Trip Report: Table Rock – Dixville Notch, NH

I’m going to sound like a wimp for admitting this, but anything that’s on the Terrifying 25 list always inadvertently gets put on the backburner. I mean it’s on the list for a reason, right? Given that I’m naturally clumsy and prone to disaster, I get to be over cautious. Alright, I’m making excuses.

A few weeks ago Rob and I knew we had a chance (also known as “ran out of excuses”) to tackle one of the Terrifying 25 hikes. I’ll preface this with saying that this hike was the shortest hike I’ve ever done at .1 miles each way but it was the steepest I have ever done as well. Yikes!

Intrigued yet? Meet Table Rock.

Table Rock

Getting There

One of the excuses I’ve been using for a long time to get out of this hike is the location. It’s way way way up there in New Hampshire. Like so up there my phone kept swapping over to Canadian cell phone towers. From Manchester, you’re looking at a solid 3.5 hour drive way up 93 North, then on to Route 3. If you hit Canada, you’ve gone too far. Fortunately the trip takes you through Franconia Notch and Dixville Notch so that’s pretty awesome. You know you’re there when you see the Balsams on the left!

Table Rock

The Trail

After the fact, I was informed that there’s actually a long and easier trail to get to Table Rock. I can’t seem to figure out where or what it is, so we’re going to talk about the goat path better known as Table Rock Climbing Trail. Now, stop for a moment and look at the name of that trail. What word should have given me a clue?

Table Rock

Knowing what I know now, I’ll share my lessons with you. This trail is steep. In fact, it’s so steep that I was wishing I had my rock climbing harness on in some parts because I thought I was going to fall backwards and slide. Of course, Yuri and Kina did fantastic. Evidently four legs instead of two and a low center of gravity make all the difference. I’m also going to admit I basically slid down the trail on the way back down. RIP the backside of my hiking pants. 😉

Table Rock

What else?

Let’s talk about the summit. I know other parts of the country have cool spires and ledges, but in New England we don’t have a lot of those so Table Rock is pretty special. It’s literally a kitchen table sized ledge with a massive drop off on three sides. I could be wrong, but I’m under the impression the drop is close to 900 feet. We picked an incredible windy day and even with Rob’s daredevil attitude and my love of heights, we still couldn’t venture out to the end safely. We’d love to try it again on a not so windy day.

 

As for dogs and kids, we knew what we were getting ourselves into and actually tied the pups up to a tree before continuing the ascent to the ledge (200-300 hundred feet of walking) and we’d really recommend you do the same. Puppies just don’t get heights like we do! Obviously tying up kids isn’t an option so please be super careful. Also, kids – no throwing anything off the ledge. There could be climbers below!

Happy hiking!

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About Jillian Bejtlich

Hey! I'm Jillian Bejtlich. I’m a lifelong New Englander with a serious love of the outdoors, adventure, and a pretty serious inability to sit still. I’m plagued by the travel bug, and it seems I’ll try any relatively sane and safe thing once. My big goal in life: Get people outside!