|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Starr King, Mt. Waumbek, South Weeks, Middle Weeks, North Weeks, Terrace Mountain, Mt. Cabot, The Bulge, The Horn, NH|
||Starr King Trail, Kilkenny Ridge Trail, Unknown Pond Trail, Cohos Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, July 8, 2012|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Gate on Mill Brook rd is open in the summer. Gate on South Pond rd only open between 10am and 5pm. Broken glass at Mill Brook trailhead |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant, Standing/Running Water on Trail |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Tricky crossing at Kilback bog. Log footbridge is partially out and replaced with loose logs that roll underfoot. Little water along Kilkenny Ridge between York Pond trail and Starr King. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Numerous blowdowns along Kilkenny Ridge, especially between Waumbek and York Pond Trail. Trail overgrown and slippery underfoot. Blazes are sporadic and blowdowns can make the trail difficult to follow in a couple of spots. |
||Saw 1 dog (black lab) doing the Weeks. Could be difficult for dogs because of blowdowns and lack of water. |
||Not bad if you keep moving. Black flies and mosquitoes were only a problem near standing water. |
|Lost and Found:
||Summary: Two-day backpack through the Pliny and Pilot ranges of northern New Hampshire. Started at the Starr King Trailhead on Rt 2 and went up and over Starr King, Waumbek, North and South Weeks, Terrace Mt., and stayed overnight at the cabin on Mt Cabot. Sunday morning I went over Cabot, The Bulge, and the Horn. Dropped down to Unknown Pond and then down to the Mill Brook trailhead to meet some friends. Back up to Unknown Pond and then North on the Kilkenny Ridge trail to the South Ponds and Route 110. 31 miles, 31 bird species. Highlights and full species list below. |
Starr King trail was in good condition. Spring below the summit was low but usable. Kilkenny Ridge trail to Mt. Waumbek in good condition. Kilkenny Ridge trail from Mt. Waumbek over the Weeks to York Pond Trail in poor condition. Much of the trail is overgrown with ferns and other vegetation, which makes the footing tricky on the loose, moss-covered rocks. Numerous blowdowns on this section. All the blowdowns were passable with reasonable effort, but I will be carrying a hatchet next time I hike in the area to help with trail maintenance. The trail is blazed but sporadically in some sections. Be careful on the North side of Middle Weeks. A large blowdown obscures the trail at a bend to the West and there are two recent herd paths leading to the North and East where hikers struck out in the wrong direction. I tried to block the herd paths with available logs and downed branches, but it would be easy to get confused here. Kilkenny Ridge trail between York Pond trail and Bunnell Notch was slightly better, but still little used with some blowdowns. Cabot trail to Cabot Cabin was in good condition. I saw no water sources between the spring below Starr King and the York Pond trail. There is a stream near the York Pond trail junction, but lots of Moose activity in this notch, so make sure you filter and treat it well. No more water until Bunnell Notch where a small spring was flowing out of the North side of the trail before the junction with the Cabot trail. No water at Cabot Cabin, though there was a very small spring off the trail just below Cabot summit 0.2 miles from the Cabin (marked with a sign). Cabin is in reasonable condition, though very musty. Clear night so I slept out on the porch. Very nice! Kilkenny Ridge from Cabot over the Bulge and the Horn to Unknown Pond in OK condition. Evidence of recent trailwork to clear blowdowns. Mill Brook trail in good condition, though wet in some spots. Kilkenny Ridge from Unknown Pond to South Ponds was overgrown in spots, but no trouble following the trail. A few blowdowns, but nothing major. Nice view from Rogerís Ledge. Crossing Kilback bog was a little dicey as the log bridges are partially gone and have been replaced by loose logs that roll underfoot. Use caution!! When I reached the trailhead at South Pond I hiked out along South Pond road. I cut back into the woods on the Cohos Trail just north of the junction of South Pond Road and Normand Road. I actually cut in too soon on a skidder road and wandered around for a few minutes before encountering the broad snowmobile trail that doubles as the Cohos trail on this short segment. Followed this trail to the junction with 110. Did not look like anyone other than moose and deer are using this trail at the moment, though it was well marked with yellow plastic blazes. Great hike through beautiful country. Canít wait to see the rest of the Cohos trail!
Bird highlights: Bicknellís Thrushes between Starr King and Waumbek, several between Waumbek and South Weeks, more on N. Weeks, 3 at Cabot Cabin and one more at The Horn. Female Black-backed woodpecker working the snags in a regenerating fir stand just North of Mt. Waumbek. Family of Gray Jays (2 adults, three hatch-year) on the South side of North Weeks. A male Black-backed Woodpecker flew in and chased one of the adult Gray Jays while I was watching the group. 2 more Gray Jays at Cabot Cabin. Two Boreal chickadees on the North side of Middle Weeks and two pair of Boreal Chickadees fighting on The Horn (North of Mt. Cabot). Yellow-bellied Flycatcher on Mt. Cabot. Multiple family groups of Red-breasted Nuthatches (cute!).
Other animals: Lots of moose sign, White-tailed deer, American toads all over the trails, snowshoe hare, white-footed mice, vole sp., weasel scat.
Number of Species 31
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
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.