Rattlesnake Island: I’d never been to Rattlesnake island before so when Petey came up with the idea of kayaking out to Scott Spence’s house for a visit I was on board. Scott has a summer place on Rattlesnake and Petey recently got a place in Alton. We’d done a road run from Petey’s place before and the time was right to check out Scott’s island paradise. Scott came up with a plan that had us meeting at 6am then kayaking, hiking, and running. It was going to be a full morning. I was up at 3am and out the door by 3:15am. My first stop was Gilmanton NH for a 4:30am run with Scott Clark. We ran for an hour over some very dark roads (and trails). It was cool and clear and great fun to chat with Scott. Then I was off to Alton.
I met up with Petey and Scott a little after 6 and we quickly got our selves set for the mile (plus) crossing. Scott had come across in the dark and noted that it was “choppy”. This was Petey’s first time kayaking and he nearly ended up in the water as he climbed in. The crossing was uneventful, and we covered the 1.5 miles in less than 30 minutes. It was windy and a bit choppy but not terrible. The view was excellent and the temperature (50-60) ideal. We landed at Scott’s dock and quickly changed into dry shoes for the hike.
Scott led us up a trail he had marked that connected to the Lakes Region Conservation Trust (LRCT) trail that runs most of the length of the island. We took a right (south east) and headed to the end of the island (which has a LRCT dock). After a couple of pictures we started back the way we came and continued on to the summit (879’) which is the highest point on Lake Winnipesauke. The day was just about perfect, it was warming up in the 70’s but there was a nice breeze and very low humidity. We continued on to the north end of the island. The official trail ended a little after the summit but residents can continue on a loop to the end of the island and back up to the summit. We did the loop and then hiked back down to Scott’s. The total hike was 5.05 miles with 1,379’ of climb/descent and many opportunities for fine views of the Belknap range, Ossipee’s, and even some of the White Mountains.
We took a short break at Scott’s then shuttled Petey back to Alton (via Scott’s “big boat”). After that we had a very scenic ride over to Wolfeboro. Scott and I finished our odd triathlon with a 4 mile run on the excellent Wolfeboro rail trail. It was a long day but great fun! Scott and I now co-own the Fastest-known-Time (FKT) for a traverse of Rattlesnake Island. Petey doesn’t count since he doesn’t have a Strava account 😊