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Mt Martha and Owlhead, Jefferson NH


• 4-star hike
• 3.5 to 4.9 mile options
• Medium difficulty | Gain 1,850 to 2,400 feet
• White Mountains | Carroll NH
• Driving Directions: Trailhead


Views of the tallest of the Presidentials from Owlshead

If behind every great man is a great woman, then Martha Washington deserves to be represented by a New Hampshire mountain similar in size to Mount Washington. Although only at an elevation of 3,573, at least the summit of Mount Martha has a great view from which to keep an eye on her husband's namesake.

Mount Martha 4★
3.5 mi, Out & back, Medium, Gain 1850 ft
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

Beginning at the trailhead by Route 113, the 1,700 foot tall Cherry Mountain Trail plots a virtual straight line to the mountain's ridge without a switchback in sight. In neither direction does the trail feel steep or overly rocky, though depending on your fitness level your thighs may still have something to say about that.

Mt Martha, Mt Martha & Owlshead

Mt Martha & Owlshead 4★
4.9 mi, Out & back, Medium, Gain 2400 ft
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails

Based on reports of limited views from the summit we chose to skip the 2 mile and 330 foot out-and-back trek to Cherry Mountain from the ridgeline junction. Instead we headed North for 0.2 miles to bag Mount Martha which offers some White Mountain views through the trees. Continuing North along the ridgeline for a further 0.7 miles to Owlshead was certainly the right choice for us. The easy going ridgeline trail known as Martha's Mile provided some great views of the presidential range and led to the only difficult part of the trail - a rock scramble up to the pointy summit of Owlshead. Negotiating this is worth it however as the views just before the summit are excellent and expansive.

This trail is known to be muddy in April and May, and in summer becomes rather buggy due to a nearby creek running alongside. We also encountered a surprising number of bullfrogs hanging out on the trail, though we chose to think that they were all able to leap out of our way as we came stomping back down the mountain.

Note that this Owlshead peak (3,268ft) is not to be confused with another Owl's Head Mountain (3,629ft) some 15 miles South, ringed by 4K peaks including Lincoln, Lafayette, Garfield and Bond. A hike for another day, perhaps.


Easy going on the ridgeline between peaks.


Partial views from Mount Martha.

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