Mt Hedgehog Summit from Eastern Ledges
Don't underestimate Mt Hedgehog (2,532 ft). Despite being the lowest elevation peak on the New Hampshire 52 with a View peakbagging list, this mountain has great views, lots of open ledge, and some steep climbing.
Mt Hedgehog is uniquely situated next to Mt Passaconaway, which towers over it's western flank. Just beyond Passaconaway, there are awesome views of the Tripyramids, with views of Mt Carrigan to the north and Mt Chocurua to the south east. It really doesn't get much better than this.
Mt Carrigan left, Webster Cliff and Southern Presentations to right
Mt Chocurua and the Sisters from eastern ledges
I climbed Hedgehog solo last week and managed to bare boot it in double plastic mountaineering boots. There wasn't a lot of snow on the lower part of the mountain, but it did increase on the higher ledges. Give it a few weeks and you'll definitely need microspikes or even full crampons when you hit the ice.
The ascent up Hedgehog starts gradually and then steepens. The path follows the UNH trail named after the University of New Hampshire camp that used to be situated here. The UNH trail creates a loop around the mountain: I hiked counterclockwise, which is probably easier given the amount of ledge on the western side of the summit.
While the views from the summit are great, they get better as you descend and loop around to the eastern ledges, which must be an awesome place to rest or picnic in milder weather. I could see Mt Chocurua and her sister peaks off to the southeast.
From here the descent continues along ledge and you can do serious damage to yourself if there is a lot of ice…like fall off a cliff or two. So beware, if hiking with dogs or children, regardless of the season.
After descending to the east, the trail travels through the woods and can be a bit wet or icy, depending on the season.
Total mileage for this hike was 4.8 miles with 1200 feet of elevation gain.