges.  The views out and into the valley, were beautiful.

Cairns guided us along the ledges.

It was a bit windy up here, but at least the wind was pushing me into the rock, not over the edge.

After one last steep climb, we arrived at Dome Rock.

After a brief snack break, we headed back into the forest to Upper Inlook.

We than had one more spot for views before we descended on the Kelton Trail.

The Kelton trail was a simply beautiful hike in the woods.

There were some steep sections we descended, but the forest floor provided for soft landing, in case we fell down.

We joined the Howker trail for a bit. From here it joined the Sylvan Way.  The Sylvan Way followed along brooks and falls, on an easily graded trail for .6 miles.  If you wanted a waterfall hike, I would highly recommend the Sylvan Way.

We then had to cross the Snyder Brook to hop back on the Valley Way to return to our car.

This was a beautiful hike with a variety of views, from green shaded forest trails, to views that overlooked valleys to cascading brooks.  We loved this hike and would highly recommend it.

The Details:4.25 miles, 3 hrs, 1500 elevation gain. Trails hiked:  Valley Way, Brookside, Inlook, Kelton,  Howker Ridge, Sylan Way back to Valley Way. Trail maintenance has recently been done on the waterways, great job!!

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