Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Black Mountain (Benton), NH
Trails: Black Mountain Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, December 3, 2017
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: I was able to drive to the field area just beyond the last house and park there in my Corolla. But some people might prefer to park earlier before the area of reworked road begins. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: No problems. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: There is major road construction work going on from the last house on up to a landing at the second trail sign. I was able to drive to a open area just beyond the house where a FS trail sign is partially hidden by saplings. The first section of road is being ditched with pockets of stones and some dozer work. At the road split (only sign is an arrow in typical FS colors) the "trail" goes left. This section has been roughly dozed with a few waterbars, but lacks ditches and culverts which are probably this weeks work. A bridge is planned for the stream crossing just below the new/reworked? landing. I wouldn't be surprised if the roads weren't closed since a lot of work needs to be done to be ready for the next storm or winter, let alone winter logging. There are some wooden sign holders (no signs) above the dozer work which I assumed were for the trail. Finally at the landing there is a sign for the trail. The USFS should sign the trails better where conditions are constantly changing. As for the trail itself I took out a minor blowdown; it is otherwise clear. It is old fire tower type road hiking which is just fine in November with the open hardwoods. But there is erosion in the upper section wherever there is any significant slope, including one blowout. This needs a trail crew to put in new waterbars or re-route around the blowout. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Pepper had fun. He left a bunch more teeth at the vet's office earlier this week, so he was a lot more circumspect around other dogs on yesterday's hike, but we didn't meet a soul on this hike. 
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: Due to the road construction, one might want to delay any plans to hike this trail unless they like hiking on roughly bulldozed ground. Even then, I don't see how they can get the needed work done without closing the trail or providing a temporary re-route, and there are no indications of the latter. Based on past experience, there will be no warning of any closure; a sign will just pop up at the trail. Fortunately, the Chippewa trail up Black Mountain from the west is a splendid hike; a true gem.  
Name: Pepper and Me 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2017-12-03 
Link: http:// 
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