|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Cherry Pond, NH|
||Colonel Whipple Trail, Rampart Path|
|Date of Hike:
||Tuesday, February 11, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||There is a small parking area (more like the beginning of a road before it is gated) where the trail starts. It was not plowed but had some tracks in it. It looked a little sketchy for my FWD car but I plowed in fine and made sure that I could back up from there. Unfortunately when it was time for me to leave I wasn’t able to back up so easily and got stuck. Tried to dig myself out and pushed while a passerby steered but to no avail. Luckily someone had a chain and was able to pull me out. Thank you stranger! Lucky for me the road saw regular traffic and a car would go by every few minutes. Nowhere else to park unfortunately so I’d bring a shovel and/or 4WD vehicle with high-clearance (I think part of my problem was that my car sort of bottomed our with all the snow beneath it even though it’s mid-clearance). Not many cars could fit there without blocking each other even in summer. Some of the roads in such as Whipple Rd and Israel Ridge Rd were plowed but packed snow/ice. |
||Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||None that I can recall. Colonel Whipple Trail is very, very wet and mucky in summer though so it’s probably best to do it this time of year. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Colonel Whipple Trail is blazed in yelllow. The blazes were placed infrequently but yellow surveyors tape also flags the path. It is often quite wide and usually has an obvious corridor so it shouldn’t be much trouble to follow even in deep unbroken powder. I don’t recall anything in the way of blowdowns. The trail is known for being brushy but I think recent work has been done on it and it didn’t look too bad to me. |
||Didn’t see any but should be a fine trail for dogs. |
||On and off snowfleas along the trail. |
|Lost and Found:
||Had the day off yesterday so I went up north for a little hike in the afternoon once I did my civic duty in the morning :) Doesn’t get much better than voting and hiking! :D |
The trail had a single set of snowshoe tracks from Whipple Rd. They went off trail and into the woods within a mile or so of the start and I then broke trail over ski tracks. Finally some genuine powder! The powder wasn’t very deep so breaking trail was easy and I was able to make good time (2+mph) on this flat trail. Colonel Whipple Trail ends in the woods where side Rampart Path starts. I walked Rampart Path to its end along the railroad tracks, took a right down the railroad tracks and headed back towards Rampart Path 0.1mi into it (via short connector trail in guidebook directly across the tracks from the Little Cherry Pond Loop Trail). The railroad tracks are well packed by snowmobiles. Everything else was unpacked and I’d still recommend snowshoes for. The snow along Cherry Pond was usually minimal in depth (a few inches or less) but was greater in the woods towards the beginning of the trail. A few random spots where the powder turned into crunchy frozen granular for a moment.
Snow/freezing rain showers off and on when I hiked but they didn’t amount to anything. See my notes about the parking area above. A very enjoyable, flat, easy, quick snowshoe :) Too bad the views were obscured by clouds!
||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.