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Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Snow Mountain (Chain of Ponds) (attempt), ME
Trails
Trails: ATV trail, bypass trail, ATV trail, herd path
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Friday, July 10, 2020
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: See my July 4 post for key landmarks on access road (North Road). Please note distances may be off by a tenth in some instances. There is active work on this road for the last mile or so as of today. The muddy soft spot near the first logging landing has been filled with fresh dirt and leveled. There are a few minor wash out depressions, probably from recent rains, all easily avoided. There is fresh dirt and grading on the last mile. Parking area has not been recently altered. However, the start of the trail at the 3 boulders .1 up the road from the parking area now has a large tree laying across the trail right behind the boulders. I think this is a recent blowdown and not a message that the trail is closed. One of the road workers waved and smiled at me and no one tried to stop me from using the trail.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All running water bridged or step-over, except for the bypass trail which follows a streambed for a short time. This stream had running water of 1" to 2" in depth and pools of various depths. The pools are easily avoided. So as to avoid losing this trail, I stayed in the streambed on the ascent, but used the herdpath to bypass some of it on the descent. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Lower ATV trail has logging debris, most of which can be avoided. Major blowdowns have been cleared, others are easy stepovers. Bypass trail has several blowdowns and deadfall of various size. Some have paths around them, others are relatively easy to stepover. Upper ATV trail is overgrown with tall grass and has several muddy sections and trail-wide puddles. I only went partway up summit trail. Several eroded areas and blowdowns, some difficult to get around/under.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Lots of running water on first half to two-thirds of trail. Not so much on the lower part of summit trail. Summit trail has some very steep sections, some very eroded and some requiring hand over hand using tree trunks and roots for handholds, so may be difficult for some dogs. 
Bugs
Bugs: Pretty much present all day in various combinations (deer flies, regular flies, mosquitoes and various other unidentified), but some areas worse than others. Only bites I noticed were the deer flies. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
 
Comments
Comments: Heavy rain 2 days ago and some of it remains on trail in form of mud patches, water puddles and increased flow of streams. Currently many sections of trail are in various stages of wetness and muddiness.

Start at parking area, walk .1mi up road through entrance to logging area and watch for relocated trailhead on left marked by three boulders and now a downed tree. Follow ATV trail through logging debris and mud on lower portion, then some rolling and steep pitches. After 3rd bridge (about 1.5 mile from parking and in open area), trail is marked by yellow sign with arrow pointing left (direction of ATV trail) and sizable cairn on large rock. In between these markers enter woods on streambed. Follow streambed, herdpath and part of an older road in the same general heading for .2-.3mi and emerge into an open area. A muddy road proceeds straight ahead and an overgrown ATV trail crosses from the left (bridge visible) and proceeds through the intersection then uphill. End of bypass is marked by a cairn on the right (look for this upon return, which will be on your left at that time.). Today there was also some pink flagging on a small branch near cairn.

The older trail reports say to go straight through the intersection and to take the muddy road, however, I believe that this road curves around and intersects the cross road further uphill. To save unnecessary slogging through mud, turn right onto the crossroad. The section immediate to the right is very overgrown and obscures a huge puddle. I stayed far left and found a relatively dry bypass of the puddle. After getting through this section, there is an obvious double track trail going up. This trail has many muddy sections and several areas with standing water or trail wide puddles. After about .3 to .4 mi there is a steep rocky section that also has some exposed slabs. After the last slab section the trail flattens for a very short section and then continues to climb. Today there was a large puddle on the flat section. On the right at this flat section is a very small cairn and a visible herdpath through the woods. Today there was a blowdown laying across the trail at the entry point, so some may view this as marking a trail not to follow. This is at approximately 3000-3050' elevation. There are several small rock groupings along the trail that may or may not be cairns and the one marking the summit trail is not distinguishing. If you are concentrating on bypassing the puddle, you will miss it.

This is clearly the summit herdpath and the lower part is rolling a bit before climbing more steeply. There are also a couple of blowdowns requiring a walkaround or duck-under. There are some steep pitches through eroded areas, exposed slanted wet ledge, boulders, running water on trail, etc. I didn't get very far as weather was very humid and my legs aren't ready for the steep climbs yet. However, this will be no problem for you billy goats and hikers who can hike at 3mph uphill.  
Name
Name: SpartyHikerfromME 
E-Mail
E-Mail:  
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2020-07-10 
Link
Link: http:// 
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