|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Percival, Sawtooth, Mt. Morgan, Mt. Webster, NH|
||Mt. Morgan Trail, Morse Trail, Mt. Percival Trail, Crawford-Ridgepole Trail, bushwhacks, Old Mountain Road, Old Highway, road walk|
|Date of Hike:
||Friday, November 8, 2019|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Only an NHDOT vehicle at the Morgan trailhead when I got there around 9:30am. Only one car across the street at the Rattlesnake lot. Only car in the Morgan lot upon my return at 4:30. 1-2 across the street at Rattlesnake. Only one cat at the Percival lot when I walked over there from Morse Trail. All lots have enough room for at least a little over a dozen cars before you’d be overflowing. |
||Dry Trail, Ice - Black, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Wet/Slippery Rock, Ice - Breakable Crust, Leaves - Significant/Slippery |
||Light Traction |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The small brook crossings on Morse Trail and Mount Percial Trail were easy. Water levels were moderate throughout NH this day. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||All trails were well blazed in yellow as far as I remember. I didn’t find any difficult to follow except a section or two along the ladder/cave routes on Morgan/Percival where I had to look for blaze or follow my gut and then look for blaze. Between the cave/ladder routes, the C-R Trail and Mount Morgan/Percival Trails I did get turned around a bit at the top and had to stop and think about where to go. There were some blowdowns on Crawford-Ridgepole Trail. I don’t recall about elsewhere. Nothing that was a big deal. Right after I crossed one on C-R Trail, I started my bushwhack left up to Mount Webster. You may consider using this as a starting point as I was tempted to bushwhack up to the left much sooner but kept looking at my Gaia GPS and saw that it was too soon. New(ish) trail sign for what I believe is called Fisher Brook Trail along C-R Trail within a mile of the jct with Old Mtn Road Trail. There wasn’t a trail sign for the C-R Trail at its lower jct with Mount Morgan Trail but still an obvious intersection. |
||None seem. The cave/ladder routes are a definite no. Beyond that, they’d probably be okay. Unless your dog is used to bitter cold and windy days and you have jackets and booties for them, I would not have recommended taking them Friday as it was very cold and windy. |
|Lost and Found:
||One glove found along 113 on my road walk back that I picked up. ||
||Did some redlining Friday in one of my favorite areas :) The Squam area seems to be one of my go-to’s during shoulder season. My first time on Morse Trail, Mount Percival Trail and the cave route on if, the ladder route on Morgan, that entire section of the C-R Trail, and Old Mtn Road. |
There was a light dusting of snow from the beginning of the trail and if snowed most of the way up and off again on again throughout the rest of the hike which was a bit unexpected. Weird to drive through snow for the first time this year along 16 near Rochester. Thought I was in the clear until near the trailhead it started up again.
I headed up Mount Morgan Trail to Morse Trail to Mount Percival Trail to parking lot and then all the way to the top for redlining. Not much ice here except for some black ice on rocks. Mostly just a dusting of snow. Took the cave route to Percival. It was harder than I imagined. Met Brad who coordinates all the search and rescue efforts for the Whites. Thanks for your work! Had nice conversation with him and we parted ways when I went through the caves. These were tougher than I expected and I had to take my pack off and through it through the caves. I should have just left it at the jct. The boulder hopping here was also a bit tricky given the dusting of snow. Definitely a bit dangerous. Made it to the top and back to the jct to redline that portion of trail. Back at the top of Percival I headed along the ridge and eventually took a left towards Sawtooth which is the high point of the Squam Range. Although there wasn’t a herd path, I started my bushwhack at what appeared to be one. It was still a bit north of the high point. Look for a stepover blowdown at the beginning of the bushwhack right of the trail of you’d like to start at the same place I did. The bushwhack is short, steep/(ish), has relatively poor footing, and is only a bit scrappy in my opinion. The high point has a small cairn on it and nothing else.
I made it to the jct wirh Mount Morgan Trail and headed down it to do the ladders. The cave was much easier than Percival’s but the switch from the 2nd to 3rd ladder is a bit nerve wracking. Once at the ledges, I headed back to the jct, took the spur to the high point, then headed down Mount Morgan Trail to where C-R Trail leaves it.
This next section iof C-R Trail is pretty easy going. I started my bushwhack up to Webster just after a blowdown. The first and third spurs view spurs mentioned in the guidebook (both on the left) were obvious although the first one felt much shorter than 50 yards so perhaps it wasn’t the right one. The other one has a cairn at the top of the ledge. The spur on the right I missed the first time but retraced my steps looking for it after I came to the one with the cairn and knew I’d missed it. Look for a faint path on your right that goes through ferns. I eventually came to the jct with the new Fisher Brook Trail coming up to C-R Trail from the west and finally the jct with Old Mtn Road which i took down to old Highway. It must be a sort of pass/notch where C-R Trail meets Old Mtn Trail because it was incredibly more windy there than anywhere else!
I reallly enjoyed the road walk back to my car (at first...). You go by some really beautiful houses. I took the second right that Google Maps showed took me back to 113 but this seemed to lead to a house without a road going out...so I took a left that took me out to the road .
Things seemed to ice up a bit throughout the day. A bit on the summits of Percival and Morgan and some frozen puddles along the upper section of Mount Morgan Trail. Too cold for there to be any mud :)
||Liam Cooney |
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.