Hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH

Hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NHLocation: West Rattlesnake Mountain, Holderness, NH
Date: November 11, 2014
Distance: 2.41 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 489 feet
Our Hiking Time: 2 hours, 23 minutes round trip
Trail Blaze: Yellow Rectangles
Difficulty: Easy

Trail Map

When I resigned from my inner-city high school teaching job in June, I also left behind my position as advisor to the Outdoor Adventures Club. It was not easy for me, but I was elated when Kendra told me she was eager to take the reins and applied for the job. She was officially hired last week – so naturally we had our first hike this past Tuesday!

When Kendra asked me for ideas for the first trip, I suggested hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH.  The club has done this hike before, but what keeps us coming back is the incredible bang for the buck – an easy one-mile hike up the Old Bridle Path Trail leads to incredible views of Squam Lake below.

Hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH

The view of Squam Lake below West Rattlesnake Mountain

On last year’s hike, I took Addie, who was three at the time, and Kate, who was just shy of eight weeks old. Kendra stayed home with Evan. This year, Kendra organized the entire trip and rode on the bus with the students and Addie, while I drove up with the twins. It was kind of awesome – no handing out gear or counting and recounting to make sure we had everyone. Although I did miss sleeping on the bus… there’s nothing like a post-hike nap on the ride home.

We met the bus at the parking lot. I arrived early so I could get the twins ready to go. There’s a bit of prep work when we take them hiking – pre-hike diaper changes, pulling on fleece jackets and hats, making sure the pack is loaded with extra diapers, clothes, sippy cups, and snacks. The weather was unseasonably warm for November – almost 50 degrees. I ended up hiking in shorts and a t-shirt!

Hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH

Evan and Kate ready to hike!

Because we had 48 students ready to hike, we split into several smaller groups and staggered our start times as we headed up the trail. I carried Evan up, and Addie hiked with me, while Kendra carried Kate and led a different group. Addie and I had a blast – she found lots of “fairy homes,” and practically skipped up the trail.

Hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH

Hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH

Of course, as soon as we hit the summit, she ditched us and had lunch with the kids. I think she was enticed by their pumpkin spice oreos – and I can’t really blame her. They were pretty amazing.

Hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH

Addie eating lunch at the summit with the high school kids.

Addie hung with the high school kids until Kendra’s group made it up the trail. As soon as she realized her friend Eva was in that group, she came running over to us and they set off to explore the summit. Meanwhile, Evan and Kate had a blast playing in – and eating – the rocks and dirt.

Hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH Hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH

After about 30 minutes of eating and enjoying the view, we snapped a group picture and headed back down the trail. Addie, Kate and I hiked with Eva and her mom Nan (our friend and fellow teacher). It was awesome to catch up – I miss seeing my old work friends every day.

Hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH

48 high school students, four little kids, and five adults!

Hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH

The family that hikes together…

Hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH

Kendra, Evan, and Nan

By the time we got to the parking lot, the kids were just loading onto the bus. Never one to miss an opportunity to ride on a school bus with the big kids, Addie went with Kendra and I drove home to the sound of snoring twins.

Directions to the trailhead:

GPS Coordinates: 43.790428,-71.549076

From I-93N: Take exit 24 for US-3/NH-25 towardAshland/Holderness. Turn right onto NH-25 E/US-3 S/Daniel Webster Hwy/Main St. Continue to follow NH-25 E/US-3 S/Daniel Webster Hwy for 4.4 miles. Turn left onto NH-113/Squam Lake Rd. In 5.5 miles, the parking lot will be on your right.

From I-93S: Take exit 25 toward Plymouth State University/Holderness School. Turn left onto NH-175A E/State Hwy 175A E. Continue onto NH-175 S. In 4.7 miles, turn left onto NH-25 E/US-3 S/Daniel Webster Hwy. In 1.1 miles, turn left onto NH-113/Squam Lake Rd. In 5.5 miles, the parking lot will be on your right.

About Jen

Outdoor adventurer and traveler. Writer, Photographer & Communications Professor. Wife. Mom of twins plus one. Tubbs Snowshoes Ambassador. Blogger at gayfamilytrips.com.

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2 Responses to Hiking West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, NH

  1. Janeiack November 15, 2014 at 7:00 am #

    I was smiling throughout the entire read. Thank you for continuing to fight Environmental Deprivation in the next generation. I surely thought the twins would slow you, but I was wrong.

  2. Kate November 15, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    What an adventure! So impressed with that huge crew of kids! Love Addie’s sunglasses–what a rock star, and what an amazing view to reward yourself at the top–will certainly keep those highschoolers coming back for more.

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