Monday, June 11, 2012

Trail Report: Zealand Trail up to Zealand Falls

I have always gone by the Zealand Campground, but never thought about going up the Zealand Road to hike. The last time I drove by the road, I thought maybe it was about time to drive up it and hike. So, this past weekend, I took my husband, and stepson on a hike up to Zealand Falls.. I have always wanted to see the hut and check out the area. To get to the Zealand Trail that takes you to the hut, you need to drive on Route 302. You will see Zealand Campground and a sign for Sugarloaf Camground, take that road which is called Zealand Road. There are three hiking parking stops on the way up, we went to the very last one which was at the end of the road. The road is 3.5 miles to the parking lot. You need a pass, or you can pay $3.00 dollars at the station when you get there. This helps pay for taking care of the area so more people can enjoy hiking.
PAY STATION near the trail! so don't forget your money!
We started on the trail at about 11:30 o'clock. My stepson took the lead and followed the trail. The trail was mostly wide at the beginning and clear. There had been a lot of rain the week before so some places were muddy. The 2.7 miles to Zealand Falls Hut and has some wonderful views along the way. We loved being in between mountains and soon we were near water. Pools of water where you  can see beaver dams and fish swimming. This was also a great place for moose to hang out though we didn't see any. The area was just lovely and they had some walking bridges, wooden pathways and logs for going over some of the water which my stepson loved. He enjoyed looking in over the water to see the fish and other small water creatures.
The view near one of the pond. It was so peaceful.

The logs and walkways over the water
The trail is mostly a gradual uphill hike, until you get very close to the hut. The last .2 miles in a long uphill rocky path. This part my stepson didn't care for and wanted to stop every few feet, though I tried to push him on for he wants to hike Mt. Washington this year. The Zealand Falls was beautiful. The hut was so clean and well taken for of. The place was very in-visiting and I looked around at the rooms. We also ate lunch at the Falls which you can go see to the left of the hut. We made it to the hut around 1:00ish. It was a great hike for children too! It was a wonderful day adventure!
The Rock stair path to the Hut

Zealand Falls Hut

The view from the Falls where we had lunch

Inside the Zealand Falls Hut

My Favorite: The view from the Zealand Falls Hut ... Crawford Notch

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