Clark Summit, at an elevation of about 1600 ft, is the highest point in Deering and is one of our town’s most visible landmarks. Clark Summit is not located in conserved land. The land where it is located is owned by His Mansion Ministries, which is situated at the base of Clark Summit.
Clark Summit is named for Clark Vandersall Poling, who grew up in Deering. A plaque of bronze has been placed into a rock at Clark Summit commemorating Army Lt. Poling who, along with three other chaplains, gave up their lives to help sailors when their ship was torpedoed by a German U boat in the North Atlantic in February 1943.
How to get there. Parking for the trail to Clark Summit is on the grounds of His Mansion, following Wolf Hill Rd from Deering Center Rd. (NH Rt. 149). Wolf Hill Rd runs from Deering Center Rd to Old County Rd, but in Winter and Spring Wolf Hill Rd might not be passable in a car beyond His Mansion.
Please contact me if you would like to download a map of the trail for your mobile device here.
The trail to Clark Summit is about 1 mile in length from the parking area. The trail begins as an access road to the telephone tower on Wolf Hill. The road to the tower follows a gentle slope. There is a nice picnic area and panoramic view just beyond the telephone tower. From this overlook one can see Mt Lovewell, in Washington.
The trail continues beyond Wolf Hill through a gap in a rock wall on the left as you face the view. The trail is well worn and easy to follow. There are white blazes on some trees, and arrows at points where there could be confusion due to the many trails on Clark Summit. The trail drops down to a saddle from Wolf Hill. The descent is steepish but the trail is even underfoot. Initially it passes through open mixed conifer and hardwood forest. There are patches of two evergreen ferns here and there. The wood fern is in shaded areas and the rock polypody is found a little higher up and in somewhat more exposed places. From the saddle the trail ascends to the summit, first gradually but becoming steeper as you get higher. As you approach the summit the trail passes over smooth rock in exposed places. Reindeer lichen grows on exposed rock. Please try not to walk on the reindeer lichen because it grows very slowly after being disturbed.
All in all the trail is not very challenging but requires a reasonable level of fitness. The view from Clark Summit is wonderful, making the effort well worthwhile The hike can be made easily in an afternoon. It took me a little over 45 minutes steady walking to descend from the summit to the parking area.
This would be a nice walk for a family with preteens and teenage kids. It would not be difficult to bring the makings of a picnic to Wolf Hill, but remember that this is private property to which His Mansion kindly allows visitors access. Take out anything you bring in and otherwise be respectful. If you plan an outing with more than a few cars, check with His Mansion first.