Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Cardigan (attempt), NH
Trails: Holt Trail, Holt-Clark Cutoff (Cathedral Forest Trail), Clark Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Plenty of parking at the AMC Cardigan Lodge. However, it is mud season there now and the unpaved portion of Shem Valley Road (final 1.5 miles) is quite wet in some places with a couple of sections of deep, soft mud -- it might make sense to let this dry out for a few days. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Standing/Running Water on Trail 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Water crossings were not an issue. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: No blowdowns, but some areas of significant erosion from the spring thaw. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: All of the creeks/streams are flowing high right now -- plenty of water, water, everywhere (and many a drop to drink). 
Bugs: No bugs. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Meant to take a quick trip up Cardigan but the trails are in such poor shape right now that there was only time to make it up to PJ Ledge (where the Hurricane Gap Trail branches off of the Clark Trail). Quite a bit of care had to be taken to route-find on rock, ice floe, and the rare patch of stable ground in order to avoid tearing up the trailbed. In short, the trails are very wet, muddy, and unstable -- it might be a good idea to give them time to drain/dry out a bit.

Down low, Holt Trail alternates between standing water, very soft mud, two-inch-thick ice pack (light traction very helpful), and an occasional stretch of wet ground.

Holt-Clark Cutoff (Cathedral Forest Trail) is in better shape -- it receives some decent sun -- with standing water, soft mud, some ice pack, and some stable wet patches.

Clark Trail is soft mud and running water, with unstable (running water underneath) ice floe beginning just below PJ Ledge (thick enough to almost warrant crampons). Checked out the trail for a bit beyond PJ Ledge -- it's wet/slippery bare rock, ice floe, mud, and standing water.  
Name: Pancks and Tesco Heaney 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2012-03-21 
Link: http:// 
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