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I had some shopping to do in Plymouth and it was a balmy day so I took this opportunity to climb a few mountains in the Squam Range. Starting from the Rattlesnake parking lot I did the loop over Mt. Morgan and Percival - a very popular hike, as I found out. The start is below 1,000 feet and the climb is mostly through a very open oak-hickory forest (left). There are a number of stone walls in the middle of the forest (right), testimony to agriculture from 200 years ago - there are many such walls in Massachusetts but this is the first time I had seen them in the White Mountains.
Mt. Morgan has large flat ledges with a fantastic view of Squam Lake and Winnipesaukee in the distance. They are beautiful lakes seen from this perspective, full of islands and inlets. There were quite a few people at the top but the ledges are expansive enough that it didn't feel crowded. While at the top I got the news that Biden had been called the winner in the election and that made the view so much better. From there I went to Mt. Percival, which has essentially the same wide ledges and the same view (right). But there was also a nice view to the west of the spine of the Squam range (below left).
I went back down to complete the loop and crossed the road to climb Rattlesnake Mountain. This is a very well-graded trail, and as the guide says it receives quite a bit of use. Again, wide ledges at the top and a view that is all about Squam Lake (right), but now from much closer.