Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks None, NH
Trails: Downes Brook Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, May 25, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: I arrived to an empty trailhead at 8 am. When I got back, it was still mostly empty. With the upcoming holiday weekend and decent weather, I was surprised it wasn't busier. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: I got word yesterday that the brook crossings were high, and ... yep. I switched to Keen sandals at the first crossing and waded all four crossings that I was doing today. I left the sandals on for the rest of the hike. The water was never more than calf-high. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: See comments below. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: Oh, those lovely black flies kept me company. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: A first visit to my newly-adopted section of Downes Brook Trail from the trailhead to the Sandwich Range Wilderness boundary. I've had to take some time away from trail maintenance in recent years to get the knees fixed, so it felt really good to be doing this again.

Overall, this section was in pretty good shape after the winter. Signage and blazing on the lower portion where the hiking trail coincides with a ski route are good. I cleaned 19 water bars and removed six small blowdowns. One minor blowdown tangle remains, but it was too high for me to reach; it is easily walked under. About halfway up are some long rock drainage channels that took a while. They are cleaned out but I want to go back with a bigger rake and give them another pass. Much better now though. A few small spots of hobblebush will need to be addressed in the future but are no biggie now.

If you're headed out on this trail during the holiday weekend, the lower 1.4 mi. is all set to go. I also got word that the wilderness section of the trail is in rougher shape with blowdowns and washouts. All part of the adventure!  
Name: KenM 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-05-25 
Link: https:// 
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