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Thread: Wapack Trail Map

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Wapack Trail Map

    A few years back an employee at the EMS in Peterborough recommended the Wapack Trail to me as a "local" hike when I couldn't always get up to the Whites. Thinking I am going to add this to my Spring list for weekends where weather in Whites is poor, mud hits, etc. As usual I'll be hitting solo so no car spot. Obviously I won't be doing the 42 mile out and back so I'm debating which trail head I should start at for maximum views, enjoyment, etc and still pack in 14-18 miles round trip.

    So for anyone who has done the Wapack Trail:

    1) Recommend the Northern section or the Southern section more? Right now I'm thinking I'll park at South terminus, hike in and hit Watatic and then head up to Pratt Mtn or New Ipswich Mtn depending on how the day is going. Site mentioned six parking areas but I don't see on CalTopo.

    2) Online maps (MapBuilder Topo and Forest Service layer) do not agree with trail placement and the Wapack ARCGIS Map also differs. In short, is there in fact a trail that diverges quickly and ascends the edge of the steeps to Mt Watatic so it can be done as a loop or is that a bushwhack track from someone?

    3) Wapack Site shows an official trail map and guide but I only see the Guide on EMS site, not the map and I can't select to check in store availability. I may actually go this SAT or SUN so I was hoping to track the map down locally if possible (CT,MA,RI). I'm driving by the EMS in Westborough tomorrow for work so assuming it is still there I can stop in and check but not sure where else I might be able to grab fast.

    4) Are the low lying wet areas along the Wapack an issue in the higher Spring water levels, do they have bridges, etc? For the section I plan to hike the trail seems to go over topography that should be OK in the wet areas near Binney Pond but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

    5) Is the trail "technical"? The EMS employee recommended because she considered many sections of it to be rocky, rough and "White like" but the online description makes it sound fairly easy. I'd much prefer it to be rocky and technical in nature. What sections would those be so I can work into the itinerary?

    Any feedback on the trail would be appreciated. Thanks as always in advance.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 3/46

  2. #2
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    A few years back an employee at the EMS in Peterborough recommended the Wapack Trail to me as a "local" hike when I couldn't always get up to the Whites. Thinking I am going to add this to my Spring list for weekends where weather in Whites is poor, mud hits, etc. As usual I'll be hitting solo so no car spot. Obviously I won't be doing the 42 mile out and back so I'm debating which trail head I should start at for maximum views, enjoyment, etc and still pack in 14-18 miles round trip.
    I did South to North on Sunday (4/16) and there was a fair amount of mud and running water, with traces of snow and ice -- not bad considering there was a foot there the previous weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    1) Recommend the Northern section or the Southern section more? Right now I'm thinking I'll park at South terminus, hike in and hit Watatic and then head up to Pratt Mtn or New Ipswich Mtn depending on how the day is going. Site mentioned six parking areas but I don't see on CalTopo.
    I am partial to the northern section, because it is closer to home, and I think it is steeper, taller, and more rugged. That said, it was nice to see the southern portion. Watatic, Pratt, Stony Top, and New Ipswitch all have decent views. Barrett does not have views at all, but the top of Windblown does.

    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    2) Online maps (MapBuilder Topo and Forest Service layer) do not agree with trail placement and the Wapack ARCGIS Map also differs. In short, is there in fact a trail that diverges quickly and ascends the edge of the steeps to Mt Watatic so it can be done as a loop or is that a bushwhack track from someone?
    This is somewhat confusing and in fact it screwed me up. Wapack and Mid State coincide for a short distance, and then Wapack detours "South" to the right, and Mid State continues straight and intersects the "North"bound Wapack. So you can turn right and ascend Watatic and make a loop back via the Mid State. I went Wapack, Mid State, and then out-and-back on Wapack, skipping the "South"bound Wapack.

    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    3) Wapack Site shows an official trail map and guide but I only see the Guide on EMS site, not the map and I can't select to check in store availability. I may actually go this SAT or SUN so I was hoping to track the map down locally if possible (CT,MA,RI). I'm driving by the EMS in Westborough tomorrow for work so assuming it is still there I can stop in and check but not sure where else I might be able to grab fast.
    I can send you my GPX track as well as one I found that didn't make the same mistake I made.

    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    4) Are the low lying wet areas along the Wapack an issue in the higher Spring water levels, do they have bridges, etc? For the section I plan to hike the trail seems to go over topography that should be OK in the wet areas near Binney Pond but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.
    Binney Pond area was very nice and above the water most of the way. There are bridges here and there - we got a bit wet and muddy but not as bad as expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    5) Is the trail "technical"? The EMS employee recommended because she considered many sections of it to be rocky, rough and "White like" but the online description makes it sound fairly easy. I'd much prefer it to be rocky and technical in nature. What sections would those be so I can work into the itinerary?
    I think you will find it is less steep, less rocky, and less "technical" than the average trail in the Whites. Much of the stretch from Watatic to Pratt is on logging roads. Barrett Mountain and down through Windblown to 124 is on XC ski trails (wide ones).

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=cfb9b3b9a2
    https://www.strava.com/activities/945454968

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  3. #3
    Member grog's Avatar
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    About 1 mile east of the main parking area of Watatic Mt. is a strip of 20 parking places on rt. 119 for the electric line trail , about 3/4 mile long that is strait up. I do the bear walk up about 1/2 up and get a great all round exercise and get ready for the Baxter trails I do in the fall. I also down climb that section til my arms can't go anymore. One of the best exercises.

    grog
    Last edited by grog; 04-20-2017 at 10:33 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    I did South to North on Sunday (4/16) and there was a fair amount of mud and running water, with traces of snow and ice -- not bad considering there was a foot there the previous weekend.


    I am partial to the northern section, because it is closer to home, and I think it is steeper, taller, and more rugged. That said, it was nice to see the southern portion. Watatic, Pratt, Stony Top, and New Ipswitch all have decent views. Barrett does not have views at all, but the top of Windblown does.


    This is somewhat confusing and in fact it screwed me up. Wapack and Mid State coincide for a short distance, and then Wapack detours "South" to the right, and Mid State continues straight and intersects the "North"bound Wapack. So you can turn right and ascend Watatic and make a loop back via the Mid State. I went Wapack, Mid State, and then out-and-back on Wapack, skipping the "South"bound Wapack.


    I can send you my GPX track as well as one I found that didn't make the same mistake I made.


    Binney Pond area was very nice and above the water most of the way. There are bridges here and there - we got a bit wet and muddy but not as bad as expected.


    I think you will find it is less steep, less rocky, and less "technical" than the average trail in the Whites. Much of the stretch from Watatic to Pratt is on logging roads. Barrett Mountain and down through Windblown to 124 is on XC ski trails (wide ones).

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=cfb9b3b9a2
    https://www.strava.com/activities/945454968

    Tim
    Thanks for the details.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 3/46

  5. #5
    Senior Member alexmtn's Avatar
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    A quick note that the Friends of the Wapack map is both gorgeous (waterproof and nice use of color) and comprehensive. You can't get it in time for this weekend by ordering it from the website, unfortunately, but definitely represents value-add over what's online thus far. For example, the point of confusion that Tim raised is a complete non-issue to holders of this map. If you'll be exploring this area some more over time, I recommend this map!

    On a related note: The Boston Hiking group on Meetup will be doing a Wapack traverse the first weekend in May . . .

    Alex

  6. #6
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexmtn View Post
    A quick note that the Friends of the Wapack map is both gorgeous (waterproof and nice use of color) and comprehensive. You can't get it in time for this weekend by ordering it from the website, unfortunately, but definitely represents value-add over what's online thus far. For example, the point of confusion that Tim raised is a complete non-issue to holders of this map. If you'll be exploring this area some more over time, I recommend this map!

    On a related note: The Boston Hiking group on Meetup will be doing a Wapack traverse the first weekend in May . . .

    Alex
    Well that is incentive to get it done this weekend!

    I guess I'll decide on the map after this weekend. If it seems worthy of future trips I'll get a copy. I think it was only $6. Thanks.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 3/46

  7. #7
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexmtn View Post
    For example, the point of confusion that Tim raised is a complete non-issue to holders of this map. If you'll be exploring this area some more over time, I recommend this map!
    IF you read the map and not the trail signs. The trail signs send you up the Mid State to summit Watatic. When one is thinking "northbound traverse", one does not instinctively want to turn "south" on the Wapack Trail. This is the cause of my "error". Heck I even had a GPS track to follow and I just went with the signs.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  8. #8
    Senior Member alexmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    . . . When one is thinking "northbound traverse", one does not instinctively want to turn "south" on the Wapack Trail . . .
    Would a hiking career be anywhere near as much fun without such experiences? A bigger example: the "Northbound" AT finishes with the Presi summits at Madison, and then doubles back almost due south for a full 6.9 miles in the presence of two (or more, depending on how you count) other seriously northward trail options. By comparison, that first Wapack segment to Watatic from the Midstate/State Line Trail runs just a little south of east, and is a mere 1.1 miles long.

    Reminds me yet again of the express wisdom in that classic 5-man Electrical Band song, "Signs"!

    Alex
    Last edited by alexmtn; 04-22-2017 at 09:52 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    IF you read the map and not the trail signs. The trail signs send you up the Mid State to summit Watatic. When one is thinking "northbound traverse", one does not instinctively want to turn "south" on the Wapack Trail. This is the cause of my "error". Heck I even had a GPS track to follow and I just went with the signs.

    Tim
    I wound doing SAT AM and I didn't find the signs confusing, although I was watching for that early right turn. The Midstate and Wapack Trails were both on that first sign and both pointed in same direction. Whether I was on one or the other or both it got me where I intended to go. I pretty much stayed with yellow triangles all day and was fine. Watatic did have tons of well traveled side paths in many places but after you left that summit area I thought it was pretty straightforward. I went ahead and bought the map today anyway though. I'll definitely be hitting it again. Really enjoyed the section I did (South terminus to New Ipswich Mt). Surprising amount of vertical too which was nice for "getting in shape" purposes. I did about 12.5 miles round trip (went back over Watatic on the way back instead of taking the road - saw enough roads in that low section) and it talled a hair under 3000' with all the ups and downs. If the rest of the trail is anything like that Southern section I can't wait to ht more of the trail.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 3/46

  10. #10
    Senior Member Early Bird's Avatar
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    This is the closest trail to home for me too, and I am always up for a quick end to end. PM or email me if you ever want to try to coordinate a car spot. I'm off this week and wanted to go Tuesday, but will have to do an out an back.
    Glad you got out and enjoyed it!
    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

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