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Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Bigelow Mountain - Avery Peak, Bigelow Mountain - West Peak, Bigelow Mountain - South Horn, ME
Trails
Trails: Stratton Brook Pond Road, Fire Warden's Trail, Appalachian Trail, Horns Pond Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, July 13, 2019
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Stratton Pond Brook Road involved 1.6 miles of gravel road from route 27/16. Road was well-graded and suitable for most vehicles. Parking lot had ample space for about 12-15 cars. We were one of the last cars to arrive at 8:15am and about 6 cars remained upon our return at 4:30pm. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Several minor crossings throughout loop easily rock-hopped. Water levels are currently low. Couple crossings on Horns Pond Trail had log bridges which were easy to cross with caution.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: FW Trail and HPT freshly blazed in blue. AT blazed in white. All trails easily followed. Both FW and HPT a bit overgrown throughout most of the hike, but easily followed. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Other than some slick steep rock surfaces heading up FW trail, and then the final steep AT trail up to Avery, trails would likely be ok for most experienced hiking dogs. 
Bugs
Bugs: Apparently the biting-bugs haven't gotten the memo yet that bug-season is over! Mosquitoes and horse flies were relentless, especially below about 3,000 feet. It was a hot day and minimal breeze down low didn't help. Nice breeze on summits kept them at bay. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
 
Comments
Comments: We had an incredible blue sky day with excellent views to Flagstaff Lake and the many 4,000 foot peaks in the surrounding area. Other than trails being a bit overgrown down low, they were easily followed and climbed throughout this loop hike. FW Trail up to col between Avery and West was slick in places due to prior day's rainfall. Trail is moderate from trailhead (1,400') up to about the 2,800 foot elevation point, where it gradually becomes steeper until the final steep push to the col. Nothing technical, no scrambling.

Could have spent hours on each summit given the day. Decided to trek over to South Horn and AT between West Peak and South Horn was fairly easy for the 3 miles across until the final section up to the South Horn summit. AT dropped to elevation of about 3,300 in col before climbing up to South Horn at 3,800. Hike down HPT was a gradual decent for most of the way. As noted above, biting bugs were relentless and borderline unbearable at lower elevations.

Overall, it was a happy / sad hike for us today - it was a tremendous and memorable hike but it also marked the completion of our 14 Maine 4,000 footers! With the NH48 complete as well, we have just 4 VT peaks left to complete our NE67 quest! What an incredible journey!
 
Name
Name: Charlie 
E-Mail
E-Mail: skcharles at comcast dot net 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2019-07-13 
Link
Link: http:// 
Bookmark and Share Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.

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