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View Full Version : Advice on Tackling Cabot



HLLM
08-07-2007, 01:43 PM
My family and I are heading up to the Whites in late August. we are trying to finish the 48. We have three left - Cabot being one of them. Is there a preferred route that is open and avoids private property issues? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

dug
08-07-2007, 02:00 PM
The York Pond/Bunnell Notch route seems to get the most play now. It's a mellow, woodsy walk.

DougPaul
08-07-2007, 02:00 PM
The status of the Mt Cabot trail (from the south) is still in doubt. (BTW, the contending landowner is in a distance from the trailhead. The landowners at the trailhead seem fine with it.)

Bunnell Tr from the east or via Unknown Pond are fine. One can make a nice loop out of the two routes. Some also like to come in from the NW via Mill Brook Rd and Tr.

Doug

Mike P.
08-07-2007, 02:07 PM
IMO, the Mill Brook Road trip is a nicer walk but requires a longer drive unless you are from the real north country (north of the Whites)

If you are going by The Horn, make the side trip, it offers the best view in the area!

peakbagger-paul
08-07-2007, 02:08 PM
I came in from Mill Brook Rd (the Unknown Pond and Killkenny Ridge Trails) when I hiked it. It was a nice hike past Unknown Pond, then up past the Horn (a short side trip). I've never done the route from the fish hatchery nor have I tried the disputed Cabot Trail.

askus3
08-07-2007, 05:08 PM
Here is my trip report (2002). This is a circular hike that includes the spectacular view of The Horn (best view in the vicinity of Cabot and worth the side trip) & a visit to the tranquil Unknown Pond. The Bunnell Notch Trail has been rerouted around the wet boggy areas since the report and is quite a pleasant trail now. The gate when I went there last on June 20, 2007 was wide open and they freshly paved the road to the fish hatchery and within one mile of the Unknown Pond Trailhead parking lot.

McRat
08-07-2007, 05:15 PM
I would second askus3.

If you're going to Cabot, the views from the Horn and trip around Unknown Pond are easily worth the extra effort. On a good day, it would be a shame to skip this loop.

RoySwkr
08-07-2007, 05:27 PM
Last month I found the Unknown Pond Trail from the fish hatchery to the pond to be in terrible shape after a day of rain - mud, overgrown, etc. - so I don't recommend the loop

In wet weather the Bunnell Notch Trail has shoulder-high vegetation overhanging the trail lower down

I would suggest Mill Brook Road route - easy enough for anyone who has done 45 and you may be looking for Bulge/Horn sooner than you think :-)

David Metsky
08-07-2007, 07:13 PM
I would suggest Mill Brook Road route - easy enough for anyone who has done 45 and you may be looking for Bulge/Horn sooner than you think :-)
Seconded, on both counts.

bryan
08-07-2007, 07:26 PM
have hiked the bunnell notch route a couple of times and found it really enjoyable. once as a snowshoe and once in late november. both days did not have weather that made me wish to do the loop to bulge and horn, but it is still very much on my future agenda. a nice mellow sparsely marked trail that is still easy to follow and didn't see a single person either trip. great shelter in the cabin if the weather is less than inviting. finished my second round of the nh48 there last year. if weather is good the loop using the unknown pond trail seems like the way to go.

bryan

Paradox
08-07-2007, 07:34 PM
Make sure you look at a map as the Mill Brook Road parallels Mill Brook and is North of Cabot. The Mill Brook Trail is East of Cabot and parallels Cold Brook. In my experience in 1999 the Unknown Pond Trail from Mill Brook Road to the Unknown Pond was easily doable for a not particularly rugged 9 year old.

rocksnrolls
08-08-2007, 08:56 AM
When I hiked Cabot, I went in via Unknown Pond visited The Horn (well worth it for the views!), The Bulge, Cabot and continued to traverse Terrace Mtn, which has some nice views as well, especially from the southern peak - of the north side of Waumbek/Starr King. Came down the York Pond Tr which was a very easy trail to descend on

JohnL
08-08-2007, 09:46 AM
On the north end of the Unknown Pond Trail you walk through a wonderful birch forest, then get a view of the Horn from Unknown Pond just a few yards from the junction of the Unknown Pond & Kilkenny Ridge Tr's, and then the vista from the Horn itself are reasons enough for me to say it's my favorite route up Cabot.

If you're a fanatic about the exact location of summits, wander around behind the summit sign. The high spot is back there about a dozen yards or so.

JohnL

McRat
08-08-2007, 10:18 AM
As a follow up, I have not done the Mill Brook Trail, but after these descriptions I will have to put it on my to-do list. They've got a lot more experience than I do.

The Unknown Pond trail was indeed wet and muddy just below the pond, but I enjoyed it anyways.

RoySwkr
08-08-2007, 10:56 AM
Make sure you look at a map as the Mill Brook Road parallels Mill Brook and is North of Cabot. The Mill Brook Trail is East of Cabot and parallels Cold Brook.
The Mill Brook Trail used to follow Mill Brook from Stark village over the height of land to the actual fish hatchery buildings. When I first hiked it, the first 3 miles from Stark had been replaced by the road. Now the entire part in the Mill Brook watershed has been closed (although you can find where it leaves the FS road near the gate) but its name is unchanged. The Mill Brook Trail does not go to Unknown Pond.



If you're a fanatic about the exact location of summits, wander around behind the summit sign. The high spot is back there about a dozen yards or so.

There are a couple of herd paths near the summit sign that lead to viewpoints, the N path goes to a place probably higher than the sign.

JohnL
08-08-2007, 12:24 PM
Hmm, Roy is right. I mistakenly called the north end of the Unknown Pond Trail the Mill Brook Trail. :o I have corrected this error on my previous post. Pardon the confusion.

JohnL

Amicus
08-08-2007, 02:33 PM
Since this is evolving into a poll of sorts, I'll add my vote for the Unknown Pond Tr. south from Mill Brook Rd. to its junction with the Kilkenny Ridge Trail. If you have already been to the humdrum summit of Cabot by another route, you needn't even bother going back. Just take the KR Trail south 1.7 mile to the spur to The Horn - always worth a visit if you have any visibility. I too remember that stretch of the UP Trail (in Aug. 2004) as pretty woods, but with some muddy parts.

TroutBumNH
08-08-2007, 03:49 PM
Late in my 48, I did the Bunnell Notch to Kilkenny Ridge to Unknown Pond route (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=8492&highlight=troutbumnh)....

It was a great walk, and to shout it out again (it's in the report, too): Make sure you get to the Horn!!!

Hope you have a great trip...

Mike

Rols
08-08-2007, 07:40 PM
I've done both routes a couple of times. Both are very pleasant hikes. For my money...especially as a family trip...I would suggest Unknown Pond. As has been mentioned, it has a wonderful section through magnificent birches. The trip is broken up by two wonderful spots. You hit Unknown Pond about 1/3 of the way up (with an early start you may catch a moose swimming across)....one of my favorite ponds in the Whites. It is a great place to camp (legal too). The second third of the hike gives you the Horn. The Horn is a great luncheon spot..the views are great and the scramble onto the rocks a fun break. a final positive of the Unknown Pond trail is that it is the dryer of the two routes.


Whatever route you pick, you should have an enjoyable trip.