Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Orange Mountain, Rimrock, Mt. Cardigan (South Peak), NH
Trails: Road walk, Clark Trail, Woodland Trail/Clark Trail, Vistamont Trail, Skyland Trail, South Ridge Trail, Hurricane Gap Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, May 4, 2014
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parking lot at the AMC Cardigan Lodge today was completely full -- both the main lot and smaller, secondary lot -- no room at all. We turned around and parked on a wide area of Shem Valley Road about 0.1 miles away -- well off the main roadway -- the only space available.

As busy as the lodge was today, we saw no one on the trails all day -- over seven miles of solitude. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow, Leaves - Significant/Slippery, Snow/Ice - Postholes, Slush, Snow/Ice - Small Patches 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Water is a bit high on the Clark Trail crossing of Clark Brook, but do-able with care. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Trails are in excellent shape, especially given the spring (mixed) conditions with quite a bit of water/melt. Only items of note:
1. water bars on Clark Trail between Woodland Trail and Vistamont Trail could use a good cleaning (especially on the steep section);
2. there are three blowdowns on this same section of trail that could use attention -- in particular, one large (chainsaw-able) step-over one about 0.1 miles east of the intersection with the Vistamont Trail. The other two are about halfway between the Vistamont and Woodland Trail intersections; and
3. near the water source area -- Clark Brook -- for new AMC Clark Trail tent site, there is an old fence post with not-very-easily-detected four-foot section of old rusty barbed wire down near the water's edge along the bank. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: There were no bugs whatsoever -- including no black flies: unusual for early May -- enjoy while you can. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: We did a rekky of some trails today to check conditions -- as noted above the trails are in very good shape for this time of year, with just a bit of clean-up needed.

Beyond that, sections that are usually wet/muddy at this time of year are exactly that, and sections that lose their snow/ice later than other sections are still holding on to a foot of snow in some spots, along with monorail. We were able to bareboot everything today without any traction -- in some spots, this required care, but could be done.

In particular: Hurricane Gap Trail still has quite a bit of snow and/or eroding/undercut monorail, as does much of the Skyland Trail between Orange Mountain and Rimrock. All other trails we hiked today were snow-free or what snow was there was of no consequence/almost melted.

NOTE: new AMC tent site along Clark Trail is very nice: quite a bit of work went into this, and it shows. There are (at least) four tent platforms, a privy, and excellent access to a very pretty section of Clark Brook for water. (Nice work!)  
Name: Pancks and Tesco Heaney 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2014-05-04 
Link: http:// 
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