Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Kelsey, NH
Trails: Bushwhack, access road
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, September 15, 2022
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: See my previous report from a week or two ago about how NOT to access the peak. From Rt 26, almost 1.5mi north of Log Haven and what appears to be a similarly named road, I turned onto what’s signed as West Branch Rd. Drove this about 1.25mi south to connect with the ATV trail we mistakenly tried to drive in on 2 weeks ago. I followed this west for almost 2.75mi before turning left onto a short road. At the end of this short road I went right. Others appear to go left on “railroad spur” and tackle the peak from the north. Instead, I drove 1mi SW and parked at the HOL on the NW ridge of the peak. The roads were very bumpy/rocky but can easily be done by mid clearance. I don’t remember details but I think some of them wouldn’t be good for low clearance.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: None 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: N/A 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Sure  
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Found two balloons! Must be my lucky day!! Unfortunately I lost one back to the wilderness but then I found the other so I suppose that evens out karma wise ;)  
Comments: Day 319, Peak 298. 1st hike of the day. Mid-40s and very windy when I started my hike. Hat, gloves, and fleece on. Also, much less sun than predicted. Mostly dark clouds. It seems that many approach this peak from the north but I opted for a (barely) longer approach that would be less steep and approached via the NW ridge. I haven’t come in any other way so I can’t speak to other approaches but I’d highly recommend this approach to others. I really enjoyed it :)

I entered the woods at 2500ft and fought my way through the very thick brush next to the road. More thick young growth for a little ways further before the woods started to open up. As the woods opened up into a nice hardwood forest, the grade also steepened. Not too bad though. The woods began to become mixed, and by the time the ridge flattened out around 3000ft, I was in the softwoods. Below 3000ft, I tended to follow just below the spine on the north side of the ridge as there seemed to be better walking there. At 3000ft or so I climbed up to the true ridge which now seemed quite open. The woods were a bit wet but you certainly didn’t get soaked walking through them. They were beautiful. At some point, maybe around 3200ft, I started noticing cut trees. Not a herd path by any means, but lots of cut trees. Cuts didn’t look new. I noticed some thicker woods just to the north of the spine of the ridge as I neared the wind turbine but they were easy to avoid. These woods pushed me out onto the road just one or two hundred feet shy of the windmill and summit. No register here. Just lots of wind and chilly temps.

I returned down the same ridge. Got pulled a little south of it as I started off the summit and thought I was quickly correcting but the ridge is so flat it actually took awhile to correct. Funny how different things can look and how little you recognize when you’re even just a short distance away from your ascent line. Almost back to my car, at the 2600ft contour line, I cut north so as to avoid the brush I went through on my ascent and was successful. Some old skidder roads in here. Popped out 100ft north of my car along the road. Had I been paying better attention while driving, I would have noticed these woods looked open and not brushy and started my hike here instead!

Total hike was just under 2.75mi with a little less than 1000ft of gain. Took me just under 1hr up, and 45min down. Quick break on the summit and the total hike was just over 1hr45min. 46 more days and 67 more peaks to go…  
Name: Liam Cooney 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2022-09-15 
Link: https:// 
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