Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Madison, NH
Trails: Pine Link, Howker Ridge Trail, Osgood Trail, Daniel Webster Scout Trail, road walk
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, August 9, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Mine was the only car at the Pine Link trailhead on Pinkham B (Dolly Copp) Rd. when I left at 11 a.m. on a Monday and when I returned at 7:30. The road is passable but one must drive carefully to avoid washouts and frost heaves (?), which could damage the undercarriage of low-lying vehicles, especially on the paved (steeper) sections of the road north of the trailhead. The Webster-Scout trailhead is still closed; one has to park off the lower end of Pinkham B Rd. (search for Martin's Location on Google Maps) and follow a 3/4-mile detour.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Wet Trail, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: No difficulties, but a short portion of the Pine Link below the junction with Howker Ridge is essentially a stream bed, requiring care to avoid some deep pockets of water. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Pine Link and Webster-Scout should both be beautiful trails, but whereas Pine Link seems to be well maintained, Webster-Scout has serious issues. The lower section through woods has a lot of blowdown (including some I remember from four years ago), and it needs serious brushing. The upper section through talus fields needs better cairns or blazes; it is easy to go off the trail both upward and downward. At several points you need to be able to find tiny traces of old blue blazes, and the small cairns can be hard to spot.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: This is not suitable for dogs: difficult quasi-scrambles on Howker Ridge and rough talus both there and on Webster-Scout. 
Bugs: Not a problem, but the trailhead detour goes through several fields with high grass and other vegetation, so be sure to apply tick and insect repellent. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: An outdated USFS page for this trail is unclear as to whether the trailhead is closed (they say work will begin in September; what year was that?). The trailhead is indeed closed, and although the detour is well marked, it adds as much as 3/4 mile to the trail, which is already long (3.5 mi.).  
Name: David Schulenberg 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-08-10 
Link: https:// 
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