Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks South Crocker Mountain, Crocker Mountain, Mt. Redington, Mt. Abraham, Spaulding Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain, ME
Trails: Appalachian Trail, herd path, logging roads, jeep paths, bushwhack, Abraham Side Trail, Spaulding Side Trail, Sugarloaf Side Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, June 29, 2019
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at end of Caribou Pond Rd. near gate. One car/camper when we arrived in early AM. When we drove out a dozen or so cars and had started to park down side of road. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Stayed dry all day with rock/branch hops on all streams 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: A bit of saw work needed between Spaulding and Sugarloaf on AT. Looked like a lot had been done already. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: Everywhere 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Appalachian Trail, Bushwhack/herdpath, jeep paths, ridiculous bushwhack, AT, Abraham Side Trail, Spaulding Side Trail, Sugarloaf Side Trail

Overall trails dried up decently compared to the report from a week ago.

Shoes were a bit muddy but stayed dry all day.

Few notes:

Pick up herd path off South Crocker by walking past the viewpoint and you should easily see break in trees. Path is clear and someone has ribboned off trees every 20 yards or so from South Crocker to Redington. Just off the summit of South Crocker you take a right on what appears to be an old utility trail of some kind. Keep a lookout for the cairn marking the turn back into the woods to hikers left if descending to Redington. We walked past as we were focusing on the paint on the trees on the utility retrospect was obvious cairn but I suppose since it happened to us it could happen to someone else. Other than that short detour and walk back no issues on way to Redington.

Coming off Redington there is one small section where it appears someone has taken a hatchet through a thicker part of a blowdown in an effort to clear up the trail a bit. Pulled a few of the branches out while passing through but will take many people to pull a branch out and drag a bit up or down trail away from blowdown while walking by to clear up the 50 feet of trail in question.

After reading on how to get up to AT from valley we decided to forego the extra half mile or so to what is the 'Caribou Pond Snowmobile Pass' and do a direct ESE line up to the cul between Spaulding and the little rise to the south of the mountain. It appears on the map the bushwhack up the pass would take us south just to bring us back in a northernly direction. Checking out satellite pics we decided when we hit what appeared to be a drainage runoff point swamping out Caribou Pond Road we would route ourselves directly up the mountain. Also saw on All Trails and mapbox maps there was some kind of trail/bushwhack there up through the what appeared to be breaks in the forest. Well by the time we crested to the top of the cul we decided that we probably did not take the most efficient path to the top (insert LMAO emoticon here). I would recommend walking the bit extra south on the jeep path/Caribou Pond Road and catching what is mapped as the actual snowmobile pass. Thick heavy forest and any open line we found quickly vanished. The 3/4's of a mile took us just about 2 hours. We were overjoyed to find the yellow markings of the edge of the Appalachian Conservancy land and easy(er) walk through the fern forest. If any silver lining it was that we both stayed dry....although completely littered in scratches from ducking and diving through the conifers.

Rest of day was uneventful in terms of trail struggles. Have never been in that range and thoroughly enjoyed Abraham. Counted 4 false summits once the trees broke and we started to deal with the scree/boulder walking. Unfortunately summit was clouded in so missed the view.

The bent over tower on Sugarloaf is quite the thing to see. Another reason to respect mother nature--

13 hour day on the trails. With a smarter walk between valley and AT we could have knocked an hour or so off but a big day nonetheless with or without making silly trail decisions!  
Name: eakenrea 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2019-06-30 
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