|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Borestone Mountain - West Peak, Borestone Mountain - East Peak, ME|
||Base Trail, Big Greenwood Pond Spur Trail, Summit Trail, Fox Pen Trail, Peregrine Trail, access road, bushwhack |
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, February 5, 2023|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||The parking area roughly opposite the gated access road is basically a large pullout. Room for several, maybe getting close to a dozen carefully parked cars. I was the only on there at 11:45am and 4:30pm. The roads in were plowed and suitable for any car. There was a sign that I believe was just beyond the trailhead that said something to the effect of how these roads are maintained in winter but the last to be plowed. |
||Ice - Blue, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction, Ice Axe |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Other than the outlet of Midday Pond which has snow covered bog bridges across it, I don’t think there are any. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Base Trail is blazed in green triangles and so is Summit Trail. If believe the blazing was pretty regular but sometimes a bit faded/hard to see. Not hard to follow but then again there was a bit of a trough. The spur to the view of the Greenwood ponds was blazed in white triangles. The Fox Pen and Peregrine Ridge trails were blazed in red triangles. No real difficulty in following any of these except for the fact that Peregrine Ridge Trail isn’t signed at its start (though there’s a sign a short ways in…) and it’s start is not obvious with snow on it. I don’t recall any blowdowns but that doesn’t necessarily mean there weren’t any. |
||No dogs allowed in the park and the icy scrambles on Borestone certainly wouldn’t be appropriate for them anyway. |
|Lost and Found:
||Second hike of the day on my way up to stay a couple of nights in Millinocket to redline after hiking Birch Mtn Ledges Trail in Peaks-Kenny State Park earlier which finally broke in the 100MW tab for me :)|
Snow conditions there were similar to that in Peaks-Kenny State Park: occasional hard packed drifts of snow packed by the wind but generally speaking you were sinking just a couple of inches. Not exactly powder though either. The difference was that some of these trails had seen some traffic so there was a bit of a trough to follow which made following the trails easy. Some steep grades at the start, then even steeper grades to attain the ridge after the ponds but no real scrambling until you’re along the ridgeline. I got up with Tubbs Flex VRTS with very worn crampons but around the summit of west peak I changed out and put on Hillsounds. The sketchy parts are first getting above treeline by the first set of iron rungs. Not too hard to pull yourself up here but coming back down is tricky and if you fell just right you could fall back down into the trees below for a ways. Second sketchy part wasn’t crazy steep but a narrow part on the side of the ridge where you wouldn’t want to fall. Third sketchy part(s) were around the summit where there was ice and/or icy glaze over the snow. If you fell, you could slide off the mountain and there are some cliffs so you’d be falling a ways… so, an ice axe wouldn’t be a bad idea here. That said, you can generally walk away from the cliffs. My Hillsounds gave me better grip and I felt better safer in them after a point than snowshoes for sure but I probably just should’ve thrown the crampons on.
I tried to stick to the true trail along the ridge. Where Gaia told me I missed it on my way out, I got it on the way back. Spectacular views. I downclinbed around the iron rungs much of the time on my way back down and went down on my butt once or twice as well. Caution was certainly needed. I switched back into snowshoes a short ways after descending below tree line. Hiking this in summer may be a better idea, then again I hear there’s poison ivy by the ponds.
On my way out I hiked the Fox Pens Loop. Many of the structures were still obvious with the snow. They appeared to be a small shed that sat atop a rise above some cliffs the trail passes below. I didn’t check it out but it looked interesting. There’s a short spur to the “Big Greenwood Pond Overlook” along the way. The Peregrine Trail is signed as the Peregrine Ridge Trail and starts roughly opposite the visitor center and isn’t signed until a couple hundred feet in maybe making the snow covered start of it obscure. I hiked the spur to the overlook of Big and Little Greenwood ponds on my way in as well. On my way out, I took the access road, cutting off some switchbacks along it along the way as it seems others in snowshoes had done at some point as well. Gaia had me at 5.5mi, 1500ft of gain, 4.75hrs.
||Liam Cooney |
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.