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Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks West (Pond) Mountain, VT
Trails
Trails: logging roads, herd path, old Fire Warden's Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Friday, October 20, 2017
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked off of Notch Pond Road in Ferdinand, 2.7 miles in from VT 105. I stayed right until the last power line crossing, then stayed straight, passing a camp on the right just after, then parked where the road became grown in straight ahead, but continued to be clear to the right. Began the hike on the grown in road heading straight at the junction.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Leaves - Significant/Slippery 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: The initial logging road approach crosses a beaver swamp about 0.8 miles in, there is a scrappy herd path (which you can pick up to the right) that winds along the edge, and you can then cross the dam to reconnect with the road on the other side. No other crossings. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: The first logging road was fairly grown in with high grass, some thorns at first, and some nettles for good measure. A few stepover blowdowns along the way too, no show-stoppers. There is an obvious herd path along its length. Once at Moose Turd Lodge, the roads improve. The old warden's trail is in good shape, and is easy to follow, despite not being marked. There are a few diverging routes on the way up, and most of them appear to connect back in with the main trail, but I didn't have time to explore.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs
Bugs:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
 
Comments
Comments: Having seen only scattered several year old reports about this peak, and not much else, I went to check out the tower on West Mountain. From where I parked, the logging road approach made me glad I was wearing pants, but wasn't that bad, with a generally defined herd path throughout. The beaver swamp was interesting to get around, but if you can follow the scrappy herd path through the thick bits on the right edge, you'll be back out on the logging road in no time. Plus you get a view of the tower up on the ridge to motivate you. Shortly after the swamp, you'll reach the Moose Turd Lodge (seriously, that's what the sign says), and a road coming up from South America Pond Road (which I'd learn is a more pleasant approach). Go left past the lodge, and keep an eye out for the large red gate on the left. Go around the gate and follow this road for about 0.3, where it becomes grown in ahead, take the obvious path to the right. There are two places where the trail forks, and I took the left fork both times. One of the right forks has a prominently placed plastic Halloween decoration, a funny find. Nearing the summit, a footpath enters from the left, perhaps coinciding with the trail shown on the map I'd seen, potentially connecting back down to the road. The summit cabin, associated shed, tower, and other infrastructure were all in great shape. The cabin is locked, but it looks like the place is well taken care of, there's even a riding lawnmower up there!!! There also appears to be another trail heading south from the summit. The wood steps up the tower aren't in bad shape, but be cautious anyway, and the trap door is heavy, put a shoulder into it. Excellent views of the whole NH North Country, clear across all of northern Vermont, and into Quebec. The wind was up, and made standing around in the tower a bit disconcerting, so I descended and hung out in a patch of sun on the porch of the cabin. Jogged back the way I came. Really a gem of a peak!  
Name
Name: Bill Robichaud 
E-Mail
E-Mail: bill.robichaud@gmail.com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2017-10-21 
Link
Link: http:// 
Bookmark and Share 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.

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