|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Moriah, North Carter, Mt. Lethe, Middle Carter, South Carter, Carter Dome, NH|
||Moriah Brook Trail, Carter-Moriah Trail, Carter Dome Trail, Black Angel Trail, Wild River Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Thursday, August 5, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||I accessed Moriah Brook from Wild River Campground. This is 5 miles in on Wild River Road off of ME 113 in Evans Notch. This is a good gravel road for any vehicle. The parking area is large and charges a daily fee of $5. Both Wild River Rd and ME 113 are closed (gated) in winter. |
||Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The “ford” of the Wild River on the Moriah Brook was achieved by only getting my feet wet on submerged rocks. I never actually went into the river like I did last time up to my thighs. All other crossings present no issues. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Moriah Brook’s few blue blazes are so very faded. These are super helpful in those confusing areas where the trail crosses the Brook several times. Black Angel has many blow downs (though Shoal Pond is the clear winner for “The Most Blow Downs in the Whites” award). Some have been axed. Some across the trail have had their branches removed (many thanks!). Many are still obstructing the trail. It would be nice to have an arrow sign on the Black Angel where the trail abruptly departs from the old woods road. |
||I’m sure they’d be just fine on all trails. Dogs may really love the Moriah Brook with all its water crossings. |
||Rain kept them in check. |
|Lost and Found:
Wild River Trail > Moriah Brook Trail > Carter-Moriah Trail to summit of Mt. Moriah and back > Carter-Moriah Trail > Carter Dome Trail > Carter-Moriah Trail to summit of Carter Dome and back > Black Angel Trail > Wild River Trail.
Wanting to revisit some lovely trails and get the Carters for my August grid, I elected to repeat a 22 mile loop of the peaks of the Wild River Wilderness.
Moriah Brook: this lightly used trail has some blue blazes at potentially confusing water crossings. These are extremely faded. I classify this trail as unblazed. The footbed was simple to discern despite some very overgrown sections. This is a gem of a trail. It’s gentle grades, plethora of backcountry camping spots, and gorgeous cascades make it a destination in its own right. There are many mud pits, some have deteriorated bog bridges that present more of a face slapping hazard than they help negotiate shoe sucking mud vats.
Carter-Moriah: this is the AT and is well blazed in standard white blazes. Rugged, steep, and beautiful. This is my favorite range after the Bigelows. Several AT thru hikers making their unique pilgrimage to Maine. Met two nice young folks out on their own backpacking adventure. Thanks for letting me hang around for a couple of miles! North Carter has some very steep, but not exposed, ledges that were tricky today with the start of rain. Felt more like rock climbing than hiking… The wet conditions made for slippery footing across the multitude of rocks on this trail. One mud pit claimed me up to my thigh for a minute or two. Guess I needed that brown toenail polish.
Carter Dome Trail: one blue blaze after the junction with the Carter-Moriah. Nice, sheltered ascent to Carter Dome. Footing a bit of an issue with the rain and wet trail. And rocks. Did I mention all the wet rocks? No mud pits on this section.
Black Angel Trail: I am referring to the western segment of this trail. This is a gorgeous trail. Not blazed though you will encounter some random yellow blazes here and there. The portion coming off Carter Dome is steep with awkward, but soft, footing. This continues for roughly a mile before the grade eases a bit. Because it is less used, wet roots presented a real hazard today. In the steepest portions I had to use my trusty gluteus maximus to slide down some tricky rocks (not exposed, just odd angles and steep). Once the steep grade eases, it is a beautiful walk through big woods. Down near the junction with Wild River/Highwater, the trail turns abruptly off a old woods road. This is only marked with an abysmally small carin. There are many blow downs that obstruct the trail. This will take additional time to negotiate. Many water points running strong. If you’re dry off the Carter-Moriah, have no fear. This trail will rehydrate you. Many backcountry camping spots for the taking.
Wild River Trail: unblazed trail. Relatively flat, fast. Footbed simple to discern. For the water crossing after the junction with Blank Angel, follow man-made stone steps, then veer to the left to follow the trail to a few more steps then cross the Wild River on large boulders. I had no issues with the water crossing. This section of the Wild River trail is mostly wide trail with few blow downs. I averaged 3.5 miles per hour on this grade. No significant obstacles presented themselves today. Well, aside from that large, fresh pile of bear scat. I mean, who else poops on the trail with blueberry stained scat?!?
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.