|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Liberty, Mt. Flume, NH|
||Bike path, Liberty Spring Trail, Franconia Ridge Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, March 21, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||We parked at “The Basin” as we approached from the south-bound side of I-93. We walked the almost snow free bike/walk path, under I-93, through the other parking area, on down the bike path to catch the trailhead proper for Liberty Springs. Our lot was nearly snow free with plenty of parking. Potties closed. |
||Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow - Spring Snow |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Small brooks are all open. These are rock hoppable. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||None. Well maintained trails. |
||Good trail for dogs. Open water points make this a bit easier. |
|Lost and Found:
||One REI blue 2 liter bottle found on Liberty Springs on our descent this afternoon. We left it where found in case one of the three hikers going up this afternoon had dropped it. ||
Out and back (O&B) on Liberty Springs and Franconia Ridge trails to Flume summit.
Of note, we had to walk on the bike trail to access the trailhead. We barebooted this section both in the morning and afternoon as much pavement was available.
Liberty Springs: this is the Appalachian Trail (AT) and is well blazed in standard white blazes. The first mile to 1.3 miles or so were firm this morning and were best traversed in snowshoes. When we encountered the steep sections it became readily apparent that snowshoes just could not hold traction on the ice-like snow. 🤯 Freeze-thaw cycles made the steep sections super slick. The micro spikes came out. Even for me, the die-hard snowshoer. I could not get purchase with my trusted, trail-proven snowshoes. The trough is still firm, but pieces of monorail are starting to emerge. Such is life this time of year. My son and I were the only ones in snowshoes. Everyone else spiked the entire way. That’s Ok as there were no post holes directly on trail. In the early morning freezing temps I actually encourage spikes for safety *gasp*. It is very slick. In the afternoon I still could not use snowshoes on the steep sections. It’s just too slippery. 🤭 Once down in the open woods in the afternoon, though, snowshoes became king. The mashed potato snow was eating spikes alive. I floated over all this in the snowshoes.
Franconia Ridge: blazed in blue. Blazes are not as frequent as the AT but are there nonetheless. These are both popular trails and simple to follow. By the time we crested the summit of Liberty the snow was quickly turning to mashed potatoes. I kept my spikes on for the steep descent off Liberty’s summit then changed back to my super awesome snowshoes. ‘Cause I hate snowballing spikes and slipping around on soft snow. Seriously hate it... This is a tenuous time of year for my hiking psyche. No “spruce wash” this year. Snow levels most discernibly lower than prior years. The trench was super firm, regardless of the spike wearers.
I was surprised by the lack of crowds given this warm, sunny, spring day. Liberty gives such a nice view on bluebird days. Flume was warmer today with total lack of wind. Sunburns on the face and hands today have reminded me to put sunscreen back into my pack...
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.