Evans Notch is on the easternmost border of the White Mountain National Forest straddling New Hampshire and Maine. While it doesn’t boast any 4000 footers, the hiking trails and smaller peaks here are wonderfully scenic and well worth a visit with wide open vistas, moderate hiking, and few crowds.
One excellent excursion and a great hike for kids, is the Lord Hill Mica Mine, an open depression near the top of the mountain where mica crystals can be found on the surface of the rocks. There are a number of different routes to reach the mine but the most direct is via the Horseshoe Pond Trail off Deer Hill Road, a gravel road which has several other trail heads along it. Hike up the Horseshoe Pond Trail and the Conant Trail to Lord Hill. The mine is a short distance further on the Mine Loop trail. See the AMC White Mountain Guide for directions and more information.
When I hiked to the Mica mine, I started at the beginning of the Conant Trail, just off Deer Hill Rd near the Deer Hill Trailhead (a bit hard to find). The Conant Trail forms a big loop, climbing Pine Hill and Lord Hill, on the way to the mine. While these two hills are both under 1300′, the views from their north facing ledges are quite good. Funny how the best views are often from short mountains.
I also detoured to the Horseshoe Trail, following it to its base on Deer Hill Road. It drops about 700 feet from the Conant Trail but the return climb is not that bad. A side trail, actually a gravel road, leads to the pond. I hope to return to it in the not to distant future with a packraft to try my hand at fishing the pond.
The challenge of hiking these trails is trying to avoid hiking any section twice if you’re alone and can’t spot a second car. But the extra miles pass by quickly when there is so much to look at and look forward to.
Total Mileage: 9 miles with 2200′ of Elevation Gain