Thursday, May 26, 2011


Time for our annual spring trail work trip to the west half of the UNH Trail, which leads from a parking area off the Kancamagus Highway up to the summit of 2532-ft. Hedgehog Mountain. Two guys who help every year with this trail - Rick Neville and Dave Stinson, both from the Seacoast area of NH - joined me on a generally cloudy day with occasional dark and threatening moments but no rain or thunder.

Along the way we cleaned about three dozen waterbars - most of which are located along the lower half of the trail, below Allen's Ledge - and removed about a dozen blowdowns of various sizes. I didn't take a lot of pictures today (a rarity) as work was the primary focus, but here are a few.

Before: Dave gets his folding saw ready for work on a double blowdown at 2300 ft.

After: The trail is cleared for passage.

From the summit of Hedgehog, we could see spring greens spreading through the Oliverian Brook valley. Mt. Paugus on the L, Square Ledge and Wonalancet Hedgehog (the "other" hedgehog on the Sandwich Range) on the R.

Mt. Passaconaway looms large, as always.

Looking down from the brink of the Hedgehog cliffs.

Looking east to Mt. Chocorua.

West to the Tripyramids.

On the way down, we cut back some old blowdowns that were crowding the trail. Dave is using one of several vintage crosscut saws that he has lovingly restored over the last few years. This one is nicknamed "Gram," because its blade features the "Great American tooth" pattern, with a series of three-pronged cutting teeth. Dave is certified as a crosscut sawyer by the U.S. Forest Service, and frequently takes part in crosscut saw workshops over on the Green Mountain National Forest.

On the way down, I made a quick trip up to Allen's Ledge to check the side trail and have a look at the expansive view over the Albany Intervale.

Thanks to Rick and Dave for their dedicated work on this trail!


  1. Great work Steve and crew! Makes me antsy for getting out myself. Everytime I read an Osseo TR it talks about 3 blowdowns on the trail that I want to get to before the AMC crew cuts through, but with our daughters graduation about the same time as my normal first trailwork trip, I've got a delay of two weeks! Very jealous of you!

  2. Thanks, Scott! Congrats to your daughter! You and Jake do a great job with Osseo, and you'll be out there soon enough. With all these thunderstorms kicking around, we may have more trees coming down.

    See you next month.


  3. Great job all. Love the picture of the old cross-cut saw in action. It is a lot of work to rehab and keep old saws in action. Hopefully I'll get trained at some point.


  4. Thanks, Chris - Dave has spent many, many hours painstakingly restoring his saws, and many more hours mastering the art of crosscut sawing. I am fortunate to have him helping me with my trails.