|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Bare Mountain, Mt. Hitchcock, MA|
||Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, Mt. Hitchcock Trail, Lithia Springs Trail, Judd Trail, Robert Frost Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Monday, April 18, 2016|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Parked at the Notch Visitor Center on Rt. 116. The lot was packed when I got there at 11:30 on a Monday (!). |
||Dry Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||No problems. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||MMT near the summit of Bare has been well-worn by the heavy traffic, with numerous bypasses. Very Mt. Major-like. : / Marked with white blazes. MHT is lightly traveled with heavy leaf cover. A few blowdowns. Marked with red blazes. LST is a snowmobile trail with some areas of standing water and mud. Marked with yellow blazes. JT has no blazing. RFT also sees little use with heavy leaf cover. Marked with red/orange blazes. Where it meets the MMT on the ridge is not completely obvious (there is blazing at the junction though), with a couple of blowdowns right at the top obscuring things. No signage at any junctions that I noticed. |
||Sure, saw a few. No water in this area though, so be sure to carry enough. |
||Yes, they've woken up and are biting. |
|Lost and Found:
||A short but very steep and rugged loop over two low peaks in the western Holyoke Range to break in some new boots and to try and shake an old injury.|
Up to Bare first via the steep, rough climb out of the notch. Tons of people here when I arrived, so I kept moving toward Hitchcock. Lots of steep and rough ups and downs along the way. This ridge has a well-deserved reputation!
From Hitchcock, I descended south off the ridge via the MHT, an old road. At one point I wandered off it onto another old road, which eventually rejoined the trail.
Back on flat ground, I followed the LST to a prominent but unmarked junction with the JT, shortly after the Granby / South Hadley town line (marked with a granite boundary post) and a gate. Near the start of the JT are the remains of a neat stone CCC cabin. The JT and RFT do not appear as named trails on the AMC Massachusetts map, but combined they are the 0.8 mi. unnamed segment indicated on the map between LST and MMT.
I hopped on the RFT which starts flat, then shoots up pretty steeply, climbing back up to the main ridge via a narrow spur ridge. Once back on the MMT, I reclimbed Bare to find fewer people. From there I made the rough, rocky, steep descent back to the notch.
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.