|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Nickerson Ledge, Middle Sister, NH|
||Carter Ledge Trail, Nickerson Ledge Trail, Piper Trail, Camp Penacook Spur, Middle Sister Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, May 31, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||I was the second car at the hiker parking area at White Ledge Campground at 8:50. When I got back at 3:25, all five spots in the hiker parking area were taken, and some vehicles were parked along the campground road and even a couple on the shoulder of Route 16. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Hardly anything on this route. The only water crossing of note was the crossing of Hobbs Brook on Middle Sister Trail, which was very easy. The crossing of Chocorua River on Piper Trail is bridged (but would've been a fairly straightforward rock hop even without the bridge). |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Mostly in good condition. Lots of new-looking yellow blazes on Carter Ledge and Middle Sister trails - those are great. At least one blowdown on Camp Penacook Spur. All signs were in place, and there was very little mud anywhere - just a few small patches. |
||An experienced hiking dog shouldn't have any difficulty on the trails that I hiked. However, I'd recommend not bringing a dog on the steep upper section of Carter Ledge Trail - when I did that section last year, I met a descending hiker who said that his dog couldn't make it across the T25 ledge. |
||To my surprise and gratification, practically none. I made a point of remembering to bring my head net and bug spray, and I was all ready to use them... and then there were basically no bugs. The fairly consistent, strong winds probably helped keep them away. |
|Lost and Found:
||This was a strenuous but rewarding redlining hike. Parked at White Ledge Campground and hiked two miles up Carter Ledge Trail to the junction with Nickerson Ledge Trail. Dry trail, easy-to-moderate grades, saw only two people in that section. I then took Nickerson Ledge Trail back down to Piper Trail. Saw at least a dozen people coming up as I was coming down (I would see some of them later in the hike). I warned some of them about the difficult ledges in the upper part of Carter Ledge Trail. Then I followed Piper Trail up to the ridge, taking a side trip to the Camp Penacook shelter in order to redline that spur trail. I saw several dozen people on Piper Trail, including a few groups of 6-10 people. Most people were polite and social distanced.|
It was much windier (and relatively cold) on the ridge. I went over First Sister, and then, because of the wind, decided to have lunch in the col between First and Middle Sister instead of at the summit of Middle Sister, which was my original plan. In this stretch, I passed several groups who had come up Carter Ledge Trail and were heading to Chocorua. Some said that the T25 ledge on Carter Ledge Trail wasn't so bad, others said that it was difficult, and one group said that they were legitimately scared going across it. I assured that group that Piper Trail wasn't so bad for descending.
After summiting Middle Sister, I headed down Middle Sister Trail all the way to its terminus in order to redline it. This trail seems to be a lesser-used one. It was great to chat with Rachel in that section - that definitely helped the somewhat monotonous lower section of the trail go by more quickly.
I am happy to report that there was no ice or snow anywhere on my hike today. The only snow I saw was on Mt. Washington in the distance.
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.