|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Jackson, Mt. Webster, NH|
||Webster Cliff Trail, Saco River Trail, Dry River Trail, Mt. Clinton Trail, bushwhack, Webster Cliff Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, June 5, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Parking at Ripley Falls was getting pretty full even before 7 AM. I suppose you could find plenty of space along Route 302 though. |
||Dry Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||All water crossings are very low right now due to drought. None were particularly challenging... the largest is the crossing of the Dry River just as you begin the Mount Clinton Trail (from Dry River trail) and the river is very low here. There are many cairns leading across the river and one on the opposite bank to show you exactly where to go. There is a footbridge on Webster Cliff Trail just off the road and a suspension bridge across the Dry River on Dry River Trail. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||There are about 3 blowdowns on Saco River Trail, all relatively small but not easy under/overs. Dry River trail looked overall fine, just the usual erosion. The first 1-1.5 miles of Mount Clinton trail is brushy but relatively easy to follow (know the trail by the blowdowns with axe/saw marks). After the 2nd smaller river crossing (excluding the crossing of Dry River), I found the trail significantly hard to pick back up. Big thanks to the new adopters of Mount Clinton Trail for taking on such a big challenge, and I can't wait to come back in a few years to see what it looks like.
Webster Cliff Trail (the AT) has some lovely new drainages and rock steps (in progress) to help with the erosion and is generally in good shape. |
||Good trails for dogs! Minor exception maybe being Webster Cliff Trail, which is pretty rugged with lots of scrambles on the way down from Webster. Plenty of small water sources all around. |
||Tons of black flies up on the ridge, more mosquitoes at low elevations but overall not terrible. Bug spray could be helpful. |
|Lost and Found:
||I want to strongly caution people against the Mount Clinton Trail in its current form. I'm not sure what it's like descending, but ascending I had a really hard time following it from about halfway up. You cross the Dry River first (no problem with cairns), then two smaller crossings of a tributary, and the second one really had me stumped. I found what I thought to be the trail (a very wet, muddy trough) heading up from across the stream but this was a dead end. Maybe the river is not supposed to be crossed at this spot? The hobblebush combined with wet trail could be obscuring it. If you plan to ascend this way, expect to have navigational difficulties and maybe turn around.|
I chose to bushwhack from this second tributary crossing directly NW to the summit of Jackson, up a gradual incline through mostly open woods, until you hit a REALLY thick "crown" of nearly impenetrable, thick spruce just around the summit. I do not recommend this bushwhack, although heading more west and less north resulted in slightly more open woods and eventually an outlet to the Webster Cliff Trail.
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.