HEDGEHOG MOUNTAIN: 5/29/14
My stalwart friend Dave Stinson joined me for a day of spring trail work on my adopted western section of the UNH Trail on Hedgehog Mountain. Our main tasks were to clear out this section's 36 waterbars and remove whatever blowdowns we came across. It was a gorgeous spring day, sunny and in the 60s with low humidity.
We work on this trail section through the Adopt-a-Trail program of the WMNF Saco Ranger District. There are still some trails available for adoption (Pine Bend Brook Trail, anyone?); contact Trails Manager Cristin Bailey at email@example.com or 603-447-5448, x 112.
The waterbars seemed to be more clogged with leaves and sediment than usual and required a lot of digging. We wondered if this was partly a result of the torrential rain that fell two weeks earlier, resulting in some of the highest water since Tropical Storm Irene. In the photo below Dave is in the weeds as he cleans a waterbar below Allen's Ledge.
It took almost three hours to work our way up to Allen's Ledge; most of the waterbars are in this first mile. We took a sunny lunch break at the "lower perch" of Allen's, with its broad view over the Albany Intervale. Part of the time we shared the ledge with a nice young couple from Pennsylvania on their first visit to the White Mountains.
Mt. Chocorua and Mt. Paugus from Allen's Ledge. Wonderful "spring foliage" today.
The view north, with Mt. Washington just peering over to the R of Mt. Tremont.
Dave chopping a blowdown on the upper part of the trail. He has been certified in use of both axe and crosscut saw. Dave has lovingly restored several vintage crosscut saws and over the last few years they have dispatched a number of large blowdowns along the UNH Trail.
We reached the summit mid-afternoon, and took a long break in the sun.
I visited a couple of my favorite view ledges around the summit area, including this one with a vista of the Sleepers, Tripyramids and Osceolas.
Sleepers and Tripyramids with Downes Brook valley in the foreground.
Mt. Kancamagus, Potash Mountain, Mt. Huntington and the Hancocks.
King of the hill!
A wave of spring greens washes up on the flank of Mt. Passaconaway.
Gazing out over the Oliverian Brook valley in the eastern Sandwich Range Wilderness.
After a long siesta we headed back down, passing this view of Mt. Washington just north of the summit.
Below Allen's Ledge we removed a fairly large blowdown, the center piece of which is seen in the middle of the photo. This one took a good 45 minutes of saw and axe work due to some bone-solid heartwood. All told we removed 13 blowdowns on the day. It was a good day of work in the woods with plenty of good views as a bonus.