|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Albany Mountain, ME|
||Albany Mountain Trail, Albany Mountain Spur|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, March 28, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||The parking area was pretty muddy in spots. Parked to avoid those to be sure I wouldn’t get stuck on my way out. Only car there all day. Room for several but this is not a well travelled trail. |
||Dry Trail, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Mud - Significant, Leaves - Significant/Slippery, Snow/Ice - Postholes, Snow/Ice - Small Patches |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Nothing large or dangerous but definitely a bit more tricky than expected. The crossings of Meadow Brook at the beginning I had to use a tree limb that was thrown in there to get across without wet feet (or put on gaiters). The Branch was not in the best of condition. If water was a bit lower you could probably just walk through with waterproof boots that were mid-cut. The two small brook crossings as you come to the notch were also challenging. The snow on either side was still about a foot high which made it difficult to get down to them. No rocks to hop on and more than a half for deep so you didn’t want to step in them either. Luckily they were narrow and I could just take one big step across from one edge to the other and then scramble up the little snowball. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||The trail was better blazed than I would have thought. Note that the yellow blaze does not start until you come to the gate about a mile in. One small arrow telling you to get off the road that is a bit misleading...see the comments section below for details about that and other tricky turns and hard to follow sections. There were a number of blowdowns on the trail. Most were small-mid sized duck or crawls unders with two large blowdowns that block the trail (you have to climb over them) as you begin the steeper ascent to the notch. More on that below. |
||As I came back to my car the neighbors to the trailhead were out in the yard with their dog that bolted towards me. I just ran into my car. The owner quickly came after it and apologized. |
||There were mosquitos flying about but I didn’t notice any biting me... |
|Lost and Found:
||Albany Mtn Trail (southern portion), Albany Mtn Spur|
This hike was to finish redlining the Albany Mtn Trail and to make sure I had the 0.3mi spur at the end of the 0.4mi blazed spur that leads to a ledge near the summit of Albany Mtn.
A nice, warm 48F start at 11:30am. I think it was even warmer (low 50s) when I returned just shy of 5pm and I mostly hiked with just a tshirt or fleece on.
The road started off bare but very quickly turned to a thin layer of snow/ice. Spikes would have been more secure and I wouldn’t have had to watch my footing a bit but the hikes is doable without them. They may have helped higher up when I wasn’t using snowshoes too but I doubt that would’ve made much of a difference. Besides, when I wasn’t wearing snowshoes, I’d was on again off again snow so the spikes would also get beat up pretty bad. Once past the gate and onto the logging roads (the more trail like one - I’m assuming it’s the older one) the snow was on again off again all the way to the notch. Unfortunately when it was on it wasn’t always a trace amount and you might make a shallow posthole of 6-8in. That’s how much of the hike went. There are also some very wet areas in here. Waterproof boots were definitely appreciated. Mostly just water but definitely mud underneath.
Other than the spur at the end of the spur (lol) the only time I had trouble Trail finding was at the base of the steeper ascent to the notch. There’s one last yellow blaze on a tree to your left, a tread way for another few yards, and then obscurity. The obscurity was caused by two very large blowdowns and it wasn’t entirely clear if the trail passed over them or not. Indeed the trail does (sort of diagonally) and bears slightly right. The trail was fairly well blazed surprisingly but this was a small section where you didn’t see any blaze for several dozen yards maybe. I think one of the big blowdowns has blaze. Once back on track things were fine. Once the trail levels out in the notch the snow was consistent again. This is where I’d throw on the snowshoes if I were you. I waited a bit since to on my ascent since I suspected it would again disappear.
The trail bends right a bit and after a little while there is a 90 degree right hand turn where the old Albany Notch Trail continues straight. There is blaze on the trail immediately after the turn (hopefully you’ll see it in your peripherals lol) but no double blaze before it which would’ve been nice. It looked like there was once brush blocking the old trail but it was set to the other side of a rock. I took two larger pieces and set it against the rock blocking the trail in hopes that people would see it and know not to go that way. Nice pencil woods for a bit, then descend sharply and turn right (fairly obvious in this direction but would be harder to see in reverse - in reverse direction you’ll see big rocks to your left and you’ll turn left to climb above them).
Some deeper snow (a foot plus) all through here to the jct with the north branch of the trail and the summit spur. I noticed bareboot postholes coming up from the north branch. Following the footsteps they didn’t actually seem to posthole that much surprisingly. The snow was weak and big chunks of it would sink when I’d step on it with my snowshoes at times. After a short while the snow thins as you come to ledges again (brief spots between notch and spur with ledges where it thins but don’t make the mistake of taking your snowshoes off and leaving them just to come back to get them like I did!).
I reached the cairn at the summit without realizing I’d just passed the end of the blazed trail. I consulted the pages in the guidebook and made sure I was where I thought I was (not how I remembered it two summers ago when I did the trail from the north). Then I set about looking for the spur to the southwest ledges. I felt it was more of a “continue straight” then turn right like the guidebook says. Even after that it took some searching as many cairns were covered. It got easier after the trail slabs west as there was more bare ground (I took my snowshoes off and left them along here) and the cairns were agin visible. Partway through here I actually did do this spur last time I was here...oops. Waste of time in a sense but lively views from the end of it including Pleasant Mtn in Maine, Kearsage North, Chocorua, Passaconaway, the Tripyramids, the Doubleheads, Eastman, the Baldfaces, Speckled Mtn, Caribou, the tops of the Royces, the tips of part of the Carter Range and northern presidentials, and nearby Peter Mtn. On the way back the spur, along the ledges, I also got a view towards the Mahoosuc which I believe included Bald Cap, Success, and the Goose Eye Peaks :)
||Liam Cooney |
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.