|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Flume, Mt. Liberty, Little Haystack Mountain, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Truman, Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Garfield, Garfield Ridge - East Peak, Galehead Mountain, South Twin Mountain, North Twin Mountain, Mt. Guyot, Zealand Mountain, NH|
||Whitehouse Trail, Liberty Springs Trail, Franconia Ridge Trail, Garfield Ridge Trail, Frost Trail, Twinway Trail, Zeacliff Trail, Ethan Pond Trail, road walk|
|Date of Hike:
||Monday, June 27, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Our initial plan had us ending at Great Gulf parking area off NH 16. This large, paved lot requires a fee ($5 a day) or WMNF pass. Our car was not vandalized during the three days we were out. There are well stocked privies. We were dropped at the Flume Visitor Center parking area. This large lot is paved and was completely filled at 10:30am when we were dropped off on Saturday. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||No issues. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Good trails for dogs. Rocks on Franconia Ridge we’re giving some pup’s paws issues. Luckily, most owners had dog booties to help.
Beware there is NO WATER if traveling from Liberty Springs over Franconia and Garfield Ridges until you get to Garfield Pond just below the summit climb. |
||Oh they Lord. I’m STILL scratching. Black flies and deer flies were insatiable at all elevations. We were eaten up like deep fried tofu at a Yogi convention. But no ticks… that was interesting. |
|Lost and Found:
||Hike was from Saturday, June 25 through Monday, June 27.|
Whitehouse > Liberty Springs > Franconia Ridge (out and back to Flume) > Garfield Ridge > Frost Trail (out and back to Galehead summit) > Twinway > North Twin Spur (out and back to N. Twin summit) > Twinway > Zeacliff Trail > Ethan Pond > roadwalk on US 302 to Highlands Center.
Whitehouse: well blazed in blue, gentle grades. Easy 0.9 mile access to Liberty Springs. Great footing.
Liberty Springs: this is part of the AT and is well blazed in white blazes. Well travelled footbed. Rough footing as elevation increases. Creeks running well. Water point at Liberty Springs campsite running strong.
- Out to Mt Flume the trail is well blazed in blue, carins on ledges. Well travelled route. Rough footing. Mud. Super busy on Saturday.
- Heading towards Lafayette the trail is well blazed in white. Rough footing in parts. Mud. We met no hikers on this segment. Huh. But we got a super late start. Major summits marked with large carins. Busy trail.
Garfield Ridge: also part of the AT and blazed in white. Rough, rough footing with lots of ledges to scramble up/down/around. No treacherous stuff. See notes about water. Our two liters each were just enough to get us over this segment in that day’s heat to Garfield Pond. After Garfield’s summit, there are many water points starting at the campsite.
Frost trail: not blazed, well travelled. Some mud. 12 minutes from hut to summit. Nice view below the summit. Summit is marked with large rock carin in the woods.
Twinway: this is the AT and is blazed in white. Concrete footbed.
North Twin Spur: blazed in blue. Mud where there is always mud. Rough footing, but much less so than Twinway. North Twin has a nice view that is signed.
Zeacliff Trail: this is the whole reason I wrote this report. Ok. Type III fun seekers- this is your trail. Oh they Lord. It took us 1.5 hours to descend 1.4 miles (in full packs). This sucker is steep. Knee grinding, teeth clattering (denture wearers may want to remove them, bra wearers may want to tighten straps), neck snapping steep. Plan for extra time. There are a few tricky parts that required butt and/or belly employment to get down. These parts consisted of slick, algae covered steep ledges with only tendrils of tree roots to hold onto or high ledges with no foot or hand holds (thus the abdomen makes a nice friction surface). Though no truly treacherous stuff, it took serious time to negotiate this trail, especially in the upper sections. We did note some blue blazes in the upper sections. Footbed was simple to follow. Not as well travelled as other trails in the area (huh, wonder why that is…).
Ethan Pond: being part of the AT it is well blazed in white with lovely bog bridges to help with the muck. Deep mud inn a few sections. Great trail!! Campsite has a caretaker, nice shelter with the pond as the water point.
AMC shuttle obtained at the Highlands Center. $24 per person ($21 for AMC members). Schedule and drop off/pick up points available at outdoors.org. Great shuttles. We were able to walk on thanks to the ingenious logistic efforts of the drivers.
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.