Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Hale Fire Road Access - Little River Road Winter Access Twins and Hale

  1. #1
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Hale Fire Road Access - Little River Road Winter Access Twins and Hale

    Hello,

    We are the owners of the land at the end of Little River Rd. and the bridge that crosses the river, which provides access to the trail up the back side of Mt. Hale in winter. We wanted to let you know - and ask that you publicize - that this is a private drive to our home, but we are happy to have hikers use it to access the trail. We ask that hikers (a) do NOT use spikes, crampons, or snowshoes on the bridge, as it damages the wood deck; (b) stick to the trail (which is marked) which is on the left immediately after crossing the bridge, and (c) NOT drive across the bridge, as it is a private drive and not a forest road or trail.

    Thanks for your help. We made a big investment to replace the old bridge, put in the drive, and build our house - and glad that the bridge has made it easier for hikers to access the trail. We hope that we can keep that all open and available to everyone and still maintain the privacy of our home.

    Doug and Mary

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Medfield, MA & Otisfield, ME
    Posts
    108
    Doug and Mary, thank you for continuing to allow access through your property.

    In the snowmobile world, when building bridges, we include sacrificial wear strips to prevent the studs on the snowmobile track from tearing up the bridge deck. Is there any chance that your bridge design might allow the use of a wear strip to prevent bridge deck damage from those who continue to use spikes & snowshoes? I am not familiar with the specific bridge to understand the issues involved. It is not easy to get everyone to cooperate with a request like yours; some people always have an excuse. Wear strips would eliminate the problem.

    I appreciate the willingness to allow the use of your bridge & property for access by all. I also have property with walking trails that are used by many others. I enjoy maintaining the trails and welcome the use by all. I expect small disappointments and they do happen. But, overall, the pleasure of sharing far outweighs the disappointments.
    Last edited by Lost Dad; 11-28-2017 at 06:08 AM. Reason: for clarity

  3. #3
    Member hikersinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    New Boston, NH
    Posts
    79
    Hi Doug and Mary. I, too, thank you very much for your support of the hiking community. I've personally been a benefactor of your kindness, having hiked a big loop of Hale, Zealand, and the Twins a couple years ago from Little River Road. It's been one of my favorite winter hikes to date!

    I will happily pass along your message to the Facebook group I co-administer, which is focused on the White Mountains 4000 Footers. With little exception, hikers are a respectful, friendly bunch, so I hope for little to no damage this year as long as we all spread the word. Again, many thanks for your support!

    -Erik
    Last edited by hikersinger; 11-29-2017 at 06:14 PM.
    _______________

    Mt. Adams (12,276') solo, South Cascades of Washington state, July 2015
    New England all-season 100, completed September 2017
    NH 48 Winter, completed March 2017
    NH 48 3-season, completed Fall 2012
    Baxter SP: Pamola/Knife Edge/Baxter (2010-09-25), Baxter/Hamlin (2015-12-28), N.Brother+Fort (2017-03), Pamola/Knife/Baxter/Hamlin (2017-09)

    AMC Trails Co-Adopter, Zeacliff Trail[/B]
    Co-founder + Administrator, Hike the 4000 Footers of NH! Facebook group

  4. #4
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    1,749
    There is a Facebook thread on this topic that is getting some serious discussion past day or so. Appears a sign was put up at bridge very recently (maybe 2-3 days after original post was made here on VFTT about use of spikes) indicating no trespassing but it is unclear if it pertained to use of the bridge or to parking in the vicinity of the bridge. The Facebook thread has quickly become a popsicle headache trying to decipher so I was hoping if the landowner who originally posted and or other knowledgeable people here could clarify who posted the no trespassing notice and what specifically it pertains to. As always, I'm sure most of us in the hiking community want to honor the landowners wishes so being certain about what is expected would be helpful.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 5/46

  5. #5
    Senior Member RollingRock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Waterville Valley, NH
    Posts
    541
    The last time I hiked the Twins in winter [a couple of years ago], I did not even use the bridge. There was a broken trail at the end of the road that brought me to the access road and trailhead. Would that not be the way to go to meet the land owners wishes?
    GayOutdoors.org
    It's the journey, not the destination

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    4,906
    The bridge in question is at the end of the Little River Road (aka the road with the seven dwarfs sign). Unless the ice conditions are highly unusual you need to cross the bridge to get to the old North Twin Trail route that takes off immediately after you cross the bridge in question. This route is on the west side of the Little River. The length of this bypass which follows the old railroad grade is 3/4 of mile (plus or minus) Long ago there was a prior bridge that was fenced and gated but there really was no development on that side of the river. The bridge became more accessible when a residential home was built on the opposite side of the river. The only other option is to park at RTs and walk up the FS road #304. It is about 2.5 miles. Both trails end up at a crossing of the Little River which allows access to the summer parking lot and the East side of the Little River where the railroad grade continues. Thus the choice is use the bridge in question or add 3.5 miles to an out and back of for the Twins or the Hale Brook Firewardens route. Some folks do use FR 304 but expect most use the Little River Road and for the alst few years that has not been an issue. The is no plowed pull out at RT3 and state police have ticketed folks on occasion for parking on RT3 so there really isn't a perfect option.

    I believe that snow machines also use this bridge on occasion and expect that the carbide studs on the tracks do far more damage than hikers but I have no issues in walking across bare boot and putting on my traction after I have crossed. I can emphasize with the owner on snow machine damage due to carbide studs, my driveway has a few scars from snowmachiner's failing to follow the trail. The big problem is getting this information out to all hikers. Its a lot easier to just post the bridge then have to repeatedly educate folks.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    1,749
    Quote Originally Posted by RollingRock View Post
    The last time I hiked the Twins in winter [a couple of years ago], I did not even use the bridge. There was a broken trail at the end of the road that brought me to the access road and trailhead. Would that not be the way to go to meet the land owners wishes?
    From what I can tell in the Facebook thread the current herd path travels across three different parcels of land with three different owners and they are not all in agreement about access and parking. I believe the bridge leads to snow mobile trails which are public and therefore not an issue but I'm really not sure. The thread was very confusing.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 5/46

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    4,906
    If you go to the Town of Bethlehem zoning maps http://bethlehemnh.org/maps/ map 210 you can see the properties in general at the end of the road. Its quite an interesting layout. Right of ways can be odd things, sometimes they are restricted to certain uses public and private. Generally snowmachine trails are "handshake" agreements between private landowners and the snowmobile club and usually are restricted to strictly snowmobile use and may not imply other public use. Any number of parties could have issues with accessing the former trail (this was the trail head for the North Twin trail in the past), figuring out who has standing versus who thinks they do would require a lot of research. Nevertheless I am grateful that the bridge owner allows hikers to use the bridge.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    1,749
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    If you go to the Town of Bethlehem zoning maps http://bethlehemnh.org/maps/ map 210 you can see the properties in general at the end of the road. Its quite an interesting layout. Right of ways can be odd things, sometimes they are restricted to certain uses public and private. Generally snowmachine trails are "handshake" agreements between private landowners and the snowmobile club and usually are restricted to strictly snowmobile use and may not imply other public use. Any number of parties could have issues with accessing the former trail (this was the trail head for the North Twin trail in the past), figuring out who has standing versus who thinks they do would require a lot of research. Nevertheless I am grateful that the bridge owner allows hikers to use the bridge.
    Yes several people posted the zoning maps on Facebook too and it did look confusing. All the different points of view and "lags" in the comments quickly made it difficult to understand what the actual issue was. It's great the bridge owners allow use of the bridge but if access to the bridge or after the bridge is somehow prohibited that won't really matter. That is what I was hoping to get clarification on. Oh well.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 5/46

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    4,906
    Its easy to get the zoning maps but what really is needed are the chain of deeds. Carroll County claims to have indexes on line to 1960 and it looks like the indexing is a major rebuilding effort prior to that date. If someone had the time and the current owner names an attempt could be made to figure out who owns what and what rights are delineated in the deeds. The other issue is other prescriptive rights may exist and they dont really formally exist until they are litigated.

    Somewhat like the Mt Cabot trail issue from several years ago, there is what is in the deed and then there is what the owners think their rights are and they may not line up. In the case of Mt Cabot trail the FS and AMC decided that the potential negative consequences elsewhere of pursuing a fairly clear legal right,was not worth pursuing as the owner in question would eventually go away.

    Frequently a right is limited. My woodlot deed gives the right to an abutter to cross my land to harvest timber with the location of the access to be mutually agreeable. This doesnt mean that he has the right to allow the public to cross my land via a hiking trail as this is not included in the wording. It also doesnt mean that the general public to use this access.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    1,749
    Apparently this has continued to escalate. According to some updated posts on Facebook "No Trespassing" signs have been posted on the land before and after the bridge and the owner of said land is putting fliers on cars advising this is private property. Someone also posted a document and map from the USDA about revisions to the Corridor 11 snowmobile trail being relocated, with one of the main reasons being the landowner's increasing unhappiness with snowmobiles on his property. The map seems to reroute the snowmobile trail outside of the parcel in question. It indicates it was to be completed in 2015 however so I don't know if this is still relevant, if that is typical of implementation delays, etc. I didn't drill into all of the details but it sounds like the bridge and herd path is not going to be an option anymore going forward.

    The landowner in question is not the bridge owner. Apparently it is the person who owns the dirt area immediately where the pavement ends as well as a chunk on the other side of river where herd path follows. He sounded quite displeased so I don't imagine this is going away. It sounds like they are on their own in this opinion and the other neighbors don't want to "rock the boat".
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 5/46

  12. #12
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Верхоянский хребет
    Posts
    936
    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Apparently it is the person who owns the dirt area immediately where the pavement ends as well as a chunk on the other side of river where herd path follows.
    How much of the current herd path is affected by this -- do you know? Just curious...

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    4,906
    My guess is based on the tax maps that Doug and Mary own lot 9 on the tax maps and access their lot via the bridge via a right of way across lot 8 or 10.3. The tax map does not break out which adjoining lot actually owns the land under the right of way. I would speculate that Lot 8 is effectively not able to be developed as standard lot setbacks would probably make siting development outside these setbacks difficult without variances. Lot 10.3 does appear to have adequate dimensions to be developed. I dont see the impact of the right of way to 10.3 except for increased winter time traffic. Lot 10.2 is a large holding with ownership on both sides of the river south of the bridge. The current hiking route along the river would cross this lot in excess of 1200 feet based on lot 9's easterly boundary. Note Lot 10.2 has a Town Water Reservoir that is located on the lot 600 feet south on the east side of the river south of the bank. This is not shown as a separate in holding in lot 10.2 so I could speculate that lot 10.3 may be a town owned lot (note the town could just have a right of way for the tank and that the lot could be privately owned).

    So without additional ownership info, it comes down possibly a 1200 foot plus zone of contention or a somewhat nebulous point of contention by one of two lots immediately at the turn around.

  14. #14
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    1,749
    Quote Originally Posted by Barkingcat View Post
    How much of the current herd path is affected by this -- do you know? Just curious...
    It all sounds quite murky (and I haven't reviewed the zoning maps like peakbagger has) but it appears that the landowner in question owns the land where everyone has parked in the past before the bridge (where the pavement ends) as well as a large portion of the land that the herd path crosses. If you look at the USDA publication pertaining to the Corridor 11 relocation it seems to highlight the property in question. It looks like they basically reroute the snowmobile trail around that particular parcel to rejoin the existing paths. As far as I can tell (the map is small and in PDF so I couldn't expand it) most of the herd path travels through this parcel.

    The note he put on cars indicates he is tired of the littering, pooping on his land and general negligence shown to his property and he's tired of it. So I don't expect he will be too accommodating of foot/snowmobile traffic going forward. And it sounds like people are still parking on his land and playing stupid about the issue despite all the new signs.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 44/48; NY 46: 5/46

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    4,906
    Here is a link to the Corridor 11 Relocation scoping document

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46525

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •