It’s 3.6 miles long. It’s a hill climb, but one of the more benign trails in the region. The course record is 35:16—just under 10 minute miles.
Mount Moosilauke is the southwestern-most of New Hampshires 4000 foot peaks, and at 4802 feet it rises far above the surrounding landscape. The top 300 feet or so are devoid of trees (treeline in the northeast comes low) and only sedges and a few gnarled balsam fir grow amongst the rocks. It also marks the first time in 1000 miles northbound Appalachian Trail thru-hikers break above 4000 feet, and the first time in their trek from Georgia such hikers rise above the treeline. Dartmouth maintains a network of trails up the mountain, which used to have a carriage road to the top and a tip-top hotel which was run by the college in its later years (it burned in the ’40s). The views from the top are tremendous—ranging from the Adirondacks to Mount Washington—especially if it’s sunny and you’re not dry-heaving.
The trail starts uphill quickly, and soon crosses Gorge Brook. It used to follow the brook closely but now climbs above it, as it was washed out in Hurricane Irene last year. The new trail was built just this summer and was inordinately muddy—after that section every skier who didn’t have dark colored spandex on (most chose to wear more than shorts) had mud splotched up to their knees. The half mile of mud finally ended at the old trail, but it was still wet.