Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Firescrew, Mt. Cardigan, Rimrock, Orange Mountain, Crane Mountain, Church Mountain, NH
Trails: Orange Cove Trail, Mowglis Trail, Clark Trail, South Ridge Trail, Skyland Trail, bushwhack
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 31, 2012
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: We parked at the gate shortly after the pavement ends at the end of New Colony Road. Last year in the summer you could drive to the height of land and follow the Mowglis Trail. The road (Orange Cove Trail) now has a big washout shortly after the gate and a partially washed-out culvert above the pond. Possibly a jeep or a very tall vehicle could make it up. There were four other cars parked by the gate but we only saw tracks from two people and a dog. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Ice - Blue, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: There were no major crossings along this route. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Orange Cove Trail is a logging road and easy to follow, Mowglis Trail joins at the height of land and enters the woods to the right (no sign). Mowglis Trail was in good shape and one muddy section now has been re-routed with yellow tape. Skyland Trail had a couple of small blowdowns and branches but we were able to move or trample most of them. On the north side of Church Mountain a skidder trail crosses and the Skyland Trail disappears momentarily and re-enters the woods in a round about way a couple hundred yards away. There was a small cairn at each end. We resurrected the junction trail sign for Skyland and Woodland trails. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Marlie had a great time. Bring water as it is scarce on the ridge. There were many dogs on the summit of Cardigan, including Lauky! 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: We found a hat at the junction of Skyland and Vistamount trails and hung it on the sign post. Along our bushwhack I found a moose skull! 
Comments: This was such a great traverse! Thirty minutes from home, too!

There were flurries at the start and some light snow, leaving just a dusting. It was difficult at times to tell what was rock or ice. All of the mud was frozen and there were only a couple of small patches of frozen snow. Ice was a factor as the whole ridge is very ledgy. The most was above Crag Camp on the Mowglis Trail. This required some care as I left all traction at home. Big steps and trees were the answer.

We ventured down to Cilley's Cave (near the junction of the Mowglis and Orange Cove trails), thankful to still have a rope to climb down. The summit of Cardigan had virtually no wind, very rare, and as the day went on the clouds rose and I could see as far as the Franconia and Northern Presidential ranges to the NE and Killington to the west.

The further south you travel on Skyland Trail the less and less use the trail sees. Lots of moss and lichen spread out over numerous open ledges. This hike does not lack views!

The bushwhack at the end was about 1.5 miles to the SW to my friends house where some cold pops awaited us!

9.3+- miles 1700'+- elev +  
Name: IQuest 
E-Mail: iandanner@hotmail com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2012-04-01 
Link: http:// 
Bookmark and Share 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.

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