Mt. Waternomee B18 Bomber Crash Site

Destination:  Mt. Waternomee B18 Bomber Crash Site (2535')
Trails:  Walker Brook Road, B18 Crash Trail
Region:  NH - Central West  
White Mountain National Forest, Moosilauke Region
Location:  Woodstock, NH
Rating:  Moderate  
Features:  Plane crash site, brooks, waterfall
Distance:  6.0 miles  
Elevation Gain:  1585 feet (cumulative)  
Hiking Time:  Typical: 3:50  
Outing Duration:  Typical: 5:15  
Season:  Summer
Hike Date:  09/16/2007 (Sunday)  
Last Updated:  12/24/2013  
Weather:  Sunny
Author:  Mark Malnati

Plaque at B18 Bomber crash site
(photo by Mark Malnati)
Plaque at B18 Bomber crash site (photo by Mark Malnati)
Route Summary   

This hike starts on Walker Brook Road, and then follows the unmaintained B18 Crash Trail part way up Mount Waternomee to the place where a Douglas B18-A bomber plane crashed in 1942. Remnants of the plane as well as two plaques are located at this site.

  • Walk past the gate and continue walking along Walker Brook Road for 1.4 miles until it ends at a circular field.
  • Turn right onto a trail that should be marked with a small cairn and/or surveyor's ribbon. This turn is at about the one o'clock position when you enter the field; or northwest if you prefer to use a compass.
  • Walk for about 0.3 mile, then cross the brook (a tributary to Walker Brook) at a point where there is a metal stake with survey ribbon on the far side of the stream.
  • You are now 1.3 miles away from the wreckage site. You will first parallel the stream, and then climb some, and then the trail levels out for a bit. At the end of this level area, be on the lookout for a tall waterfall that will only be partially visible through the woods. Then climb steeply up the trail, the rest of the way to the crash site.
  • Be sure to keep walking in order to see all the plane remnants. You will first encounter the engines, then two memorial plaques mounted on boulders, and the wings will be farther up.
  • After exploring, retrace your footsteps to return to your vehicle.

Place         Split
Miles
     Total
Miles
Gate at Walker Brook Road (1210') 0.0 0.0
Jct. Walker Brook Road/B18 Crash Trail 1.4 1.4
B18 Bomber Crash Site (2795') 1.6 3.0
Jct. Walker Brook Road/B18 Crash Trail 1.6 4.6
Gate at Walker Brook Road (1210') 1.4 6.0

Stay overnight in a tipi
Gift Certificates Available

 


Very small cairn marking where B18 Crash Trail leaves from Walter Brook Road (photo by Mark Malnati)
Very small cairn marking where B18 Crash Trail leaves from Walter Brook Road (photo by Mark Malnati)


"LE CERCLE FRANÇAIS"
Potluck supper and French conversation. Every third Thursday in Thetford, VT. Call (802) 785-4311 for directions and information. All levels of proficiency welcome. Free... just bring a dish to share.
Next Cercle: May 15 2014

 

Map of hike route to the B18 Bomber crash site on Mt. Waternomee (map by Webmaster)


Trail Guide   

After parking at the gate, I walked west along the Walker Brook Road. I crossed a wooden bridge after which the road narrows and hooks left, there is a trail on the right. The road ended at a circular field, the entrance to the trail is on the northwest side and is marked with a very small cairn. I followed the trail and occasional surveyor's tape through the woods; the trail met Walker Brook and after five minutes ended at a water crossing.

Debris field at plane crash site
(photo by Mark Malnati)
Debris field at plane crash site (photo by Mark Malnati)
The crossing had surveyor tape on one side of the water and more tape holding a soda can on the other; not the best markers. I crossed the water then followed the trail up a hill where I met several trees with surveyor tape, none of them took me anywhere. I tried several paths – they were all dead ends. I went back to the water and walked upstream about 150 feet from the surveyor tape and found a trail that paralleled the river. I walked a couple of hundred feet, then the path turned west and up a hill. I followed this path, for about an hour, to the crash site. (For those using GPS equipment, the crash site was at coordinates N 44 00.500 W 71 46.8.)

The crash site is littered with pieces of the B18 over a large area, most of it is not recognizable. The wings are largely in place, the landing gear and the engine are identifiable, the rest is twisted pieces of wreckage of varying sizes.

In the middle of the site there is a bronze plaque mounted on a large stone and someone has hung an American Flag near there.

The return trip was much easier, I ran into a couple of hikers who had lost the trail in the same place that I had. After giving them directions I finished the hike to the car.

Wing from B18 Bomber (photo by Mark Malnati)
Wing from B18 Bomber (photo by Mark Malnati)
 


Landing gear from B18 plane crash (photo by Mark Malnati)
Landing gear from B18 plane crash (photo by Mark Malnati)


 


NH - Central West



  Driving Directions   

Access to the trail is in Woodstock, New Hampshire.

From I-93
  • Take exit 32 for Rt. 112 (also known as Kangcamagus Highway).
  • Go west on Rt. 112 for approximately 3 miles.
  • Turn left onto Rt. 118 South and follow it for 0.8 mile to arrive at Walker Brook Road on the right where there is a small parking area.
  • Walker Brook Road is gated about 100 feet or so from Rt. 118.
  • This hike starts on the road beyond the gate.

Other Notes   

Read about the B18 crash and rescue story.

More Mt. Waternomee B18 Bomber Crash Site Trail Reports   


Engine from B18 Bomber (photo by Mark Malnati)
Engine from B18 Bomber (photo by Mark Malnati)
 
 

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