Crash on Mt Success – The Plane Truth

When Caroline suggested a hike on Mt. Success, I had my doubts.  A long drive for an obscure mountain…

Remains of Northeast Airlines Flight 792

…that has a plane crash from 1954 on it.  You can find out more about the crash here, a blog by one of my favorite photographers.

Our route – note the plane crash is on the AT corridor boundary

The easiest access is the Success Trail from the west, which is what we took, after a rough drive on the Success Pond Road out of Berlin, NH.  (We took it very slowly in our little car – a high-clearance car would be better.)  Otherwise you’ll need to follow the Appalachian Trail for a longer distance.  The trail was like most in this part of the country – starting gently and then getting progressively steeper until you reach the Outlook Loop.By all means, don’t miss the Outlook.

The Outlook on Mount Success

Take the entire loop because if you turn around after the first view, you’ll miss the best part.After the Outlook, the trail is much gentler, going through some marshy areas before joining the AT on its way to the top.

Mt Success summit

Mt Success summit looking south

View from Mt Success southern ledges

As you can tell, the views from the top are wonderful, although the Outlook’s views were more dramatic.

But the point of this was to see the plane crash.  Other blogs talk about finding a side trail with orange or yellow blazes to the site.  I’d like to correct that misconception here.  It turns out the wreckage is located directly on the Appalachian Trail corridor boundary.  This boundary is marked with yellow blazes but is definitely not a trail!  If it’s helpful to you, the coordinates of the crash are N44° 28.0214′ and W71° 2.5490′.  As you start down the south side of the mountain, there will be many small tracks working their way to the boundary.  Once you see the boundary blazes you can follow them (and the tracks of other hikers) to the site.

Mt Success plane crash wreckage

Mt Success plane crash

Mt Success plane crash wing remnant

The wreckage is interesting…and sobering.  Flying machines don’t do very well when they meet up with a mountain.  What remains is surprisingly well preserved and visitors have generally left it intact.

Now it was time to return.Once you’ve made your way back down the mountain and back into Berlin, there’s no better place than the Northland Restaurant for an ice cream reward for your effort!

Happy travels!

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