Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Barrell Ridge, Trout Brook Mountain, ME
Trails: Middle Fowler Pond Trail, Barrell Ridge Spur, herd path, Lower Fowler Pond Trail, Five Ponds Trail, Trout Brook Mountain Trail, Fowler Brook Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 21, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Holy moly is it a ride in here from Millinocket! I believe it was an additional 35min or so from Patten to the traiheads. The fee was something like $16 for a non-ME resident. I bought the season pass for $42 of something like that. The road is in good condition for any car, just use care as visibility isn’t always great around sharp corners and the road is narrow. Any washout from recent storms was very minor. We spotted a car at the Fowler Brook Trailhead, then drove the additional 4.5mi to the Pogy Notch Trailhead. The former only has room for a few cars. We were the only one. The latter is a campsite and has room for many but there were only a few there.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: The only crossings significant enough for me to remember are the drainage crossing a short distance west of the spur trail to Barrell Ridge which was rock hopable and small hut I could see you getting your feet wet at high water. The other was the outlet of Middle Fowler Pond which was a much larger crossing but also had much larger rocks to cross on. I would probably avoid this one at high water though.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: My understanding is that all trails in BSP are blazed in blue other than the AT. Middle Fowler Pond Trail’s blaze looked relatively new but some of the other trails have some rather faded blaze. The sign at the jct of Barrell Ridge and Middle Fowler Trail was down. Although it’s not a jct (more on that below) there’s some signs on the ground where Middle Fowler Pond Trail reaches Middle Fowler Pond from the north. There are blowdowns of various sizes and of all varieties on all these trails other than maybe Barrell Ridge. Of particular note is one on the north side of the drainage of Middle Fowler Pond that obscures the trail and a few just east of the western jct of Trout Brook Mtn Trail and Five Ponds Trail but there are many, many others.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Not allowed in BSP.  
Bugs: They weren’t bad in the morning but at a certain point in the afternoon, the 30% DEET wasn’t even keeping them at bay.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: 2nd and final day staying in Millinocket. Took the loooong drive up to Matagamon Gate to redline some trails with a friend. Route: Middle Fowler Pond Trail —> OAB on Barrell Ridge Spur —> Middle Fowler Trail —> Lower Fowler Pond Trail —> Five Ponds Trail to eastern jct with —> Trout Brook Trail to western jct with —> Five Ponds Trail —> OAB on missing section of Five Ponds Trail to the east —> Five Ponds Trail to close Loop —> Lower Fowler Pond Trail —> Fowler Brook Trail. We also hiked a fallacious spur on Gaia shown to Middle Fowler South tentsite which is out in the incorrect location. There was a herd path in this direction but it soon faded. We hiked all the campsite/tentsite spurs along the way as well.

There were some very nice sections of Middle Fowler Pond Trail that surprised us. Some great ledge west of Barrell Ridge. Its start is boring and it’s decent from Barrell Ridge to Middle Fowler is obnoxious though. The rest of it is okay. Barrell Ridge I thought was a real treat. Most trails had some gnarly muddy spots, but Five Ponds Trail was probably the worst of them. Note that there is a section of Lower Fowler Pond Trail just south of its jct with Five Ponds Trail that’s not shown correctly on Gaia. This is also the case with most of Trout Brook Mtn Trail but this has also been genuinely rerouted at the northern base of the mountain such that it no longer pops out right at Trout Brook Farm Campground but instead intersects Five Ponds Trail about 0.1mi east of it. The reroute is not blazed but flagged. The old trail is brushed in. Gaia had us at almost 20min with a little more than 3000ft of gain and 3300ft of descent.  
Name: Liam Cooney 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-05-23 
Link: https:// 
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