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Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks None, NH
Trails
Trails: Edmands Path, Crawford Path, Mt. Eisenhower Trail, Dry River Trail, Isolation Trail, Rocky Branch Trail, road walk
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Only 2 cars at 4:30am are Edmands Path. Still only 2 at 6:30 when we finally started. Jefferson Notch Road is closed immediately beyond that. Road is rough and bumpy to the trailhead but doable for any car assuming you’re careful and go slow.Original plan was to do a 31mi traverse to Mt Stanton trailhead so we stashed another car there. Roadside parking for a few cars. One other around 6am and 2 others around 5pm. Got a ride back here from Jericho Road from nice hikers when we split paths. Note that the road is gated about 2mi in thus adding ~2mi road walk one way.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: We were able to do them more or less as a rock hop/leap. Waterproof boots would have helped some but we were both wearing trail runners. Avoid the crossings in the Dry River Wilderness if there isn’t low water and you don’t want to wades. The crossings of Rock Branch on Rocky Branch Trail and Isolation East were a standard rock hop and a bit easier than the other ones in the Dry River Wilderness which were a bit of a stretch.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Edmands Path was in great shape. No problems on the brief section of Crawford Path we were on. Mt Eisenhower Trail, the section of Dry River we were on, and Isolation Trail I don’t think had any blaze on them but we didn’t have much trouble following them. If you’re an experienced hiker you should be okay. Some washed out sections on Isolation West but the other trails weren’t washed out. I’m sure there were blowdowns on all 3 but Mt Eisenhower only leaves memories of its wonderful foot bed. Rocky Branch Trail was of course more of a bear. Mostly nice grades, but many relocations some of which aren’t signed in both directions (there seemed to only be arrows ascending from the southern trailhead). The relocations usually bear right uphill (if descending) to avoid washed out sections of the trail. Then the relocations stop and you go right into the washout. A couple sections like this, some more nice trail, and then come the river crossings. Most people will need to rely heavily on some sort of GPS to get them through this area. The trail is very hard to follow and seemingly nonexistent at times. We used my hiking buddy’s fancy hiking/running watch to figure out what direction to go in and that worked well. We had Gaia on my phone as a back up but never used it. Look for cairns where the trail either goes through wash out or traverses the river. They’ll help...when there exist. Otherwise you’re using a GPS. Yellow blaze will periodically start to appear around here as well. The 2 miles below Stairs Col are in much better shape except for where the bridge washed out and you have to jump down on a stool and then scale up the river bank...use caution or walk across the river!  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: This would be a long hike for a dog (and human!) Biggest concern would probably be the dogs ability to handle washed out sections of trai. Most of these trails have lots of water on them though!  
Bugs
Bugs: I thought they were pretty much gone but they made a reappearance today! Only at low elevations it seems. When I took a long break at the jct of Rocky Branch and Stairs Col Trail, several mosquitos appeared and I actually applied bug spray. Some “in your face” bugs on the walk out to Jericho Road too.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Picked up a very old shirt of vest that had been in the woods a long time at the Edmands Path trailhead along with a hat in the parking lot.  
 
Comments
Comments: Another redliner and I met up for this one. They’d planned a 31-32mi hike using the above trails (out-and-back on southern 2mi of Rocky Branch Trail) and Stairs Col Trail —> Davis Path —> Mt Parker Trail —> Langdon Trail —> Mt Stanton Trail and let my feeble body tag along for what it felt it could do with several bailout options :) My hike was only about 21mi with 4500ft of elevation gain with someone giving me a ride back at the Rocky Branch South trailhead. Theirs was 31-32mi with 8300ft of elevation gain. More incredible still, they’d planned this hike in the reverse direction until I pointed out this morning that this would be 9900ft of elevation gain instead of 8300🤣 (hence us metting at Edmands Path at 4:30am but not getting back there to start until 6:30am)

First time on Edmands Path recently and I really appreciated this trail being on it again :) Such nice grades! Mt Eisenhower Trail, while still a wilderness trail, is in pretty good shape. Easy to follow if you’re experienced and no crazy blowdowns. Great view into the Dey River Valley near on the short section of it that’s above treeline. While steep at times, this trail has mostly nice grades and a luxurious footbed fit for royalty! One of the best I’ve seen in the Whites. The water crossing at the bottom was probably the hardest of the day but still not quite a wade. Don’t recall much about the short section of Dry River Trail we were on. Isolation West was long but it’s grades weren’t bad and other than its few washed out sections along the brook, had decent footing. Not hard to follow if you’re experienced. Isolation East was its usual self: wet and muddy as were Isolation West and Eisenhower Trail. The southern section of Rocky Branch had some nice sections but was very difficult to follow/nonexistent at some points around/in-between the major river crossings. I wouldn’t attempt this unless you’re experienced and have a GPS of some sort. Look out for undermined trail! The very beginning of the southern portion is exceptionally muddy but hang in there as it doesn’t last long!  
Name
Name: Liam Cooney 
E-Mail
E-Mail: liamcooney96@gmail.com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2019-08-20 
Link
Link: http:// 
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