Albany Mountain, White Mountain National Forest
If you hiked this mountain several years ago, you’ll notice the trail system has changed. Beaver activity has washed out the old Albany Notch Trail, at least on the northern side of this mountain.
The best way to tackle this wonderful mountain is to park at the trailhead off the dirt road that leads to Crocker Pond Campground. You can get here by driving down Patte Brook Road. Once you start hiking, you’ll first head out along a flat section of the trail and then start climbing. To reach the beautiful southerly views, follow the cairns for .4 miles along the ledges. Then relax, rest, and take it all in! It’s about two miles to the top.
You can also hike up the 2.2-mile Albany Notch trail, on the other side of the mountain. It doesn’t appear this is a popular way to hike, and there is no easy place to park at the bottom (unless you have a four-wheel drive and can drive along the pretty bad access road to the trailhead gate). This path can also be quite wet.
Directions: From Bethel take Route 5 south past Songo Pond and turn right onto the Patte Brook Road at the sign indicating National Forest Camping. Follow signs toward Crocker Pond Campground. (You’ll make a left onto Crocker Pond Road). Travel .6 miles to the trailhead on the right.
To reach the Notch Trail, follow Birch Ave. from Route 5, all the way to the end, past several camps. Look for a brown park sign pointing to Albany Notch Trail. You can park here, I think? Off to the side of the road. Or you can keep driving, as far as the trailhead gate, if possible. There are snowmobile paths at the trailhead gate, too, branching off in different directions. If your car isn’t tough enough for this, try to park off to the side of the narrow Birch Ave. Then follow the road in; eventually you will see yellow blazes.