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Thread: Sawyer River Road

  1. #1
    Senior Member MikePS's Avatar
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    Sawyer River Road

    Anyone have any information on Sawyer River Road, will it open this year? Any year? thanks for any info

  2. #2
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I heard that it will likely never be opened again.

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    The road is fundamentally a maintenance hog, its just cut into the side of a steep slope with multiple drainages that cross it so it is prone to washouts. The only reason to keep it open is forestry operations which havent been that active of late. At one point it was one of the more valuable wood baskets in the national forest due to the flat terrain and management practices of the prior landowners. Keeping it closed also helps to reduce overuse at Sawyer Pond. There was multiyear closure 15 or 20 years ago. At the time there was speculation that another reason was to "smoke out" the owners of the inholdings at the former village of Livermore.

    I wouldn't be surprised someday if the Pemi wilderness gets expanded to cover this region.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The road is fundamentally a maintenance hog, its just cut into the side of a steep slope with multiple drainages that cross it so it is prone to washouts. The only reason to keep it open is forestry operations which havent been that active of late. At one point it was one of the more valuable wood baskets in the national forest due to the flat terrain and management practices of the prior landowners. Keeping it closed also helps to reduce overuse at Sawyer Pond. There was multiyear closure 15 or 20 years ago. At the time there was speculation that another reason was to "smoke out" the owners of the inholdings at the former village of Livermore.

    I wouldn't be surprised someday if the Pemi wilderness gets expanded to cover this region.
    Interesting story on the folks that have that inholding: http://nhpr.org/post/you-asked-we-an...-town#stream/0

    I would be interested to see what you would imagine a Pemi expansion to include.

  5. #5
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    I would envision it expanding out to the Kanc to the south to Bear Notch Road to the east and then North over Bartlet Haystack to RT 302 and then north along RT 302 excluding Crawford Notch State Park. They could take the lean too off Sawyer Pond and then the only thing stopping them are just the Livermore inholdings, the mysterious inholding west of the Sawyer River trail shown on the 1995 Mt Carrigain Quad and then its ready for designation.

    Note there are active advocates for shutting down the Kanc. I dont think it will happen but they argue it is major impact to wildlife activities and a scar across the WMNF. I know folks who remember when it was gated in the winter and dirt but that predate my visits by a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I would envision it expanding out to the Kanc to the south to Bear Notch Road to the east and then North over Bartlet Haystack to RT 302 and then north along RT 302 excluding Crawford Notch State Park. They could take the lean too off Sawyer Pond and then the only thing stopping them are just the Livermore inholdings, the mysterious inholding west of the Sawyer River trail shown on the 1995 Mt Carrigain Quad and then its ready for designation.

    Note there are active advocates for shutting down the Kanc. I dont think it will happen but they argue it is major impact to wildlife activities and a scar across the WMNF. I know folks who remember when it was gated in the winter and dirt but that predate my visits by a bit.
    The tower on Carrigain and planned communication infrastructure up there and on Hitchcock would have to be dealt with too. Of course, they allowed 13 Falls to remain so who knows. I don't fully understand what exceptions get made and why.

  7. #7
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    It was open last year... What has changed? I did not make a trip to Carrigain this past winter.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    It was open last year... What has changed? I did not make a trip to Carrigain this past winter.

    Tim
    I think it was the October storm that washed it out.

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    The Hitchcock repeater tower and the Carrigan repeater as well as the Cabot repeater (if they get installed) were intended to be serviced via helicopter. I expect they would need to pull them if it was wilderness area but maybe there is an exception for public safety installations.

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    The road is fundamentally a maintenance hog, its just cut into the side of a steep slope with multiple drainages that cross it so it is prone to washouts. The only reason to keep it open is forestry operations which havent been that active of late. At one point it was one of the more valuable wood baskets in the national forest due to the flat terrain and management practices of the prior landowners. Keeping it closed also helps to reduce overuse at Sawyer Pond. There was multiyear closure 15 or 20 years ago. At the time there was speculation that another reason was to "smoke out" the owners of the inholdings at the former village of Livermore.

    I wouldn't be surprised someday if the Pemi wilderness gets expanded to cover this region.
    I wonder if they'd expand the Pemi, or give it a new name since it would be outside the Pemi watershed. It would start a countdown on when the fire tower would be torn down though, unless the AMC buys it.
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  11. #11
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    Reportedly the Carrigain Fire Tower was closed at some point recently. I saw it in a trip report but never saw any confirmation.

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Reportedly the Carrigain Fire Tower was closed at some point recently. I saw it in a trip report but never saw any confirmation.
    I think it was closed due to storm damage from the Halloween storms wasn't it? I remember seeing trip reports for that too. I didn't take it as a permanent closing though. Just figured it was until Spring maintenance. I guess we'll find out soon enough.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

  13. #13
    Junior Member OnAClearDay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Reportedly the Carrigain Fire Tower was closed at some point recently. I saw it in a trip report but never saw any confirmation.
    In January there were signs at the trail head and also on the stairs blocking passage up. Otherwise, the tower still looks solid apart from the missing railing on the south side (currently resembles more a diving platform than an observation tower)

    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
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    Thanks for the photo !

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    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    I'd be surprise in the short term that there would be any increases in the size of any official wilderness areas. Not funding repairs and letting things deteriorate is more in line with the Dept. of Interior at the moment. I have hiked with people who remember the Kanc being gated but not myself personally.
    Have fun & be safe
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