|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Whiteface, Mt. Passaconaway, NH|
||Downes Brook Trail, Kate Sleeper Trail, Blueberry Ledge Trail, Rollins Trail, Dicey’s Mill Trail, Walden Trail, Square Ledge Trail, Passaconaway Cutoff Trail, Oliverian Brook Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Wednesday, June 1, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Parked at Downes Brook Trail trailhead lot off NH 112. This large lot is dirt surfaced, has a kiosk, no privy. No fee. There is a large sign on NH 112 labeling the lot. Mosquitos swarmed us in the lot. Come prepared to step out of your vehicle then start running… |
||Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||There are more than 10 crossings of the Downes Brook on the Downes Brook trail. I kept my boots dry using exposed rocks for all of them. The one larger crossing on Passaconaway Cutoff was accomplished using ever so slightly submerged rocks. There are logs available if you wish to test your balance beam skills. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Blue blazes on Rollins Trail becoming quite faded. They stand out in the winter, not so much with green foliage. Otherwise these trails are well maintained. Water bars had been cleared on Dicey’s Mill, Walden (to jct with Square Ledge), and Square Ledge. Thanks!! |
||My dog did fine on all trails. Plenty of water points. Plenty. There are small ledges throughout, nothing he couldn’t handle (he’s 65 LBS, pit bull mutt mix). I let my dog off leash as I expected to encounter no other persons. We DID meet two other backpackers with their own pups. Very well behaved. I would leash if I expected more humans on the trail. My pup is overly friendly… |
||OH MY GAD. We were swarmed with mosquitos in the parking lot and first portions of trail for Downes Brook. A cloud of them flew right into my car when I opened the hatch to get my gear. At least I was occupied killing these vectors of disease while driving down the Kanc. I did apply bug dope in the lot, but that seemed to only attract more ‘skeeters. So we just started running and didn’t stop until we got into upper elevations. |
|Lost and Found:
||Pair of Golds Gym gloves on Downes Brook, left where found as I couldn’t stop due to the mosquitos. ||
Downes Brook > Kate Sleeper > Blueberry Ledge out and back to Whiteface viewpoint > Rollins Trail > Dicey’s Mill > Walden Trail > Square Ledge Trail > Passaconaway Cutoff > Oliverian Brook > road walk on NH 112 to end.
Downes Brook: lovely, gentle assent to the ridge. No blazes. Footpath simple to discern, even with all the water crossings. Great footing. Only one crossing had a carin. Lots of water crossings as noted above.
Kate Sleeper: oh I love this trail. Blazed in blue. Footbed simple to follow. Good footing. Some water running on trail but not enough to cause a work around. Sign at junction with Downes Brook is barely legible.
Blueberry Ledge: it was 0.1 miles out to the nice view point on Whiteface. Do the 0.1. Even with the rain it was a nice view. Not blazed. Signs are legible, but taking a beating from winter conditions.
Rollins Trail: blazed in blue, blazes fading. But the footbed is simple to follow. Good footing, well maintained. Met the only other hikers out today. These two ladies were backing around the area. Lovely to meet you!
Dicey’s Mill: then the sufferfest began… Not blazed. Footbed wide through the lower parts. Water point at Camp Rich tentsite flowing well. Well maintained with switchbacks and super nice stairs until the final ascent. Rough, rough footing in the upper parts. Basically a multi-tiered boulder scramble to the summit.
Walden Trail: blazed in blue. Rough, rough, rough footbed down to Square Ledge. This trail is lovingly maintained, but requires employment of all 4 appendages to descend. There are stairs, log cribbing and water bars. I was pretty cold and wet from the rain so I boogied down as fast as the slabs of wet rock would let me. No water points on this segment.
Square Ledge: not blazed. Simple to follow footbed. Terrible footing. It is only 0.7 miles to the next junction with Passaconaway Cutoff but man, does it take forever. Especially in the rain. This trail is steep, but not treacherous. Your feet will take a beating.
Passaconaway Cutoff: ah… much improved footing that gets better and better as the trail descends. Simple to follow footbed. Lots of water on this trail today. Some vats of mud. Not blazed (that I recall- but I tend to be able to follow the path in later spring/ summer conditions).
Oliverian Brook: not blazed until blue diamonds appear where the trail merges with a cross country ski trail. Footbed awesome, wide, simple to follow. Some mud, not deep. Gently graded trail to carry us out of the woods. I love this trail. Mosquitos swarming around the bog areas.
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.