|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||North Brother, Fort Mountain, ME|
||Marston Trail, herd path|
|Date of Hike:
||Wednesday, September 18, 2019|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Slide Brook Trail head has room for maybe 10 cars |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||There a number of water crossings, no issues this day, but could be troublesome in heavy rain |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||No pets allowed in Baxter |
|Lost and Found:
||I was very luck in having Tom and John show up at trail head within minutes of my arrival wanting to hike Fort and North Brother on 9/18/2019. Especially since only one other party signed into register this day. two new friends. Marston Trail to North Brother was in fine condition. First mile is gentle grade good for warm up. No maintenance issues whatsoever. The last .8 mile to summit has running water for much of the time, but soils is granular rock and no muck so makes it easy to keep your feet dry. We had perfect weather for mid-September in Baxter. 360 degree views are very fine from both Fort and North Brother.|
Question on everyone’s mind is state of the herd path to Fort. I took sight bearing on Fort, but never needed the compass. We followed few cairns leading shortly to beginning of the herd path into scrub. The herd path got harder to follow as scrub got deeper requiring constant attention of the trekker. Then following herd path got easier as forest got taller. There were a couple of points where we weren’t sure which way to go, but being experienced off-trail hikers we sorted things out fairly quickly. It was also nice having three sets of eyes to look for signs. It ended up taking us a bit over an hour to travel the herd path to Fort.
We were getting tired by time we reached Fort summit and it was about 2:00 so we could not hang around for long since it would take another hour to get back to North Brother. We made good time returning to North Brother still slightly over 1 hour. We relaxed and re-fueled and started on the return run to the trailhead still 4 miles to go. Thoughts we had of fitting in South Brother were abandoned at this point. Sunset was 6:30 and accelerated by fact that sunset was happening on other side of Doubletop Mountain. We had headlamps on for last 15 minutes of hike.
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.