Eric Morse and I were up early on Sunday morning and on the road an hour before sunrise. We got to the campground at the foot of Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain as it was getting light. The campground was closed and it looked like you weren’t meant to park there so we drove a mile further down Route 9N and parked at the big signed parking lot. This trail was nearly double the length of the shorter route but the grade and the footing would make it much more run-able. I threw a couple of pairs of Kahtoolahs into my pack just in case we were met with any ice along the way.
We shuffled along pretty easily with me having to stop multiple times due to an excessive amount of coffee drinking on the way to the trail. The first mile took just under 17 minutes (I never stopped my watch for any stops). The second mile had a couple of steeper pitches and also some nice scenery (beaver pond, cliffs, views) and we covered that mile in 16 minutes. We were on top in 42 minutes where we were met with some excellent views and some cool hoar frost coating the fire tower and the trees. We spent less than 5 minutes on top then scooted back down the same way. The running was very nice as the footing was mostly excellent, just a little ice and some spots with a lot of leaves. We were back down in 35 minutes for a total of 1:22:42 for 5.05 miles with 1,400’ of climb and drop.