Monday, October 19, 2020

Arethusa Falls - the highest waterfall in New Hampshire


"Arethusa Falls in the White Mountains is the highest waterfall in New Hampshire."

This remark was enough for me to want to hike to the Falls and to ask my son Tim and our friend Mark to join me.
There are a few options to hike to the Falls. The easiest is to hike from the Arethusa trailhead on Route 302, directly across the road from Dry River Campground, uphill over a steady plethora of rocks and roots for 1.5 miles, clearly marked with blue paint blazes.




The second option, which we took, is one-tenth of a mile from the trailhead, Arethusa Trail meets the junction of Bemis Brook Trail, where you bear left on a marked yellow paint blazed trail along the Bemis Brook, and you hike to the brook via short spurs to see Fawn Pool, Coliseum Falls, and Bemis Falls. Bemis Brook Trail is very scenic, but can be challenging with plenty of rocks and roots.



At six-tenths of a mile, the Bemis Brook Trail takes a right and goes sharply uphill where I had to use my hands and knees, with help from pull-me up-trees, to climb for less than a tenth of a mile to intersect back to join Arethusa Trail. Admittedly, I had heavy breathing as my body worked harder to get enough oxygen.

There on, Arethusa Trail is maintained with granite steps, two wooden footbridges over descending Bemis Brook, and walk-over wooden planks laid in muddy run-offs. At 1.3 miles, the steady uphill Arethusa Trail intersects the Arethusa-Ripley Falls Trail, but you continue left on Arethusa Falls Trail, climbing a steeper set of steps before descending to the Falls.

We relished the sights and sounds of the 200-foot waterfall. We returned 
directly to the trailhead on Arethusa Falls Trail. 
We could have taken Bemis Brook Trail on our way back down, but we wanted to take the most physically challenging Bemis Brook section at the beginning of the hike.

We savored the amazing New Hampshire foliage rainbow and sun soaked cornucopia of yellows, red, and orange-colored leaves.

The return hike was one hour.

On this mid-October weekday, we found the Trail somewhat busy, and I hear on weekends the Trail is enjoyed by families and leashed dogs.

Our overall time, with stops at the Bemis brook spurs, regular sips of water and energy bar stops, and time at the Falls was three hours.

Never say, "I wish I had hiked to Arethusa Falls.

The hike to Arethusa Falls was well-worth taking , and one can imagine that in the rainy season, the roar and spray of the waterfall would be even more awe-inspiring.

Click below and hike the Arethusa and Bemis Trails with Steve, Tim and Mark.


References


++++++++++++++++++
"Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Kindle and hardcopy at Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH.

Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics.



Additional Sources of Books at:
Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

Monday, October 12, 2020

Scouting the Connecticut River for NFCT Section 7

In late September The NH Humanities Zoom presented The Connecticut: New England's Great River. The largest river in New England.  I hiked many times into the Fourth Connecticut Lake, the headwaters of the Connecticut River on the Canadian Border.

My self-proclaimed fame is straddling the Connecticut at its Fourth Connecticut Lake tiny trickle of a stream, as is begins its 400+ mile trip to empty into the sea at Long Island Sound. In one area of its journey, the Connecticut is nearly half a mile across.  The Connecticut is America's only watershed-based national fish and wildlife refuge. 

The very information presentation was by Adair Mulligan, an environmental biologist and natural resource planner. Adair is currently Executive Director of the Hanover Conservancy.

Adair's excellent presentation mentioned the Northern Forest Canoe Trail Section 7, and an eye-catching aerial slide of the Connecticut's Maidstone oxbow segment. 

A section of the River close to Maidstone Bridge is called Maidstone Oxbow. Oxbow means the River has twists and turns similar to a letter U of an oxen yoke. The River between Maidstone Bridge and the Wyoming Bridge, an approximately eleven-mile paddle of the River, is about a 7-mile drive between Maidstone Bridge and Wyoming Bridge. 


Our Assignment

I had never paddled the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) Section 7 from the DeBanville Landing, Bloomfield, VT, to the Wyoming Bridge in Guildhall, VT.

I suggested to my wife and paddling partner, Catherine, that maybe we should take a foliage ride to northern New Hampshire and while there, scout this Connecticut River section. And, while we were going in that direction, why not bring our canoe with us. Yes, was her response. 

Maidstone Oxbow identified in Red from Maidstone Bridge to Wyoming Bridge

Enjoy the below video as Catherine and I scout this section of the Connecticut 



Our Scouting Report

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail Section 7 follows the Connecticut River for 20+ miles from the Nulhegan River's confluence in Bloomfield, Vermont, to a meeting with the Upper Ammonoosuc, near Groveton, NH.  Friends and I have paddled many sections of the NFCT, but not section 7.

Catherine and I decided because of Adair's oxbow picture slide, to drive directly to the Maidstone Bridge Road put-in Stratford, NH, and then cross the bridge into Vermont and take the Route 102 road along the River to the Wyoming Dam in Guildhall, VT

When we take this Section 7 paddle, we would need parking for one of our cars at the put-in and one at the take-out. We did not go to Bloomfield, Vermont to look for available parking because a NFCT section 7 description noted available parking. The Maidstone Bridge and the Wyoming Bridge do have ample parking.

Addendum to our Scouting Notes

Put-in and Take-Out

The NFCT Section 7 is a 23-mile paddling trip that could be done in one day, or two days to include camping along the river. The NFCT put-in is at DeBanville Landing, Bloomfield, VT, at the signed parking area 0.1 mile south of the junction of Vermont Routes 105 and 102; or near the ball fields in North Stratford, NH. From U.S. Route 3 in North Stratford, left on Bridge Street, left on Main Street before crossing the River, and right immediately after crossing the railroad tracks.

Take Out: Before the Wyoming Bridge. The Wyoming Dam, located immediately downstream from the Bridge, once spanned the Connecticut River between Guildhall, Vermont, and Northumberland, New Hampshire. The remains of this dam are extremely dangerous to boaters and paddlers. Rebar still sticks up from the old concrete. Portage access is on river right on the Vermont side just before the Bridge.

The end of Section 7 is after the bridge in Guildhall, VT; or the Upper Ammonoosuc campsite and paddler access in Groveton, NH. From the US 3 bridge in Groveton, go south 0.5 mile to Normandeau Trucking lot on the right. Access is in the trees on the left side of this lot.

The river part in this area has a sandy bottom, and due to drought conditions right now we, we had to keep our eyes open to not go aground. The high eroded banks show the Connecticut to be five to six feet higher in this area after snowmelt and in rainy conditions. Primitive campsites are open for use in woods and open fields. We need to check the campsite status page before embarking on your trip. (See below Connecticut River Travelers Trail: Campsites, Access Points, and Portage Trails web site.)

From the put-in at Maidstone Bridge (Maidstone, VT) downriver through the Maidstone Bends to Northumberland Bridge is about an eleven mile paddle. Notice my  above screen print with the River route in red where the oxbow turns. You can see the impact of the oxbows on paddle distance because when we scouted this section from our car on Route 102, the distance was seven miles.

Northern Forest Canoe Trail Section 7

All of the Connecticut River from the confluence with the Nulhegan in Bloomfield to the confluence with the Upper Ammonoosuc in Guildhall is considered Section 7. The recommended take out on the Connecticut if you are not paddling upstream on the Upper Ammonoosuc is 3 miles below that confluence at the Wyoming Dam. The paper map considers DeBanville the end of Section 6 and the beginning of Section 7. The end of section 7 is on the Androscoggin River in Errol, NH below the rapids under Route 26. Beyond that is considered section 8.

References

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

OutdoorSteve Has Hiked all Fourteen Trails of the 75-Mile Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway!


Trail 9 New Canada Road to Proctor Academy was the last of the fourteen trails needed for me to complete the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway (SRKG) 75-mile loop. Trail 9 was extra special as family and friends accompanied me. Starting at 7 am at the northern trailhead at New Canada Road, Wilmot, NH, we hiked up, over and around Ragged Mountain for 5.5-hours before finishing the 6.5-mile trail at its southern trailhead at Proctor Academy, Andover, NH.
 

My sons Timothy and Shaun, Shaun’s daughter Madison and friend Sam, and grandson Carson, University of Mississippi junior, and friend Savannah, all joined me at 7 am at the New Canada Road northern trailhead in Wilmot, NH. The weather was clear and 72 degrees with wet and trail slippery conditions from the previous night’s rain. 


After going through a wet field, we began our uphill climb through the woods. We unexpectedly did a talus field climb for a few minutes, and after 2.7 miles of uphill, we came to the clearing at the ski summit of Ragged Mountain. We passed by the communications tower that helps at a distance, recognize Ragged from other mountains. We were two- hours and ten minutes into our hike.

After a fifteen-minute lunch break on the Ski Patrol hut deck and a brief tour of the scenic view of New Foundland Lake and surrounding countryside, we continued our trek following the trapezoid SRKG signs to Proctor Academy.

We found the trail to be very well marked. The one exception was the Balance Rock Trail where for about a mile, it we saw no signs in the direction (north to south) we were traveling, but once we turned around we readily saw the trapezoid sign. We surmised the person who put these signs out was traveling south to north. Later at the five mile mark, the signs returned visible to our direction of travel.

Spectaclar View of the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway peaks and Lake Sunapee

“The SRK Greenway is a 75-mile loop of hiking trails in central New Hampshire. The Greenway Trail System circles the Lake Sunapee area and connects Sunapee, Ragged, and Kearsarge Mountains.”

The above definition/description of the Greenway is taken directly from the SRKG.ORG web site. And what got me excited, was at the 4.1 mile ledge West Peak view, we could see directly in front of us the ski slopes of Mt Sunapee; from the right the Ragged Mountain tower we have just our lunch on; and to our left a clear view of Kearsarge Mountain and its communication and fire towers. And to top this off, we were able to discern a section of Lake Sunapee. Wow!! For a simple outdoor enthusiast, this point of view, was remarkable! Check out the below picture with the three red circles identifying each of the three mountain peaks. There in front of us is the SRK Greenway 75-mile loop. 


The Guide, Proctor Trail Sign, and our Phone Map App


As in all my prior SRKG hikes, I have relied on and referenced as I hiked, the SRKG Trail Guide. As we passed the six-mile voice call-out from my iphone we indeed were getting tired and looking for the end of the trail. The Guide listed 6.1 miles – meaning one tenth of the mile until we celebrate my 14th hike on the SRKG. This was the longest one-tenth of a mile I have ever hiked. It was steep downhill woods and went on for what seemed forever. When we finally emerged into the Proctor Academy parking lot, the sign at the southern trailhead said this was a 6.4-mile trail! Indeed, my MapMyRun had my hike at 6.5 miles, but who is counting. Expecting a tenth of a mile and receiving four to five times that distance caused us to chat about our exhaustion.

Summary

Overall a very well signed trail. The SRKG Trail Guide lists this trail as “Difficult.” I would agree, but it is not overwhelming. Of all the fourteen trails, this was not, to me, the most difficult or challenging.

This Trail 9 section is used SRKG and is maintained by the Ragged Mountain Fish and Game Club and Proctor Academy. Well done to all caretakers.

I now, never have to say, "I wish I had hiked the 14 Trails of the Sunapee-Ragged Greenway."

Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway (SRKG) Trails Hiked by OutdoorSteve and Friends - Click below links

  1. SRK Greenway Trail 1 Old Province Rd, Goshen to Newbury Harbor
  2. SRK Greenway Trail 2 Old Province Rd, Goshen to Sunapee Town Hall
  3. SRK Greenway Trail 3 Sunapee to Deerhill Springfield (Video on Bedford Community TV)
  4. SRK Greenway Trail 4 ProtectworthTrail, Springfield, NH
  5. SRK Greenway Trail 5 Springfield/New London to Great Brook Bridge
  6. SRK Greenway Trail 6 Great Brook Bridge to Wilmot 4A Wolf Trees and Trails
  7. SRK Greenway Trail 7 NH Route 4A to WilmotCenter
  8. SRK Greenway Trail 8 Wilmot Center to New Canada Road
  9. SRK Greenway Trail 9 New Canada Road to Proctor Academy
  10. SRK Greenway Trail 10 Proctor Academy to Winslow State Park Mt Kearsage
  11. SRK Greenway Trail 11 Rollins State Park via Lincoln Trail to Kearsarge Valley Road
  12. SRK Greenway Trail 12 – Kearsarge Valley Road to Wadleigh State Park
  13. SRK Greenway Trail 13 - Kezar Lake at Wadleigh Park to Chalk Pond
  14. SRK Greenway Trail 14 – Chalk Pond to Newbury

    THANK YOU

    Summary
    Overall a very well signed trail. The SRKG Trail Guide lists this trail as “Difficult.”  I would agree, but it is not overwhelming. Of all the fourteen trails, this was not, to me, the most difficult or challenging.

    This Trail 9 section is used by SRKG and is maintained by the Ragged Mountain Fish and Game Club and Proctor Academy.  Well done to all trail maintainers.

     Thank You.
    My membership in the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway certainly enticed me to continue my quest. Thank you to all the volunteers who maintain the trails. The SRKG shares and uses many other trailway organizations, along with towns, state government, and private landowners.  Please know your commitment is very much appreciated.

    Doing the 75 miles of fourteen trails of the SRKG it was never an individual effort – it included a variety of family and friends spread over two years.  I very much bow to them with many thanks.

    In chronological order of participation are my thanks to: Jim (2), Patty (1), Catherine (2 plus scouting of 14 trailheads), Tim (4), Mike (1), Steve (2), Craig (1), Ellen (1), Mark (2), Kendall (2), Shaun (1 plus all blog posts editing), Madison (1), Sammy (1), Carson (1), and Savannah (1).
    ++++++++++++++++++
    "Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

    Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Kindle and hardcopy at Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH.

    Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics.



    Additional Sources of Books at:
    Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
    E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

    Friday, July 24, 2020

    Three days hiking in Lincoln, New Hampshire.


    Long-time friends and hiking buddies, John, Lennie, and I, drove to LaFayette Campground in Franconia Notch to our registered campsite.
    We arrived at 1 pm, set up our three tents, and headed for Georgiana Falls. Through a process of “Where do you want to go,” Lennie had selected Georgina Falls for the first of three hikes. One for each of the three days we stayed at the campground. 

    Day 1: Hiking to Georgiana Falls in Franconia Notch, Lincoln, NH

    According to 
    Section Hiker referenced below, ”The Georgiana Path leads to two waterfalls in Franconia Notch, the lower and the upper Georgiana Falls on Harvard Brook. The 60 ft upper falls are a worthy destination and quite impressive after a rain. It’s located 1.3 miles up from the Georgiana Falls Path Trailhead off Rt 3, just outside of Lincoln, NH. The lower falls are also referred to as Harvard Falls.

    You will need a certain amount of perseverance to reach the upper falls, however. The trail up is clear to the lower falls but harder to follow as you hike higher upstream. Look for sporadic red blazes and stay within sight of the brook, and you should be able to follow the many herd paths that lead up to the upper falls. The area is highly eroded and steep in places, but well worth the effort to climb, leading to a viewpoint directly across from the falls. Bushwhacking a bit higher, you can also climb to the point where the falls start their plummet over the drop."

    Total Distance: 3.1 miles Round trip, w/ 750 feet of elevation gain. Level of Difficulty, as survived by Steve, was “extremely difficult.” I did not mean this rating in terms of hiking skill, but because of the effort climbing up, over and around boulders, over fallen logs, all the while doing this crawling up and the hillside. Plus it was up, up, and up.

    Truthfully, if it were not for the encouragement (politely said) of John and Lennie, I would have readily turned around to return to the trailhead. The Section Hiker said it, “You will need a certain amount of perseverance to reach the upper falls.”



    Day 2: Hiking Lincoln Woods Trail to Franconia Falls, Lincoln, NH

    On the Kancamagus Highway, just outside of Lincoln, is the Lincoln Woods Trailhead, as announced by a large sign. A ranger station, parking area, and toilet facilities are available. Lennie, John, and I arrived early in the morning, and the parking lot was already beginning to fill up. As advertised, this is a very busy trail. 
    We started our 7.1 round trip hike mile by crossing a long suspension bridge over the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River. The river flow and scenic views from the deck are delightful to enjoy. However, our goal, Franconia Falls, was three-plus miles away, so we kept on moving.

    The Lincoln Woods Trail follows an old railroad trail, which includes remnants of railroad ties, and kiosks of information on the long-ago railroad and this wilderness area. Once over the bridge, you go left and follow the Lincoln Woods Trail, a straight line trail for 2.8 miles

    The East Branch, as well as some tributaries, accompanied the trail for much of the route. A few spur paths lead closer to the river shore. At 2.8 miles, we came to what looked like the end of the trail but was a 4-foot-high rock cement wall. On the other side of the wall was another long bridge, this one crossing Franconia Brook to continue further into the White Mountains National Forest.

    We admired the views from the bridge, then turned back to follow a sign on the left showing .4 miles to Franconia Falls.

    This Franconia Falls Trail follows Franconia Brook upstream to Franconia Falls.

    Reaching the Falls, we dropped our packs and hopped over huge boulders to the middle of the Falls with elegant views of the water dancing over the rocks and finding its way heading downstream.

    John and Lennie cooled their feet in the flowing falls. I stripped to my bathing suit and took a waist-high dip in the falls.





    Statistics of our hike: Lincoln Woods Information Center to Franconia Falls and return.
    • Lincoln Woods Information Center- Lincoln Wood Trail to Franconia Falls Trails Sign = 2.7miles
    • Franconia Falls Trails Sign to Franconia Falls on Franconia Falls Brook = .4 miles
    • Overall hike: distance 7.2 miles
    • Overall Time 3.5 hours.
    • Level of Difficulty: Easy. Beautiful family hike. BUT remember, this is a 7.2 miles hike. This distance may not be suitable for some in your group. Also, when in the Franconia Falls, this can be a perilous situation, so children, and others not paying attention, can be threatened by the Falls.

    Day 3: Serendipity Loop Trail from Kancamagus Highway Lincoln, NH

    This was our final day in the White Mountains. Our Georgiana Falls hike on Monday took a physical toll as we needed perseverance to reach the upper fall because of the effort climbing up, over and around boulders, over fallen logs, all the while doing this crawling up the hillside. Our Tuesday hike was not difficult, but did require a 7.1 mile hike. Wednesday’s hike was a one hour cool down with an easy hike before our two plus hours driving home.


    Serendipity Loop Trail is a 2.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lincoln, New Hampshire alongside the East Branch of the Pemigewosset River, and is suitable for all skill levels. The path is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching.

    We saw some blowdowns in the East Branch of Pemigewasset River as we followed the river in our clockwise trail. We approached the water when we saw animal tracks we could not identify.

    We had one decision to make when we reached the sign for our return trail. We were confused because the sign seemed to point us to continue along the river. However, Lennie’s Alltrail app map confirm we keep right on the return trail. During our discussions, Lennie and I compared my MapMyRun app with his Alltrails app. I put together comparing the different apps using the Serendipity Trail.

    Enjoy this Serendipity Loop Trail video.


    References
    ++++++++++++++++++
    "Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

    Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Kindle and hardcopy at Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH.

    Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics.


    Additional sources of Books:
    Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
    E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

    Thursday, July 23, 2020

    A Sunday Morning Paddle on Hopkins Pond with Gus



    From below Wikipedia reference, "Hopkins Pond (also known as Adder Pond, although no one seems to know where the name Adder came from) is a small pond located at the south foot of Ragged Mountain, in the town of Andover, New Hampshire. It lies at an elevation of 644 feet (196 m). The pond is part of Proctor Academy's 2,500-acre (10 km2) campus in Andover and is jointly managed by Proctor and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The pond area is open to the public for non-motorized boat travel, fishing and hiking.

    This shallow pond has an average depth of 6 feet (1.8 m), is 15 feet (4.6 m) deep at the deepest point, and covers a total area of 27 acres. It empties eastward into Mountain Brook below Elbow Pond. Mountain Brook, in turn, is a tributary of the Blackwater River, which flows via the Contoocook River and Merrimack River to the Gulf of Maine (Atlantic Ocean) at Newburyport, Massachusetts."





    Enjoy the below video.



    Carry a too long kayak inside your trunk? 
    Warning! Be sure to tie your kayak to the vehicle!!
    Reference
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopkins_Pond_(New_Hampshire)

    ++++++++++++++++++

    "Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

    Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Kindle and hardcopy at Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH.

    Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics.



    Additional Sources of Books at:
    Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
    E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

    Tuesday, July 14, 2020

    The Lincoln Trail to the Summit of Mt Kearsarge



    Mt Kearsarge is the highest peak (2,937 ft.) of the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway (SRKG.) I just came to the realization how much Mt Kearsarge lends itself to the SRKG, and how much of my hiking has revolved around Mt Kearsarge. Doing Trail 10 (Proctor Academy to Winslow State Park) and Trail 11 (Winslow State Park to Kearsarge Valley Road), combined with my previous hikes to the summit from Winslow Park (ascending and descending using the Barlow and Winslow Trails) and Rollins Park (ascending and descending using Rollins Trail), was not complete, because I had never used Lincoln Trail to the summit.

    On top of this, being the highest mountain in our immediate area, Mt Kearsarge has been visible from many other SRKG trails (i.e., Mt Sunapee Trail 1, Newbury Harbor to Old Providence Road, Goshen, and Trail 13, Wadleigh Park, Sutton to Chalk Pond, Newbury.) Plus, Mt Kearsarge is seen prominently as I kayak in Kezar Lake, Sutton, and Bradley Lake, Andover.

    As I looked at the map of the SRK Greenway 75-mile loop of hiking trails, and particular Trails 10 and 11, I realized I had never hiked one section of the Lincoln Trail, Rollins Park to the summit of Mt Kearsarge. Before my SRKG quest, I had never paid attention to the Lincoln Trail because the Lincoln Trail was known to step steeply down a talus field and be very dangerous in wet and icy conditions. However, if I were to be true to myself about hiking all of the SRKG trails, I needed to complete the Lincoln trail from Rollins Park to the Mt Kearsarge summit.

    Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Trail 11 Mt Kearsarge Lincoln Trail to Kearsarge Valley Road 
    is the blog post that completes the Lincoln Trail from the Rollins parking area to Kearsarge Valley Road.


    Finishing the Lincoln Trail - Rollins Park to Mt Kearsarge Summit

    Indeed, the warning signs about this section of the Lincoln trail are not overemphasized. For much of this .4 mile section, it meant me climbing over a collection of huge broken rock fragments that have accumulated through periodic rockfall from Mt Kearsarge’s adjacent cliff faces.

    I started with my walking poles, but as soon as I began climbing up and over intermixed boulders and pointed rock fragments, I had to stop and store my poles on my backpack. This section of the Lincoln Trail was no place to use poles.



    I had estimated my .4 mile hike to be a half-hour. My actual time was one hour. Yes, I stopped to take in the magnificent views and to tie my poles to my pack, but indeed I must admit I used my hands, knees, and butt to achieve the section through the talus field.

    The Video

    Enjoy my hike up the Lincoln Trail from Rollins Park to the summit.







    I now, never have to say, "I wish I had hiked the SRKG Trail 11 from the summit of Mt Kearsarge to Kearsarge Valley Road, including the talus field of the Lincoln Trail."

    Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway (SRKG) Trails Hiked by OutdoorSteve and Friends - Click below links
    1. SRK Greenway Trail 1 Old Province Rd, Goshen to Newbury Harbor
    2. SRK Greenway Trail 2 Old Province Rd, Goshen to Sunapee Town Hall
    3. SRK Greenway Trail 3 Sunapee to Deerhill Springfield (Video on Bedford Community TV)
    4. SRK Greenway Trail 4 ProtectworthTrail, Springfield, NH
    5. SRK Greenway Trail 5 Springfield/New London to Great Brook Bridge
    6. SRK Greenway Trail 6 Great Brook Bridge to Wilmot 4A Wolf Trees and Trails
    7. SRK Greenway Trail 7 NH Route 4A to WilmotCenter
    8. SRK Greenway Trail 8 Wilmot Center to New Canada Road
    9. SRKG Greenway Trail 9 New Canada Road to Proctor Academy via Ragged Mountain
    10. SRK Greenway Trail 10 Proctor Academy to Winslow State Park Mt Kearsage
    11. SRK Greenway Trail 11 Rollins State Park via Lincoln Trail to Kearsarge Valley Road
    12. SRK Greenway Trail 12 – Kearsarge Valley Road to Wadleigh State Park
    13. SRK Greenway Trail 13 - Kezar Lake at Wadleigh Park to Chalk Pond
    14. SRK Greenway Trail 14 – Chalk Pond to Newbury
      ++++++++++++++++++

      "Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

      Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Kindle and hardcopy at Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH.

      Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics.



      Additional Sources of Books at:
      Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
      E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X



      Thursday, July 9, 2020

      July 4th Swim Across Perkins Pond - God Bless America and those who serve and served our country for freedom


      A nearly one-mile July 4th swim for nine swimmers, accompanied by three boats with appropriate life preservers and throw cushions.

      Remember Why We Celebrate July 4th. God Bless American and Those Who Serve and Served Our Country.





      Monday, July 6, 2020

      Knife Edge Trail to Baxter Peak at Northern Terminus of Appalachian Trail

      Paul, my friend and one of the Knife Edge Trail participants, told me he had never seen the Bedford Community Television movie of his/our Knife Edge, Mt Katahdin, Maine hike. Here is the film for Paul and all the participants to enjoy and cringe, as they cross the one plus mile and 5,000-foot elevation Knife Edge Trail. Oh, and the trek took 15 hours. Whew!
      ---------------

      Six friends planned a long day of hiking, only to find a day and evening of climbing.  The plan seemed relatively simple:

      1. Hike to Baxter Peak, the northern terminus of the 2,162 mile Appalachian Trail (AT).
      2. Cross the fabled 1.1 mile Knife Edge Trail.
      3. Hike five miles on the AT starting at its northern beginning at Baxter Peak.

      Our ultimate achievement through endurance and teamwork brought more satisfaction because of the challenges and time on the mountain. Below are comments, maps, pictures, and videos of our climb. Our Mt. Katahdin accomplishment was both physically demanding, and mentally tough. I am extremely proud of my fellow adventurers and how we worked together for this team triumph.


      Mount Katahdin is the highest mountain in Maine at 5,269 feet. Named Katahdin by the Penobscot Indians, the term means "The Greatest Mountain". It is part of the Appalachian Mountain range and is located in Baxter State Park. Baxter State Park is a large wilderness area permanently preserved as a state park, located in Piscataquis County in north-central Maine. It covers 327 square miles.


      The Knife Edge was the highpoint of our trip, but the descent from Pamola Peak was nearly as challenging as we had to use technical rock climbing skills.

      Our trip started at Roaring Brook campground on the Chimney Pond Trail at 6:45 am. We arrived at Chimney Pond Campground after a 2 hr 45 minute hike. From the Campground we took Dudley Trail to Pamola Peak. We had to do a 40 foot rock straight down climbing descent grabbing cracks in the granite rocks while seeking spots for footholds. Then immediately followed up by climbing straight up 40 feet to Chimney Peak. FYI, counterintuitively up is easy because gravity isn’t pulling you down and you and can see where to put your feet. Admittedly this 80 feet was the most challenging section for this author. Once atop Chimney Peak we climbed and scooted the 1.1 mile Knife Edge Trail. This brought us to South Peak. Our 15 hour trip was an unrelenting 11 miles. We finished the last two hours with headlamps.

      Enjoy and cringe the below video of how we planned our Mount Katahdin hike - and what it looks like in crossing the Knife Edge Trail.



        Below is the time and miles breakdown by trail:



        Trails
        Start
        End
        Total Trip Hrs:Min

        Hours 


         Miles

        Comments
        Roaring Brook Campground to
        Chimney Pond Campground
        Start 6:45 am

        9:30 am
        2 ¾ hrs

        3.3 miles
        Chimney Pond Trail easy hike.  4 of us used Tracking Poles.  Some nice side trail views.
        Chimney Pond Campground to Pamola Peak via Dudley Trail
        10 am
        1 pm
        3 hrs

        1.4 miles
        After a snack and rest at Chimney Pond Campground, we tied our tracking poles to our packs.  The Dudley Trail is a 2,000 elevation gain and a relentless massive granite boulder laden trail nearly straight up requiring our hands for pulling, grabbing rocks and hand holds, our legs for pushing, our arms for lifting our bodies, our feet for pushing and toe holds, and our butts to sliding up and holding our bodies at times.
        All of us were exhausted.  Indeed it was a very trying physical test of our mettle.
        Pamola Peak to Chimney Peak/Knife Edge
        1:20 pm
        2:12 pm
        ¾ hr
        Our descent down the 40 foot drop from Pamola Peak was technical “rock climbing” .  We held indentations in the rocks while reaching for footholds.  Indeed for this descent we used using hands, arms, body and butt.
        Knife Edge to South Peak
        2:12
        3:00 pm
        1 hr

        .8 miles
        A 1.1 mile balancing act along the ridge of the Knife Edge Trail. Prior to this trip I had visions of panicking because of the elevation and 1000 foot drop offs and extremely narrow trail.  Truthfully, I had no fear as I crossed this very unique trail.
        South Peak to Baxter Peak
        3:00
        3:50 pm
        1 hr

        .3 miles
        This ridge trail went up and down.  Just when we got to the top of the trail, it would drop and we would start another descent.  Then an ascent followed by another descent.  We were close to 7 hours since we left Roaring Brook campground and were tired.  At each high ledge we could see Baxter Peak, but could not differentiate the rolling ridge.
        Baxter Peak  via Hunt Trail through Table Land
        4:00 pm
        5:15 pm
        1 ¼ hr

        1.0 miles
        Tableland was like a country hike.  It was flat and a welcome hike.  We passed the famous Henry David Thorough Spring. We had been hiking for near ten hours. 
        Hunt Trail after TableLand to Katahdin Stream Campground
        5:15 pm
        10:00 pm
        4.5 hrs

        4.2 miles
        We were now headed down and home, BUT still had 4.2 miles according to the trail sign. The first two miles were a steep down and over rough granite.  We did have some technical areas.  One section had steel handles in the granite to make the descent from huge ledges a bit easier.
        Took us two hours just to get below the tree line.
        At 8:30 pm we put on our headlamps.  We used our trekking poles to give us stability through the downward rock strewn path.

        At 10 pm we reached the ranger check-in station where we signed-on the register that six of us were back. We also met the Park Ranger who had been told by two people who passed us earlier in the dark with headlamps and that we were fine and on our way
        TOTAL HOURS
        6:45 am
        10:00 pm
        11 miles

         15 hrs!


        What a Journey!!!





        Knife Edge Trail
        We were into our hike for about 6 ½ hrs. of rock strewn, rugged and prolonged steepness, on the Dudley trail, reaching Pamola Peak, followed by a technical Pamola descent, we ascended Chimney Peak, the start of the almost mile high Knife Edge Trail. Whew!

        The Knife Edge Trail is perhaps the most spectacular trail in New England – and also the most dangerous. It would take us two hours to cross from Chimney Peak to Baxter Peak.

        We were advised to avoid the Knife Edge in stormy weather. The exposure to high winds and lightning is extreme. We were warned once we decide to cross the Knife Edge we MUST CONTINUE ON THE TRAIL. There is no safe way to descend off either side of the mountain ridge.

        The mile long path stretches across the South Basin’s headwall between Pamola and Baxter Peak. I believe you will get a sense of what these six outdoor enthusiasts experienced crossing this unique narrow mile-high ridge with 1,000 foot drops on both sides. At one point for about 20 feet the width of the ridge was close to 10 inches. The views, when we dared a birds-eyed glimpse, are magnificent and certainly breathtaking.

        Are You Ready for Katahdin?

        A very special thanks goes to Linwood and Betty of Loons Nest (http://www.loonsnest.biz/) for their immense help in preparing this trip.

        References