|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||South Crocker Mountain, North Crocker Mountain, ME|
||Caribou Pond Road, Appalachian Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Tuesday, November 26, 2019|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Caribou Pond Rd is closed to vehicles Monday through Friday until mid December due to active logging. We shoveled out a parking space, out of the way of logging trucks, at the junction of Caribou Pond Rd and ME 27. Caribou Pond Rd is heavily travelled by logging vehicles and plowed up to the 2.5 mile mark from the junction with ME 27. But it is very icy in many parts. From the 2.5 mile mark up to the gate there is deep snow (16-20 inches) One vehicle appeared to have driven this length (as evidenced by tire tracks) without issue. It was clearly a very high clearance vehicle with wide tires. I do not recommend vehicles on this road until late spring.
The ME 27 AT parking area is, sadly, unplowed. Today the lot was under 12 inches of snow. We tucked a car roadside off ME 27 as the shoulder had been well plowed. However, this car had all wheel drive as two tires had to be lodged into a short snow bank to keep it well enough off the road. The shoulder on ME 27 in this area is narrow under the best of circumstances. |
||Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts, Snow - Wet/Sticky |
|Water Crossing Notes:
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Multiple blow downs, but only 3 are blocking the trail. One is on the AT coming up from Caribou Pond Rd side. The other two are after the North Crocker Peak. The remaining blowdowns are negotiable without getting off trail. |
||Would encourage that only trail and snow proven dogs be taken. The snow was ferociously deep. This trail is long, with the few available water points freezing over. |
||Some snow flies.. but they don’t bite. |
|Lost and Found:
||Beanie hat left on branch on Caribou Pond Rd beyond the logging operations. ||
||Maine has a unique way of wearing you out on trails. In this instance, this was characterized by dumping 12 inches of fresh powder in one day on a lightly travelled winter trail. Of course...|
We road walked up Caribou Pond Rd. Donned snowshoes at the yellow gate, and never took them off. We took the northbound AT to South Crocker summit. The white blazes are still visible above the snow. This section is well blazed and the corridor fairly easy to follow. But we broke trail the entire way.
We took a look at the Redington bushwhack at the South Crocker summit. There looked to be numerous new blowdowns from recent, violent wind storms. Elected not to do the bushwhack today as snow was already 30 inches deep at the summit and blowdowns were obstructing the “path” in many places. Drift snow depths came up to our thighs.
Continued onto North Crocker summit. The temperature was warming creating very heavy, deep, soggy snow. Our feet weighed at least 6 pounds each treking up to that summit! Such wet feet in our hiking boots!
Then began the long, trail-breaking trek down from North Crocker to our make-shift parking area off ME 27. The snow was thick, wet, and heavy. But at least we were going downhill!
We were the only humans on this trail today. Hopefully our trail breaking efforts will help others take on this Maine AT adventure.
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.