|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Bald Mountain, Stowe Mountain (attempt), ME|
||Grafton Loop Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, February 7, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Authorized parking is in the dirt surfaced Mahoosuc Public Lands lot (sign, kiosk) 0.6 miles from the trailhead proper off of paved ME 26 near Grafton Notch State Park. It was well plowed and can hold many cars. Do NOT park at the trailhead. This is private land. |
||Snow - Unpacked Powder |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Most of the small Brook crossings are ice bridged or able to be hopped over. Bear River is bridged with a snowmobile bridge (open to hikers). |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Blue blazes above the Bald Tentsite are taking a hit from Mother Nature. Several are flaking to the point of oblivion. I think I counted only three major blow downs that are blocking the trail. These are also past the Bald Tentsite. All signs up and in great shape. Well placed signs. The ladders on the steeps of Stowe are in good shape. A few more blazes would be helpful in the open woods, especially in the col between Bald and Stowe. The corridor just can’t be discerned very well through here. |
||Yeah, bring ‘em. Good trail for dogs. Only 2 open water points at the time of this writing. They must be leashed, 7 miles of this trail is on private lands. |
|Lost and Found:
Out and back using the eastern section of Grafton Loop Trail.
Conditions: snow, snow, snow. Pure unbroken deep powder. Though I normally relish the powder, it did me in today. The start of this trail is shared with snowmobiles. It’s nicely groomed and signed. Quick travel.
Once on the trail I quickly remembered that no one, I mean NO ONE, takes this route to Sunday River Whitecap in winter. Except me. ‘Cause I’m a glutton for punishment. There were many deer, coyote, and moose tracks in the open woods at the start of the trail. There was also trail runner prints for 0.25 to 0.5 miles in. Wait... oh my gad! The moose wear trail runners now?!? Woah.
I broke trail solo through 12-30 inches of loose powder, for 4.5 miles until I could go no further. I made it all the way up the steeps of Stowe to the knob about 0.5 miles from the summit ledges. It took me 40 minutes to go 0.3 miles up some of those steep parts. The snow was up to my knees, or higher. In snowshoes. With boots. No wonder I do this trail in November or April...
If you go out this week, you may be able to enjoy my tracks. I only got turned around twice. Some of my tracks seems to amble around in no particular direction. Sorry about that... I kept looking at all the animal prints.
If one is adventurous, I recommend a team of people in snowshoes (4-5 people) to travel the 7.5 miles to the phenomenal view awaiting at Sunday River Whitecap. It really is worth it if you can make it.
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.