|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||North Twin Mountain, NH|
||North Twin Trail, bushwhack, FR304A, summit spur, herd path|
|Date of Hike:
||Thursday, November 10, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Room for a dozen plus cars. We were surprised to already see a few others at 7:30am. Haystack Rd is dirt but doable for low clearance cars. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||All crossings of the Little River were manageable as rock hops without getting your feet wet. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||North Twin Trail is blazed in yellow. Very well trodden and easy to follow. I don’t recall any blowdowns. |
||Hard no on the slide |
|Lost and Found:
||Another no good, good for nuthin’ lazy slacker kind of a day. Old man and the saw and I made our way up the trail and across the first water crossing. On the far side we backtracked just barely north of west to the drainage and toward FR304A (which we’d debated coming in but thought it was overgrown so opted not to). We looked for a herd path or old logging road we’d heard should be on the SE side of the drainage but had no luck. Open woods. We crossed the drainage and soon came to FR304A 0.3mi from the trail. We walked it 0.2mi south, crossing the drainage again, looking for the herd path. Some cool remnants of an old FS bridge across a drainage here. 0.1mi south of the drainage, FR304A, which is now a herd path more than a road, enters some spruce, here bend right and pick up a herd path that heads W/SW toward the drainage, then follows it to just shy of 2800ft. |
This herd path started off being pretty easy to follow but became more difficult particularly as it crossed a series of small streams. Had to sort of guess our way across but then noted pink flagging on the far side to let us know we were on the right track. That doesn’t last long though and the path soon becomes more consistently obscure though still usually followable. We more or less followed this for 3/4mi to just shy of 2800ft where it dumps you out into the dry, rocky brook bed. There’s a moose antler attached to a tree here. One could easily walk up this dry brook bed (until it’s no longer dry…) but there was clear pink flagging heading uphill to our left (east side of the drainage). We decided to follow that. The flagging is very frequent but not much of a herd path. Look for a sharp right turn. Doesn’t much matter though as the flagging stops very abruptly not that far from the moose antler.
We decided to continue slabbing up from here, eventually doing more of a contour once we hit 3100ft. Up until this point we had good woods virtually the entire time. Hard to say exactly where but somewhere around 3100ft and 1/3mi from the moose antlers, we began to encounter thicker woods, steeper side hill, and a bit of blowdowns. We eventually descended to the slide at about 3400ft, coming out right at the base of the first large big wet slab. Oh goody, the wetness comes in the form of ice. Personally, if I were doing this again, I’d try sticking to the drainage at least until it’s wet. You may move faster than us on the side hill. I say this not only because of the conditions we encountered and the fact that the brook bed was dry at 2800ft but also because when on the slide high above, we could see a gravel track quite a ways down.
When coming to the base of the slide, especially if descending from the east side like us, take care to not get pulled into the smaller, narrower drainage of the smaller and all wet slab slide that faces NW and can also be seen from Rt 115. We descended into this and crossed through the narrow strip of woods down low to the main slide. What came next was a bit frightening. The wet slab down low was often enough icy. Certainly weren’t going to walk on it so we cling to the edge and held on to trees. The woods would also be an option if you weren’t quite as looney as us. I’ll also note that we were on the east/left side of it but I noted some more mossy footing on the west side that may be better. In any case, for the next 0.2mi and 400ft of gain or so, we were on the edge of an icy slab. The last 0.1mi/200ft it began to transition to gravel and just shy of 3900ft, the slide turned entirely into gravel. Just the way we like ‘em!! There was still the occasional but of ice but from here on out the slide was very climbable. We enjoyed fantastic views north into northern NH and VT. There’s a cool split rock near the top of the slide. Climbing out of the trigger point wasn’t too difficult. Parts of the gravel were quite loose but I mostly avoided them. There was one sort where we walked parallel to each other rather than behind each other for fear of knocking rocks loose.
The woods above the slide weren’t as bad as I figured they’d be at first but they of course deteriorated. 0.2mi to the summit from the trigger point but it’s hard to make a straight line as you’ll naturally head to that awfully thick NW ridge that the abandoned North Twin Loop Trail used to follow. Though attempting to head directly to the summit rather than the shortest line to the ridge, we essentially cut the difference. As both of us remembered it, the ridge was awfully thick Popping out onto the viewpoint is pretty freaking cool though. There we ran back into Doug who I’d met in the parking lot. Takes with him much of the way down. Also a pleasure to run into Denise and her sister now working on her 48. Congratulations! Though not necessary, we took the herd path to avoid the water crossings on the return trip; it’s in good shape. 8mi/2800ft of gain.
||Liam Cooney and old man and the saw (the Lazy Slackers) |
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.