Saturday, I started what I had hoped to be a week long trip to the high peaks (see Allen for why it wasn't). The hike in to the flowed lands was nice. Took about 2.5-3 hours with a 60 pound pack. The weather was wonderful and the trail is a well traveled and easy to moderate trail. I got to the Calamity lean to and found a campsite a short ways away and set up camp. By 10 AM, I was on the trail to go up Marshall.
I went up via Herbert Brook, and boy, what a beautiful hike that is. The trail was pretty good and only a couple bad spots. As with many herd paths, this literally goes up the side of the brook, and at times, up the brook itself. What I wasn't expecting was the vibrant green that I was seeing. At point the brook was surrounded by so much bright green moss and algae that it looked like what you would expect Ireland to look like. The top itself was treed in, but I did go to a couple overlooks off to the side and the views of the park were great. The views of Colden though were much better on the climb up.
I then decided to go down via the Cold Brook trail (no longer maintained). I am glad I went down it and not up it. What a PITA that trail was. The guidebook mentions the herd path between the trail and the peak is steep. I had a couple points where I had to ask myself, how do I get down? The trail itself wasn't much better. Overall though, it was tough but a good hike none the less. Final mileage for the day was 10.5 miles.