Mt Martha at Cherry Mt, Jefferson NH


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


Views of the tallest of the Presidentials from Owlshead

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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 3,556 Mount Martha has a great view from which to keep a watchful eye on her husband's namesake.

This area creates no end of nomenclature issues by the way. Based on even the most modern maps, the tallest of the range of peaks on Cherry Mountain is marked at Mount Martha (3,556 ft) yet many sites only refer to this point as Cherry Mountain. Worth visiting for it's great views, Owlshead (3,257 ft) is another peak we visit on this route, but it should not be confused with the 4,035 foot Owl's Head further south in the White Mountains.

Martha, Martha & Owlshead Expand Map

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 prominence of 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 & 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.

A narrow forest trail winds through a lush green forest. The path is well-trodden, covered in grass and foliage. Sunlight filters through the dense canopy, creating dappled light on the path.
Easy going on the ridgeline between peaks.


Partial views from Mount Martha.

Tangents:
• Public Map at AllTrails: Cherry Mt Trail • Nearby Trails: Show on map

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