|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Carlo, Goose Eye Mountain, Mahoosuc Arm, Old Speck Mountain, ME|
||Carlo Col Trail, Mahoosuc Trail, Goose Eye Trail, Old Speck Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Thursday, May 27, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Success Pond Road: A small bridge has been partially undermined by wash-out on Success Pond Road, about one mile north of the NH/ME border. It might be passable, depending on your vehicle's clearance and the distance between its wheels, but trying to cross it is risky. The portion of Success Pond Road from the NH/ME border to Berlin, NH appears to have been re-graded, and is much better than it was last fall. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes, Slush, Snow/Ice - Small Patches |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||It was easy to rock-hop all water crossings. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Carlo Col Trail: There were a few fallen trees across the trail, but it was is easy to get past all of them.
Mahoosuc Trail: There were some fallen trees across the trail, but it was easy enough to get past all of them. There was one sunken monorail, but I don't remember where it was.
Mahoosuc Notch: There were some fallen trees across the trail, but these were no more difficult to get by than any of the other obstacles in the Notch. Near the east and west ends of the Notch, the trail was well-marked, at least in the northbound/eastbound direction. However, it was very poorly marked in the middle, near the boulder caves. Some arrows were yellow, some were white, and some appeared to point the wrong way. |
||Zero dogs (and only 5 human beings) were encountered. |
||Bugs, particularly black flies, were terrible at the lower altitudes, but not bad above about 3,000 feet.
|Lost and Found:
||A black rain coat was found on the Mahoosuc Trail, between Goose Eye Mountain and the col between and Goose Eye Mountain and Mount Carlo. (That's the col on the OTHER side of Mount Carlo from Carlo Col.) It looked like a cheap, Wal-Mart type of rain coat, patched with gray duct tape. I doubt anyone will miss it very much. It was left where it was found. ||
||Carlo Col Trail: Dry/wet trail, no snow/ice. There were a few fallen trees across the trail, but it was is easy to get past all of them. Water was easily accessible from the brook which runs along the majority of the trail.|
Mahoosuc Trail: Dry/wet trail, mud, some snow and ice. Outside of Mahoosuc Notch (see below), there were only a few patches of snow/ice on the trail, between Goose Eye Mountain and Speck Pond. They did not obstruct the trail and were easily avoided. There were some fallen trees across the trail, but it was easy enough to get past all of them. There was one sunken monorail, but I don't remember where it was. Although there was much mud, there was no significant source of water between Goose Eye Mountain and Full Goose Campsite. All of the campsites (Carlo Col, Full Goose, and Speck Pond) had ample water. The upper part of the ascent up Old Speck was extremely windy, with gusts strong enough to throw me off-balance. Some crab-walking was required on the more exposed sections.
Mahoosuc Notch: Dry trail, snow and ice. The majority of the trail through Mahoosuc Notch was dry soil, roots, and boulders. Perhaps 20% of the trail still had snow and ice on it. In most places, the snow and ice could be avoided. In other places, it still covered the trail and had to be crossed. Some of the snow was hard-packed, but a significant portion was slushy, resulting in several post-holes. (In Mahoosuc Notch, stepping through snow or slipping on ice can be dangerous, especially if hiking alone.) I only used snowshoes for a small portion of it, because they offer poor traction on the boulders. There was not enough bare ice to warrant wearing spikes.
Near the east and west ends of the Notch, the trail was well-marked, at least in the northbound/eastbound direction. However, it was very poorly marked in the middle, near the boulder caves. Some arrows were yellow, some were white, and some appeared to point the wrong way. I had to spend a significant amount of time scouting around for the trail. I suspect some of the (white) blazes may have been on the ground, covered by (white) snow.
There were some fallen trees across the trail, but these were no more difficult to get by than any of the other obstacles in the Notch. Water was easily available, in two places, from the brook which runs under/around the boulders in the Notch. It could also be found where melting snow and ice had formed puddles of meltwater. The air temperature was about 80 degrees in the sun. But, in the depressions containing ice and snow, it felt about 50 degrees. When a gust of wind blew by, I could feel the temperature of the air on my skin change by about 20 degrees in one second flat (a very interesting feeling I'd never experienced while hiking, before).
The Notch wasn't as difficult as I had expected, given its ominous reputation. None of the sections which needed to be climbed were more than about six feet high. Traversing Mahoosuc Notch took a total of about 3.5 hours, but that includes the time required to stop and draw water twice, to don and doff snowshoes, and to find the trail whenever I lost it, while wearing a full pack which weighed about 25 pounds.
Old Speck Trail: Not reporting conditions on the Old Speck Trail, because that's within the Idiot Radius of the Grafton Notch trailhead parking lot.
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.