|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Moriah, NH|
||Stony Brook Trail, Carter Moriah Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Thursday, May 20, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Parking is at a lot immediately off NH16 about 1.8 mi south of US2/NH16 junction in Gorham. Lot is too narrow to park across from each other so I parked next to the four vehicles already there at the far end. Probably room for 12-16 vehicles altogether if properly parked. I don't know if there is any additional parking further down Stony Brook Road. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant, Slush, Snow/Ice - Small Patches |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||First one on ascent had high water today and I did not see a dry path across so dunked some toes on submerged rocks. Second one was a little better and only had to take one step where got a little wet. Third one had a path or two without submerged rocks. (All were a bit easier on descent as water level declined slightly.) All others were more runoff flows with easy stepover or one or two dry rock hops. All of these are on Stony Brook. Most of the water on Carter-Moriah section was standing water is poor draining sports. There were a couple of areas of runoff going down the trail, so not really a crossing. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Blazes were hit or miss, at least when I was confused and looking for guidance. Most of the time, footpath was obvious, but there are some side paths that are confusing. One of my pet peeves is poor markings at stream crossings. The first crossing on Stony Brook was very well marked. A light blue blaze at turning point to begin cross and easily spotted dark blue blazes (as all others on this trail). There was even an arrow sign nailed to a tree at a hairpin turn in the trail shortly after the crossing. Thank you. Thank you. The other stream crossings were very obvious, so no special marking needed. I didn't notice many blazes during the steep rock climbing sections of Stony Brook, maybe there are some and I missed them while focusing on foot placement, but they are helpful in those sections to assure hikers they remain on the correct path. (I have followed drainages that are not part of trails due to lack of blazes on other trails.)
I also had trouble staying on trail following blazes/cairns on Carter-Moriah in a few spots, but generally they are well-placed. Fortunately, none of the diversions, were very long and some resulted in good views of neighboring mountains. Hint - if you are standing near a cairn and you do not see another cairn straight ahead or anything that looks like an obvious trail, look to the left or right as the cairn may be marking a turn.
On the middle portion of Stony Brook, the trail is very narrow (less than a foot) and right on the edge of steep drop offs in a few places. I am not a trail maintainer, so I don't know what can be done about this, but further erosion will erase those sections of trail.
One pair of bog bridge planks on Carter-Moriah are broken. One is entirely useless and you need to use the other like a see saw. All others are in usable condition. |
||Lots of access to brooks and streams on first half of Stony Brook, after that not much reliable water. Lots of ledges and slabs along Carter-Moriah, that may be challenging for some and surface is very rough, so may not be good for paw pads that can be easily damaged. A couple of minor scrambles on Carter-Moriah and one very challenging one near summit that might require assistance. |
||None at the beginning - early morning and still a bit cool from overnight. A few random ones at various spots on ascent. Many more flying about and landing on face and in ears on descent (after considerable warming), but not bites - just annoying. |
|Lost and Found:
||First - my first trip to this peak and this approach, so no idea what normal wetness and water flow is.|
Stony Brook - first half to two-thirds of trail is fairly smooth trail with a few dips and some mostly dry rock gardens of various lengths and mostly easy grade with a few short steep pitches, avoidable mud. Upper portion of trail, after all stream crossings, becomes much steeper and rougher with several wet or dry small boulder scrambles. Generally nothing very difficult on this trail, just a little tedious and lots of opportunity for turned ankles. Should rename this trail the Stony Stony Brook Trail.
Carter-Moriah Trail - trail alternates between exposed ledges of various lengths and slopes, steep rocky sections, muddy/water sections on low, flat spots (mostly rock hoppable or enough solid spots for foot placement, but a few unavoidable wet steps), and several snow patches, the deepest and longest in the area of junction with Kenduskeag Trail. The snow is melting fast and what is left is more annoying spring snow and mostly in flat sections, with one large patch on a minor climb. Most of the remaining snow is over planks or ice water puddles. Wouldn't be worth carrying or putting on traction for what little is left. All ledges sections were dry today. Surface is rough enough that it appears there would be good grip even when wet (but maybe not), but I would not want to try this section in icy conditions (probably won't be an issue for a while). This section is quite a workout for ankles and calfs, going in both directions (as there are several dips). You really need to look carefully to stay on trail on the exposed ledges, even with the help of cairns.
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.