Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Smarts Mountain, NH
Trails: J Trail, Daniel Doan Trail, road walks
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, January 16, 2016
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: I parked at a wideout where Mousley Brook branches off from Quintown but I was able to drive up to the Daniel Doan parking. It looks like the town might plow that far; after that the road has become a driveway. On our return leg of the hike only the driveway had been plowed. Mousley and Quintown are rather narrow gravel roads so meeting vehicles coming in the other direction will take some care. Quintown past Mousley Brook hadn't been plowed, but it would have been drivable in the morning with excellent snow tires. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Wet/Sticky 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: There's only a couple and they were somewhat bridged; they held me up in snowshoes but I heard the ice cracking. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: There are a few significant blowdowns on Daniel Doan just below Murphy's Spring. A sign for Daniel Doan just up from the parking area on two parallel roads faces one hiking up. To the right is a relatively recent logging road but as the AMC Guide says, head up the old road past the house. A ways up from that the trail leaves that road, and turns right, but a trail arrow points left. I could see and appreciate some of the recent trail work on Daniel Doan in its lower sections despite the snow cover. But to me this trail is best done in winter. It needs some brushing in the upper sections along with the blowdown removal and more snow to make it skiable. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: These are easy trails for dogs. The wet sticky snow formed large clumps on Pepper's front paws and legs all day. I scraped them clear often with my fingers and he felt so good afterwards, but it didn't take long to come back. His sweater kept the snow off his undersides and his hind legs never balled up. He shot up the fire tower ladder but I told him to come back down, it was closed. He spent a few minutes looking in all directions and then came down. I don't really feel cheated with the tower closed, but I do believe he was quite disappointed. So add his bark to those hoping for the tower to be fixed. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: I barebooted on the road walks, but used snowshoes on the trails partly for traction, partly to avoid the twisting that happens when stepping into a mix of bootprints with crust over snow, partly to leave a nicer trail path and partly to pack the snow down more for Pepper. The original plan was to go up Daniel Doan, then do J, Kodak, & Cross-Rivendell and come back via the old road from Baker Rd., hoping for clearing by the time we got to Cube. It would have worked except I had it in my mind that the recent logging might have changed things, and thus when I saw the Daniel Doan sign up from the parking, I took a right to go with it. Well, that just led to some nice long road walks before I turned around and led Pepper back to the J Trail. With the passing of time and altered route we skipped Cube. We ended up hiking by the abandoned farm on Mousley Rd. three times but I love the feel of that place and on the last hike past it we got some sun and lifting of clouds for pictures, so it was worth it. Right now I would recommend hiking up Daniel Doan and down J, since the wet snow over the crust on its steep sections is quite slippery, and J has no steep sections. But if we ever get a good dump of powder glissading down Daniel Doan's steeps would likely be a blast. The hardwoods sections today, in snow and with their branches coated in snow, was right out of a Currier & Ives scene. Thanks Pepper!  
Name: Pepper and Me 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2016-01-16 
Link: http:// 
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