This was my first time climbing Mt Major, a very popular mountain with great views of Lake Winnipesaukee. I took the Boulder Trail up to the summit of Mt Major, then the blue trail to Straightback Mtn, then the Brook trail back down to the parking lot, for a distance of 5.8 miles.
This was a beautiful sunny day, with a high of about 75 degrees, and some light breezes, a perfect day for hiking. Bugs were not a problem. When I arrived at 11 AM, the parking lot had many cars and two buses. A group of local high school students were coming down off the mountain as I was going up.
The first dog I met was a Doberman named Spartacus. Before that, I met a friendly gentleman and asked him if there was a trail to Straightback Mtn. He told me it had good views, and I resolved to add it to my hike, which turned out to be a wise move. Mt Major is in all the guidebooks but I had not heard anything about Straightback. I had just seen it on the map with a trail to it. The topography on my guidebook's map was all wrong, and the positions of the trails were also all wrong. However, the trails themselves were well marked and easy to follow.
I reached the top of Mt Major at 12:23 and had lunch. There were gorgeous views of Lake Winnipesaukee. Many other hikers were arriving all the time, mostly up the Main trail which I didn't take. I met a firendly man with a brown dog named Gracie and we talked about the fun of hiking with dogs.
By 12:59 I was leaving Mt Major and making my way south to Straighback. Along the way I met two young ladies with five dogs. They told me they had hiked in from Jesus Valley Road, which is 1.5 miles from the summit of Straightback, and a very interesting, scenic way to go, as far as I could see. They continued on to Mt Major and I hoofed it to Straightback, arriving at 1:45 PM. Here I took in the views and had some snacks. You could see three ponds to the south and vistas in several directions. There was also a view of Belknap.
Leaving Straightback at 2:12, I hiked back to the yellow trail, called the Brook trail. From here it was 2.7 miles back to the parking lot. I finished the hike at 4:12 PM. Sometime around 3 PM it had clouded up and when I finally got back home to Newfane, VT it was raining.
This is a very delightful semi-loop hike. It would also be fun to climb Mt Major by way of the Jesus Valley Road as the ladies with five dogs did.