Giant via Hopkins -The trail from the summit of Hopkins Mountain to the summit of Giant is Mountain extends 3.2 miles and ascends more than 1,600 feet. The trail joins the North Trail to Giant at the 1.7-mile mark, from there it is an additional 1.5 miles to the summit of Giant. The total length and ascent of the hike to Giant Mountain via Hopkins will depend on the approach taken to the summit of that mountain. See below for information on trails to the summit of Hopkins Mountain. The Hopkins trail map (PDF) is available to view and download.
From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 9N, south of Keene, follow Route 9N toward Elizabethtown. Continue for 5.75 miles to the trailhead for the Giant Mountain Wilderness on the right. Park in the parking lot and begin by following the dirt road.
From the parking area you will begin following a dirt driveway for a short distance before dropping into the woods. From here you will have the pleasure of hiking though a very attractive mixed forest. The climb is easy for the first mile to a crossing of Slide Brook, after which it is steady but never steep. The trail rounds out atop a ridge at 2.5 miles, where there's a short, steep, 0.1 mile spur trail to the lookout. The summit has wide open views in almost all directions.
Owl Head Lookout stats
- Elevation: 2,530 feet
- Elevation gain: 1,257 feet
- Distance: 2.6 miles to the lookout
Owl Head Lookout in winter
Owl Head Lookout is an excellent snowshoe excursion, and it's perfect for beginners looking to spend a little more time in the woods. Snowshoes will suffice on the generally well-packed trail. Expect a significant drop in temperature as elevation is gained, and be prepared for wind on the open ledge. Always bring extra layers, especially for higher elevations, and don't hesitate to turn around if the weather starts to turn.