Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Owl's Head, NH
Trails: Lincoln Woods Trail, Black Pond Trail, herd path, Lincoln Brook Trail, bushwhack, Owl's Head Path
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, April 4, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes:  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Ice - Blue, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Snow - Wet/Sticky, Mud - Significant, Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes, Slush 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Lincoln Woods crossing at the closed bridge would not be doable with dry boots right now. Black Pond Trail crossings are minor/hoppable, but starting to run a little bit high. On Lincoln Brook Trail after the herd path, crossing #1 was hoppable with one slightly submerged rock. Crossing #2 was tricky due to ice crowns on the rocks and unstable ice shelves; poles were needed. Crossing #3 was the most difficult, with unstable ice crowns and some glazing; poles and Microspikes were needed. Apart from the icing, water levels are not too bad yet, but there's plenty of snow still on the eastern/western/northern exposures that can result in these brooks becoming rapids with the right about of warmth and/or rain. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: One minor blowdown on emerging from snowpack on Lincoln Brook Trail not too far from the Black Pond herd path. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Lincoln Woods Trail was alternating bare ground, muck, and blue ice/slush for the first mile, becoming mostly blue ice/slush by the time the Black Pond junction was reached. Barebooted roundtrip with caution.

Black Pond Trail had some dry stretches, some minor muck, and extended stretches of ice monorail (not particularly tall). I barebooted roundtrip. Woods around the trail are mostly snow-free.

Herd path from Black Pond to Lincoln Brook Trail was mostly snow free with some stretches of residual monorail and some patchy snow on the northern slopes. Fortunately there is still a snow bridge across the swampy area near the northern end. I barebooted roundtrip.

Lincoln Brook Trail was consistent monorail from the Black Pond herd path all the way to the Brutus entrance with a couple of minor areas of muck emerging. Long stretches have little snow adjacent to the trail, while areas closer to slopes still have full snowpack (perhaps a foot deep). I barebooted roundtrip, as the previous night/morning temperatures got below freezing and set everything up. A night without cold temperatures could make this sloppy and better done with snowshoes.

I donned Microspikes only for crossing #3.

Initial monorail ascending the ramp entrance for Brutus, but then patchy monorail and otherwise bare ground for the birch glade portion. If one is not familiar with the route/not comfortable with bushwhacking (a bushwhack is not the same as following an established path), this may not be a good time, as there is a dusting of snow covering the summertime footbed, and there are multiple sets of different monorail paths that come and go. I opted to actually bushwhack out of the drainage (brook bank and area south of it are still loaded with snowpack), rather than deal with the monorail paths, so that I could remain barebooting up to the shelf. Snowpack suddenly appeared around 3,300 feet (as one pulls away from the southwest exposure), becoming a foot deep near the junction with the Owl's Head Path and two feet deep prior to reaching the ridge (elevated monorail fades out). I put on snowshoes soon after reaching the Owl's Head Path.

The ridge had roughly 2 to 5 feet of snowpack, due to the random drifting that occurred over the winter. The previously packed trail deviates with some current variations due to some recent blowdowns. I was glad to have snowshoes on, noting how deep the snowpack was (there are some fake highpoints right now due to the drifts, as well as some slightly obstructed, unique views that one doesn't get in summer months), even though it is a pain to lug them for so many miles. Safety first.

Beautiful weather today with temperatures starting in the 20s, then climbing to the 50s. Nice to get out here before the water crossings likely turn it into an isolated island for awhile. Only saw one other hiker beyond Lincoln Woods (also with snowshoes).  
Name: rocket21 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-04-04 
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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