Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Pliny, Mt. Waumbek, Mt. Starr King, NH
Trails: Abandoned Priscilla Brook Trail, bushwhack, Kilkenny Ridge Trail, Starr King Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, July 17, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: We met at the Starr King Trailhead at 7am. The road in is dirt and has some large divots that cars, especially those with low clearance, will want to be very careful going over/avoiding. Only one other car there then and they were just about to head up. Another car was leaving as we then drove to the abandoned Priscilla Brook Trail off Ingerson Rd. I get son Rd is mostly dirt but in very good shape and a very easy drive for any car. If coming in on the west side of the road, the trail is on your left just after a small bridge over Priscilla Brook. It looks like an old grown in logging road. Enough room for one, maybe two cars to pull in there. Otherwise you’re looking at roadside parking which I don’t think would be ideal.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: None 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Priscilla Brook Trail is abandoned and although some recent looking trail work had been done near the beginning it is very overgrown from the start and is not at all like well travelled abandoned trails such as the Fire Wardens Trail to Hale. There are many blowdowns on it to negotiate. The followable trail ends at an old logging camp at 2500ft. The portion of Kilkenny Ridge Trail we were on has a followable footbed bit is very overgrown. At first, by brush, then, as you get closer to Waumbek, by spruce. It could definitely use so trimming. The footbed is there so it’s totally followable but may make a beginner a little unnerved. Kilkenny Ridge Trail is known for many blowdowns but this section wasn’t too bad. While Starr King Trail has newer blazes, this portion of Kilkenny Ridge Trail seemed to only have the occasional faded one. From Waumbek on the trail is obviously very well trodden, easy to follow, and better blazed.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: A few seen headed down Waumbek. I wouldn’t recommend bushwhacking with most dogs but the hike to Starr King or Waumbek would be fine for most. Note that there’s virtually no water on trail though.  
Bugs: Only noticeable when we stopped on the summit of Pliny. Black flies and mosquitos both there. Not horrific but bad enough that I wanted big spray. Also note that as there’s lots of vegetation in this area and the Priscilla Brook Trail is very overgrown, there seemed to be some prime spots for ticks along this hike. My friend and I checked ourselves for them but did not see any.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: Gridded out Waumbek today and got Mt Pliny for my 500 Highest. 12th peak out of 26 I need for the month of July. A pretty nice day; not too humid and not hot with temps at the base of the valley only reaching 69F when we returned at 12:45pm. We only felt a few drops of precipitation here and there too and the vegetation was not wet. A cloudy day but some nearby peaks could be seen from viewpoints.

We started up the abandoned Priscilla Brook Trail at 7:35am (hike took us 5hr10min, much less than I thought it might). The abandoned trail followed Priscilla Brook and headed northeast was very overgrown, and wet and muddy at times too. We reached an old logging camp at about 2550ft which is where the abandoned trail seemed to become indiscernible. We continued roughly along its path though (slightly to the right of it) until just shy of 2800ft as the footing become more difficult with lots of vegetation, especially hobblebrush. We then started making our way toward Pliny in a roughly straight line (E/SE) although trying to find the best woods as the footing was still a real pain with hobblebrush. We were going to end up missing the col between Pliny and West Pliny and being a bit north of it but we came across what looked like a very clear herd path in both directions so briefly took that. If I remember correctly, we jumped off of it because it seemed to be heading in a direction we didn’t want to go but then we found another one or two and although they took us right to the col obviously, it was easier than continuing with the rotten footing. The paths, however clear they were, seemed to disappear after a short time though. Anyone know anything about them. I’d be very interested...

Once in the col there was much better footing as our surroundings turned to more woods and less vegetation. I think it would be wiser to head straight up the grade to the col rather than slab like we did. I think you’ll have better footing/woods and have it sooner. From the col, it was a straight and easy shot to Pliny. The true summit and canister were easy to find. Just over 2.5mi from Ingerson Rd.

From the summit, we aimed for the easternmost part of the long flat ridge of Waumbek like most people do. We headed for the col between the ridge and Pliny (just west of north) but after a short ways we curved way off to our right (northeast) and had to correct. Still made it to the col easily enough and then headed up, pretty steeply at times, toward the ridge of Waumbek. In between Pliny and Waumbek there was some challenging footing again. Toward the col, too much vegetation. Near Kilkenny Ridge Trail, lots of blowdowns to negotiate (go figure, lol) but it also leveled out there.

My friend walked right over the trail when we reached it so make sure not to miss it! Just under 4mi from Ingerson Rd, so about 1.25mi from the summit of Pliny. About a mile from there to Waumbek, or just over. A pretty flat but overgrown walk. From there, we headed down the well trafficked Starr King Trail to the car seeing lots of people on the way. Nice to meet and talk with Josh at the viewpoint just beyond Waumbek.

It was so nice to sign into a canister again... email me if you’d like my track!  
Name: Liam Cooney  
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-07-17 
Link: https:// 
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