Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Jefferson, NH
Trails: Castle Trail, Israel Ridge Path, Randolph Path, Gulfside, Jefferson Loop
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, September 20, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Small lot off US 2. Do not block Presidential Rail Trail or driveway. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Crossed Israel River on Castle Trail when the path first meets the river rather than at the marked crossing as the rock selection was better at this spot. The crossing of the Israel River on the Israel Ridge Path at the marked route was on small rocks that were wet and mossy. I find this crossing to usually be slippery. The crossing of Cascade Brook on the Israel Ridge Path was not difficult. All crossings would be difficult in high water. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Trails in good condition. Not much erosion noted. The ladders on the Israel Ridge Path are new or reconstructed and are in fine condition. One small birch across the Israel Ridge Path that was a step on and over. Can be cut with a small saw. One large evergreen across the Castle Trail on the slope of Bowman Mountain. The tree is 12"+ diameter. It is fairly high above the surface (~ 5ft) so it isn't too difficult to go under although there is a sloped ledge beneath the tree. Temporary trail sign for the Emerald Trail at the junction with the Israel Ridge Path. A temporary trail sign at the upper Israel Ridge Path - Randolph Path junction for the Randolph Path (orientation of sign is awkward but it is instructive) 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Israel Ridge Trail has ladders. Castle Trail has some tricky ledges. Some rock surfaces above tree line are abrasive. 
Bugs: Some small flies at the summit of Mt Jefferson and on the Castles. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Great day in the alpine zone. Could see from Maine to Vermont.
On the hike up the Israel Ridge Path I stopped at First Cascade going 0.1 miles on The Link, the Second Cascade just off the Israel Ridge Path, and Emerald Bluff 0.1 miles on the Emerald Trail. The forest above Second Cascade was never harvested.
Be prepared to be dexterous on the Castle Trail as there is a need for foot and hand holds to negotiate some of the ledges. This trail would be especially difficult in wet weather.
Met a Nantucket hiker who was traversing the Presidential Range. There was a group of 10 to 12 Holderness School students/advisors on the summit. Met two other hikers on my descent on the Castle Trail. Most of the hike was in solitude.
At the parking area I met a dog walker who encountered two bears on the Presidential Rail Trail. There is a USFS bear alert sign near the beginning of the Castle Trail that warns of recent incidences with bears in the area.  
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-09-20 
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Bookmark and Share 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.

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