Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Cabot, NH
Trails: York Pond Trail, Bunnell Notch Trail, Kilkenny Ridge Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, March 16, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at Unknown Pond trailhead lot off York Pond Rd. York Pond Road is a good paved road until it crosses the WMNF boundary. It is a good dirt road, in snow free seasons, to the parking area. This morning the road was packed snow and plowed (many thanks!) with many open areas of road exposed. It was icy in sections. This afternoon there were many more areas of exposed road but the snow packed portions were quite slick. I found that 20 MPH was enough to keep me in control of the vehicle and generate enough friction to stay on the road over the slick sections. The large lot was also plowed. The small parking area at the York Pond trailhead was also plowed. Very limited roadside parking. I did fine in AWD, but I think a seasoned driver in a FWD vehicle would be fine. The gate was solidly buried in the snow bank so I think I’m safe to assume it does not close… 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts, Snow - Wet/Sticky 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: The larger crossings were still snow bridged. Many, many hop overs that required going down a small slope to either a) jump to the the slope on the other side or, b) slide down the slope to the water and huff your way up the other side. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Dog did great. No treacherous obstacles or cliffs, save the Bunnell Rock. Just kept a close eye on him so he wouldn’t get too close to the edge. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Route:
York Pond trl > Bunnell Notch trl > Kilkenny Ridge trl > and back…

Snowshoes from door to door. Several fresh inches of snow to move through in the AM, soft and sticky snow in the PM. So heavy!! No way would spikes work. These trails were largely broken out but they are not packed superhighways, the snow would ball up on spikes anyway.

York Pond: not blazed, nice soft trench. My 65 LBS dog was sinking 1.5-2 inches on this trail.

Bunnell Notch: not blazed save a few yellow blazes in random places. Trench covered in 6 inches of snow, much more in upper elevations but a hard working snowshoe group broke out the worst of this yesterday (thanks, dudes! Nice track!). Myself and new Trail friend pushed through more layers of snow despite the prior breaking efforts. My dog, who could use some snowshoes, was “post holing” 2-3 inches. Solid snow cover throughout the woods.

Kilkenny Ridge: for some reason there are few to no yellow blazes in this section except for the climb to the summit past Cabot cabin. This section is well blazed in updated yellow blazes. Thank goodness as the snow level is high. Temps in the morning kept the snow loose granular over the entirety. Upon the return, all sun exposed sections were quickly softening below 3700 feet. We’re talking about maybe a hour’s difference in time between nice, granular frozen snow to mashed potatoes. Minor drifting but it was well below freezing above 3700 feet so drifts were easily walked over. No ice whatsoever today. The cabin is doing its best to stay afloat in the snow. Some drifts come to the windowsills. Snow levels reach the porch decking.

The summit is not officially signed though the trail direction sign just clears the snow level in the summit area and is considered by most to be the summit. There is a small carin in the woods just 50 or so feet from this area if you’re a die-hard rock pile toucher. ;) It was hard to determine the surrounding snow level while in shoes, so I experimentally plunged by trekking pole into the area around the trail sign. Huh. Looks to be 3 feet deep… Pole was buried past the hilt!

Thanks so much for the company, Ms Donna! Wonderful running into you again and best of luck on conquering your seasonal 48!! I agree, I’m sure we will cross paths again.  
Name: Remington34 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-03-16 
Link: https:// 
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