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Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Rogers Ledge, Unknown Pond Peak, NH
Trails
Trails: Mill Brook Trail, Kilkenny Ridge Trail, bushwhack, Unknown Pond Trail, road walk
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, October 20, 2019
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Gate was open when I passed @ 6:52 AM. Plenty of parking for Mill Brook Trail at the hatchery building / moose check-in. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant, Leaves - Significant/Slippery 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: The lower crossings on Unknown Pond Trail were surprisingly high and interesting. The one ~ .7 from the lot is actually a minor double right now: best bets IMO are to either whack along the side or find a narrow point and take a small leap of faith. The double crossing ~ 1.8 mile up was difficult to keep dry - especially the upper one. I managed...but it took some creativity and very careful foot placement. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: I didn't see any blazes on Mill Brook Trail and maybe two on this stretch of Kilkenny Ridge Trail. To be fair I was looking down more than up (more on that below) but usually I catch some if they are present. Come to think of it I didn't notice too many blazes on this section of Unknown Pond Trail either. Evidence of fairly recent ax work on Kilkenny Ridge Trail but unfortunately I have to report 3-4 recent looking blowdowns in the Kilback Pond area. I tossed and lugged aside many limbs large and small throughout the day. Many bog bridge planks are rotting away. All junctions are well signed. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Didn't see any. 
Bugs
Bugs: A few passive buggers hanging around here and there. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Nothing. 
 
Comments
Comments: Most of the leaves are down on these trails and since they are somewhat rooty and rocky attention to footing is needed. On the plus side the fallen leaves were pretty colorful low on the Mill Brook Trail which made for some nice mosaics. There's lot of minor and not so minor mud throughout also. There are a couple of stretches of Unknown Pond Trail where the water is flowing pretty well on the trail. Some tiny trace amounts of snow present near the top of Unknown Pond Peak.

Even though mine was the only non-F&G vehicle in the parking lot at the Mill Brook Trailhead I wore my orange hat and vest on Mill Brook Trail due to the moose check-in point there and since the Mill Brook Trail - especially lower - seemed to be easy access for that activity. I didn't see any hunters but did hear some distant gunshots later in the day. Mill Brook Trail is very gradual and seemed to change character often. At the Kilkenny Ridge junction I made the short and steep ascent to Rogers Ledge for a mid-morning snack. Views of the snow capped northern Presidentials make it official: it's time to go through the winter gear. From there I doubled back south through beautiful Kilback Pond then up to HOL to do the very easy whack to Unknown Pond Peak. After descent of Unknown Pond Trail I was hoping to catch a ride back to the hatchery buildings from someone coming out from their Cabot hike but there were no cars heading for the exit...the flip side of catching worms early I suppose. However while walking I did notice some beaver work in the stream along the road - something I wouldn't have noticed whizzing by in a car.

I like birches and the sights and sounds of running water and this loop had plenty of both. I also enjoy some solitude and I had that as well: other than a group of five backpackers at Unknown Pond I didn't see anyone else the entire day.


 
Name
Name: HMJ 
E-Mail
E-Mail: trailsntrees(at)gmail(dot)com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2019-10-20 
Link
Link: http:// 
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