|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Dryad Falls, Peabody Forest, NH|
||Peabody Brook, Bald Face Spur, Mahoosuc Trail (North bound), Austin Brook Trail, Dryad Falls Trail, Peabody Brook Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Tuesday, September 10, 2019|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Parking available for 2, maybe 3, cars on the south side of North Road at Peabody trailhead. Sign for trailhead is visible from the road. Take care to not block driveways. Last winter this parking area was not cleared. |
||Dry Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Nothing of significance. All crossed on rocks. Pretty cascades, pools, and falls next to the trail. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Wonderful removal of blow downs. There were so many! Blazes need, I mean NEED, reblazing. They are there, just very faded. So faded... durn New England winters! |
||No obstacles at all for 4 legged types on any of these trails. Plenty of water, even as we enter these “dryer” months. |
||2 mosquitoes, one curious bee (I was wearing a bright colored shirt). |
|Lost and Found:
||I was hesitant to hike less used trails of this area. My experience on the Highwater Trail (which is signed but does not appear to exist on the ground thus requiring major navigational skills) made me reluctant to take on some “moderately used” trails in Shelburne, NH. I was pleasantly surprised to find beaten foot paths almost the entire way. The details:|
Peabody is well blazed and signed along the private property areas. The blue blazes continue the entire trail, however they are very faded and spaced out. I was able to flow the trail by paying attention. In the lower elevations you are treated to an almost old forest foray with soft footing in a wide trail corridor. The footpath is easily discernible this time of year. There is a nice rope to help cross a potentially tricky, short rock slide area. This is only about 6 feet long but looks foreboding without the rope. Then there is a phenomenal ladder after the slide that takes you up an otherwise nearly impossible short vertical rock face. This ladder is NICE. I mean some carpenter did this ladder. It’s that nice. Some of Peabody is overgrown, but pay attention and you will see the footpath in the understory.
Bald Face Spur is AWESOME! Yellow blazed, well blazed, and signed. Take this Spur. The views are wonderful!
Mahoosuc, I now dub you “Mudhoosuc.” So much mud. But this is nearing the end of the AT season and this trail has been pounded by all those feet. It was an abrupt departure from the soft, less travelled footpath of Peabody. There were three, count them, three 2x6 white blazes on this 2.2 mile section of trail. The trail is well travelled and clear but don’t look for the tell tale AT blazes. They’re not there. I guess this trail is only traversed in summer?
Austin Brook was well blazed just after the shelter, then the blazes became faded and infrequent. However, this trail is clearly more used than Peabody. The footpath was easily discernible and signage excellent. Kinda steep descent but on a soft foot way making it less jarring. Not sure if this is the more used winter route to Ganetian Pond?
Dryad Fall Trail... well... it is moderately travelled to the Dryad Falls. Easy and straightforward to follow. Then much, much less travelled from the Falls up to the junction with Peabody Trail. It is technically blazed in yellow. I think a new game is afoot. It’s called “Find the Yellow Blazes!” Though a moderate level hiker can stay on trail, a novice may struggle with the lack of visible blazes and obvious footpath. Much of the upper section of Dryad is overgrown requiring pushing through lush understory to find the trial. Pay attention and you will stay on trail.
I took Peabody back down from Dryad trail. I still had to pay attention as this is a less traveled, but still frequented, trail.
Nice 12 mile exploration of some of the trails of Shelburne, NH. Good work Shelburne hiking group! You really have done your best to maintain these trails!
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.