|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Whiteface, NH|
||Flat Mountain Pond Trail, McCrillis Trail, Rollins Trail, Dicey's Mill Trail, Blueberry Ledge Cutoff, Blueberry Ledge Trail, McCrillis Path|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, July 9, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Plenty of room in the Flat Mountain Pond trailhead parking area off Whiteface Intervale Rd. A couple cars when I arrived, maybe 8 or so when I got back. Still plenty of room. |
||Dry Trail |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||I was ready for the crossing of Whiteface River on Flat Mountain Pond Trail to be a major event, but water levels are low and the crossing was actually pretty easy. The crossing on Dicey's Mill Trail is also easy even if you don't walk across on the tree trunk that spans the brook. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Several blowdowns on McCrillis Trail, though not too many considering that it's in a Wilderness, and none that obscured the trail. Rollins was in good shape. One large widowmaker on the lower Dicey's Mill Trail. McCrillis Path is quite faint between the upper junction with the ski trail and where it meets the old road. Even though that part is in the Wilderness, I think a few blazes would still help there (that, or it just needs more hikers). No major drainage issues, though water levels were quite low so I'm not sure what the trails are like just after a rainstorm. Signs are in good shape, though the sign for Rollins at the junction with Blueberry Ledge and McCrillis Trail isn't visible from the ledge. |
||Sturdy hiking dogs could probably handle all of these trails, however there's very little water from the crossing of Whiteface River on Flat Mountain Pond Trail to the crossing on Dicey's Mill Trail, and that's something like 7.2 miles with a significant amount of climbing. So make sure they have all the water they need. |
||I applied 25% DEET to my clothing and hat at the beginning of the hike, and they didn't bother me until the hike out on McCrillis Path. And even then, they weren't that bad. I did see a couple people wearing head nets, though. |
|Lost and Found:
||This was a beast of a hike, but one that I nonetheless greatly enjoyed. The start of Flat Mountain Pond Trail was a wide dirt road, and the right turn onto a woods road and then the next right turn onto the footpath are both well signed. As I mentioned above, the crossing of Whiteface River was easy, though I can see how it could be tough at times of high water. The lower McCrillis Trail stayed flat and/or gradual for longer than I expected, but when McCrillis Trail decides to ascend, it really ascends. The upper McCrillis Trail is a constant steep grind - there are a few rough sections but the footing overall isn't too bad. It's no joke though - don't underestimate it. I didn't see a soul from the start of the hike until I reached the junction with Blueberry Ledge and Rollins at the south summit of Mt. Whiteface.|
The views were excellent there, and I chatted with some other hikers who were doing Whiteface and Passaconaway or even longer hikes. Rollins was the roughest trail of the day - plenty of steep ledges that needed to be negotiated carefully. None of the ledges were especially large, and the rock was dry, so it wasn't too bad. Once Rollins drops into the col between Whiteface and Passaconaway, it gets smoother. I had lunch at the junction of Rollins and Dicey's Mill - this was a happening place while I was there, since I must have seen at least a dozen other hikers while I was there.
Dicey's Mill Trail is a nice descent - lots of new rock work (rock steps, waterbars) since the last time I was there, and this made the descent fairly quick. I crossed the bridge over Wonalancet River to Blueberry Ledge Cutoff, and took that to Blueberry Ledge Trail and from there gradually up to the junction with McCrillis Path, which was my last trail of the day to redline. McCrillis Path is interesting - the part of the trail up to where the old road is blocked off is a nice woods walk with good footing. At this point, the trail bears right (no sign, but a footpath that should be discernable to experienced hikers), and winds gradually up and then across the hill on a somewhat rough footway that took care to follow in places (though I never lost the trail). The only place where I questioned where the trail went was after the upper junction with the ski trail and just before the descent to Captain Neal Brook - an overgrown old road bears left while the trail bears right as a footpath. This spot is outside of the Wilderness - an arrow would have been useful here. The small gorge on Captain Neal Brook was interesting, even if there wasn't much water in the brook. The remainder of the descent and road walk was straightforward and easy, and there are signs for McCrillis Path at the junction of the driveway and Whiteface Intervale Road and also across from the trailhead parking area.
At 14.3 miles, this is the longest day hike I have ever done, and I do not plan to surpass this record at any point during my redlining. Despite the length, the hike took only 8 hours - significantly less time than I expected, and comparable to (or even less time than) the 12-mile hikes I did earlier this summer. The weather was beautiful, everyone was friendly, and it was a fantastic day.
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.