Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Sugarloaf Mountain, Spaulding Mountain, Mt. Abraham, ME
Trails: Appalachian Trail, Abraham Side Trail, bushwhack, logging road, Caribou Valley Road
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Friday, November 24, 2017
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: CVR was also impacted by the October storm. Many rutted areas, failed culvert that nearly destroyed my Rav4 driving in night before, and quite icy. There was a minivan in the lot when I left, so I guess if you're extremely careful, you can get about anything up there. I was very glad to have high clearance AWD. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Ice - Blue, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow - Drifts, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Plank is missing on S Branch Carrabassett River AT crossing. Marginal ice bridges. Was able to rock hop with a little ice bridge support. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Major October storm tree damage along the AT on the ridge. There are sections where you can't go 100ft without encountering the next obstacle. There was one major microburst area between Sugarloaf and Spaulding with 10+ large trees involved. Between Spaulding and junction to Abraham Side Tr, there are numerous large tree piles down, with several trees at 12-14" in diameter. The AT up to Sugarloaf spur was in decent shape, a few blow-downs and duck-unders. Same for Abraham Side Trail. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: None. No people tracks or people either. Just fresh bear tracks everywhere I went. 
Bugs: As cold as it was, I saw a few mosquitoes in the valley 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: AT, Abraham Side Trail, Caribou Pond Snowmobile Pass (bushwhack), Caribou Valley Rd

This hike completed my NE67. I expected clear skies and dusting of snow, but summits were densely socked in and there was 4-5" of snow for much of the hike. Severe tree damage from month-ago storm was no surprise on the ridge. Most obstacles could be navigated without leaving the trail corridor, but there were several that require acrobatic skills, crawling on all fours and bushwhacking. It was disconcerting to see very fresh bear tracks in the snow almost everywhere I went. Why are they still out and about? I did not want to see one, to see one in that dense forest meant seeing them eyeball to eyeball. I made some noise alright. Many moose tracks up on the ridge too and area where they bedded along Abraham Side Trail. Cloud deck down to about 3200ft all day, zero views from the tops. Fair amount of ice under snow on spur to Sugarloaf, not too much elsewhere. Wore microspikes most of the day. On the return, I didn't relish the idea of returning the way I came with all the trees down and climbing over Spaulding again. I plotted Caribou Pond Snowmobile Pass trail on my GPS and thought it could be no worse. From the AT, there is no snowmobile trail! There is a bit of a corridor and there were some ribbons hanging that may or may not be related to it, but I suspect this sled trail hasn't been used in years. Eventually it pops out in abandoned logging route that is very quickly being overtaken by new growth. Once down to the CVR, it was an easy 3mi walk back to the car. Zero people all day, car to car.  
Name: Doug Jansen 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2017-11-24 
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