|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Wocket Ledge, Dryad Fall, NH|
||Trident Col Tentsite Spur, Mahoosuc Trail, Peabody Brook Trail, Dryad Fall Trail, Austin Brook Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, July 31, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Mine was still the only car at Austin Brook trailhead when we got back. |
||Dry Trail |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The crossings of West Branch Peabody River on Mahoosuc Trail and Dryad Brook on Dryad Fall Trail were both easy rock hops. Water is low. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Mahoosuc Trail has some blowdowns, but they can be gotten around. See below for the impact of the logging on Dryad Fall and Austin Brook trails. |
||Didn't see a single dog on the entire trip, and probably for good reason as Mahoosuc Trail is very rough and steep in places, and a lot of dogs would struggle with it. There's also very little water on the trail right now as well. |
||Not much of an issue at the higher elevations. They got annoying on the lower Austin Brook Trail however. |
|Lost and Found:
||This was day 2 of a 2-day backpacking trip in the Mahoosucs (day 1 is here: https://www.newenglandtrailconditions.com/nh/viewreport.php?entryid=62031). From the junction of Mahoosuc Trail and Trident Col Tentsite Spur, Mahoosuc Trail (northbound) descends, steeply in places, and then is fairly easy for much of the way to Page Pond. The pond itself was nice, and crossing the outlet brook was easy on bog bridges. The climb up to Wocket Ledge had a few steep and rough pitches, but the view from the spur was excellent. From the summit of Wocket Ledge to Dream Lake (and the junction with Peabody Brook Trail) is one of the easier sections of Mahoosuc Trail - a couple of moderate climbs and descents, but nothing steep or difficult. On this section, we met a group of hikers (at least eight) who were planning to stay at Trident Col - we told them the water source was there but very slow. The group reminded me of my college orientation trip many years ago, which coincidentally was also on Mahoosuc Trail, but this seemed about a month early for a college orientation trip, so maybe a group from a summer camp. Dream Lake is visible from a good distance as the trail descends toward it. I was very happy to see the trail sign for Peabody Brook Trail, since it meant that I had finally finished redlining Mahoosuc Trail.|
We hopped onto Peabody Brook Trail briefly and took a left onto Dryad Fall Trail. The upper part of Dryad Fall Trail is a moderate descent that is quite brushy in spots, though following the trail was not difficult. The middle section followed a fairly gradual old road that was marked with orange flagging tape. (We also saw pink and blue flagging tape at various points, but couldn't determine what their purpose was.) After the crossing of Dryad Brook and the curve to the right, the trail turns right off the old road as the latter approaches an area impacted by logging. The trail then follows another old road at a moderate descent along the brook. Soon, the trail/road turns away from the brook, and right where the trail widens into a new logging road is where the spur trail to Dryad Fall diverges. The view from the top of the falls was excellent, and even though there wasn't a lot of water going over it, you could tell how high it is. I enjoyed eating lunch there. The remainder of Dryad Fall Trail follows a wide, new logging road with sometimes loose footing - a hot descent today due to the lack of shade.
Right after a wooden logging bridge is where Dryad Fall Trail meets Austin Brook Trail. To the left, Austin Brook Trail continued uphill as an older, narrower road - we didn't do that this time. For the descent, Austin Brook Trail briefly follows the same new logging road but then bears left onto a (mercifully shaded) older road that parallels the new logging road (which, once the hiking trail left it, becomes full of slash). In 0.4 miles, this older road ended on Mill Brook Road, which is drivable to this point at least by SUVs. (This turn-off is marked only by a cairn, with the trail sign set back in the woods, so watch carefully for it if driving up Mill Brook Road.) The road walk on Mill Brook Road (which is also Austin Brook Trail here), down to the junction with Gates Brook Trail, was hot in the midday sun but went by quickly. Right at the Gates Brook Trail junction, Mill Brook Road crosses Austin/Mill Brook on a bridge while Austin Brook Trail diverges onto a footpath. It was nice to be back in the shade again, but this last section was buggy. Luckily, it's an easy stretch of trail back to North Road.
This was a fun trip that worked out well. Thanks Diane for joining me!
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.