Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks North Kinsman Notch Peak, Blue Ridge - North Peak, Wolf Cub (Gordon Pond Peak) , NH
Trails: Kinsman Ridge Trail, bushwhack, Gordon Pond Trail, Gordon Pond Spur, abandoned trails
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, September 17, 2022
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked our cars at the Beaver Brook lot across from the start of the KRT. $5/day USFS fee lot. Plenty of room when we started at 6am and finished at 2pm.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Easily rock hopable  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: There’s a set of two blowdowns across the trail that you’ve got to duck under about shortly before the summit of North Kinsman Notch Peak. Not huge but descent sized. There’s a birch blowdown that I think depending on your height, you can either duck under or straddle over shortly before reaching the summit of Blue Ridge North. Kinsman Ridge Trail is blazed in white as it coincides with the AT. I don’t recall seeing much blazing but it’s well trodden and easy to follow. Gordon Pond Trail is blazed in blue as it connects with the AT. Not hard to follow on the section we were on and I think we saw some blaze. The pond spur is unmarked and easy to miss (see notes below). Dilly Spur is easy to spot if you’re paying attention and isn’t too hard to follow though there’s some divergent paths. It’s marked with surveyors tape now and there’s still the old occasional blue blaze. I’m sure there’s some bog bridges that should be replaced though they’ve got some flagging on the ones early on that have nails sticking up which is nice. Trail signs intact.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Sure, if they’re hearty bushwhackers  
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: Day 321, Peak 303. Wonderful hike with a dear friend to get him some redlines and me another peak toward the list.

We started up KRT around 6:15am. Nice to revisit. Was almost exactly 2 years ago that I hiked this section of trail. While there was more significant mud later on, we were both surprised by the lack of mud and wetness during the first part of this traverse. There is no longer a jar by the summit of North Kinsman Notch Peak. It appears to be more of a campsite now :( We continued along the KRT to where the trail comes near to Blue Ridge North Peak. We did the very short whack to the true high point. Unfortunately, the jar I found on top of a boulder last time I was here was no longer though I think I found the same boulder! No recognized highpoint here :/ We descended gently to the jct with Gordon Pond Trail and followed it gently down hill. After the first brook crossing (if you’re descending like us of course) you’ll come to a T-jct but may not realize it. Gordon Pond Trail goes right and the spur to the pond goes left. We walked right by it and had to backtrack. The pond was beautiful :) Cold morning but gorgeous day!

We then came back to the trail, crossed the brook again, walked all of maybe a couple hundred feet, if that, and started our whack on the west side of the pond. We followed very close by to the pond, through descent woods, finding a campsite and herd path. Could the path actually be the abandoned section of the AT we’ve read about that goes somewhere through here? The good whackin’ ended at the north end of the pond when we came to a blowdown patch. Thus far the woods had been good close to the pond but normally woods are thickest closest to a body of water so I took us around the blowdowns to the north. I figured we’d have to go up a little ways at some point. Now seemed as good a time as any. This worked okay for a bit and we mostly missed the blowdowns but I kept getting pushed higher by them. Finally we started contouring around 2700ft or so but then hit thick woods that were quite unpleasant.

Felt like much longer but we contorted for only 0.1mi in these bad woods before hitting a dry drainage. We followed it down to the main drainage in hopes that things would be better down there, now presumably around the blowdowns. We finagled our way down the drainage, and sure enough, when we reached the main drainage/inlet of the pond, we were treated to good woods. What’s more, my friend found the old AT here! We followed it at easy grades uphill to the HOL. Some field quite wet and muddy but still quick moving and we were surrounded by good woods. We could’ve started our whack sooner but were enjoying following the old AT and wanted to see if it just went down the other side of the drainage or what on the other side so followed it more or less to the HOL.

From here, we whacked up to Wolf Cub in a variety of woods and grades to the E/SE. Started of open and gradual. Hit some steeper and thick sections higher up. Many false summits or almost there’s before you’re on the right one. It’s just flat enough and definitely thick enough that if you’re on the wrong bump, it’s hard to tell where to go so CalTopo’s red dot was useful (and correct) here! Unfortunately, we found the canister opened by an animal (all I can thick that could do this is a besr but would a bear really come up this high without blueberry bushes?!) with the bags ripped and paper torn everywhere. We packed out all the trash and replaced the bags and put in a new pen. We didn’t have paper though (my bad) so put some other interesting items in there for you to sign ;) Hopefully people find this novel and not obnoxious until someone brings up paper.

On our return whack we headed more W/SW. A more efficient line but we got pulled too far south and had to correct and actually go over a miniature ridge to reconnect with the abandoned AT/drainage. Once we got back to the drainage (SE side) we followed the abandoned AT out. It was a BREEZE! So much easier than our whack in and very quick. Not too hard to follow. Just wet. Decent walking. Just north of the pond it corsses to the NW side of the drainage. We laughed when we saw the blowdowns again. Had I just kept us as close to the pond as possible, we would’ve had a very different hike in. On that note, I’m summary: whack along the west side of the pond, occasionally perhaps on a herd path but always close to the pond, if you hit blowdowns GO CLOSER TO THE POND, and at the north end of it, cross over to the other side and you should pick up the abandoned AT and be able to follow it to the HOL between Wolf and Wolf Cub or to wherever you wish. Just stay CLOSE to the drainage and make sure you’re on the proper side, it should be impossible to miss.

On the hike out, we redlined the Dilly Spur for my friend. We went to the “view” now which I guess is a view spur of the abandoned Dilly Trail. Think we found the abandoned trail continuing down too. Do not follow though. We came back out but followed a clear herd path, thinking it would shortcut us back to the ridge. Nope; it ended in nothing less. Probably people missing the turn. Wasn’t even really shaded the right direction so we just had to cut back over to the Dilly Spur. Adding this in case anyone else Ian tempted to follow that same path uphill.

Gaia tells me that the hike was about 10mi with somewhere around 2500ft of gain. Took us 7hr45min to complete. 44 more days and 62 more peaks to go…  
Name: Liam Cooney  
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2022-09-18 
Link: https:// 
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