TWO TRAILS RENEWED: 9/29/16
On a fine sunny day I hiked two trails that have seen major improvements this year.
On the east side of Hurricane Trail on the south ridge of Mt. Moosilauke, the Dartmouth Outing Club trail crew led by Sam Kernan did a ton of drainage work, and cut two relocations plus a new spur to a ledge viewpoint.
On several trips to the Hubbard Brook Trail between Mt. Kineo and Mt. Cushman, volunteer Bill Tarkulich and friends brushed and blazed the entire trail, rescuing it from obscurity, and marked a relocation around an area of beaver activity that had obliterated the trail. Kudos and thanks!!
The site of Camp 1 of the early 1900s Park logging operation.
One of many new drainages constructed by DOC.
A nice ferny section of Hurricane Trail, rather Kilkenny-ish.
A new footbridge on a relocation around a wet, eroded section.
Cribbing work along another wet stretch.
Sign marking the new spur along the height-of-land on Hurricane Mountain.
The spur path has soft footing.
Approaching the view ledge.
It won't add Hurricane to the NH 52 With A View list, but this sunny spot has a nice vista south to Mt. Kineo, Stinson Mtn.,Whitcher Hill, and Carr Mtn. Chokecherry Hill is close by on the right.
The fine peak of Mt. Kineo.
More good work along Hurricane Trail.
Another relocation bypasses a nasty section at the top of the steep climb on the west side, and offers this little view out to the Killington Range on the horizon.
This relo was cut through some very dense growth.
Returning along the ridgecrest.
Ferns and a hint of foliage.
A fern meadow beside the trail.
The South Peak of Moosilauke from the Breezy Point trailhead.
Mt. Kineo from Breezy Point.
It was a short drive to the western trailhead for Hubbard Brook Trail off Rt. 118. A short way in is this junction with the notoriously obscure northern section of Three Ponds Trail.
The first 0.4 mile is up a somewhat overgrown logging road.
A good sign marks the turn into the woods.
Most of the Hubbard Brook Trail is a ramble through fine hardwood forest...
...with views of several beaver wetlands along the way.
An old yellow birch with character.
The trail climbs to and enters the deep notch between Mt. Kineo and Mt. Cushman, then runs parallel to a large beaver swamp.
A beautiful beaver pond/meadow resides deep in the notch, elevation about 2000 ft. The trail through the notch was originally opened in 1881-82 by the AMC as the "West Thornton-Warren Path," with a spur leading to the cleared summit of Mt. Kineo. It was abandoned by the early 1900s, but reappeared on maps in the 1920s.
The rugged slopes of Kineo rise on the south side.
A neat section along the shore of the pond.
View from the east end.
Near the east end the trail had disappeared into an area of beaver damming and tree-felling. There is now a blazed reroute around the north side, though it's brand new with no footway, so at present it is a "bushwhack with blazes."
The beavers have been busy...
Coming from the east, this is where the trail was lost.
Towering maples on the north side of the notch.
Dead tree dance.
A dusky pool.
A beaver meadow down below, to the west of the notch, with dusk approaching.