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RoySwkr
12-23-2008, 08:16 AM
I hadn't seen this here but apparently the Forest Service not only won't plow the lot at the end of Gale River Road toward Garfield but suggests that hikers not walk it since the bridges are still out.
http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/news/2008/1229666400-1229961985-19-Dec-2008.php

Parking at Beaver Brook would make Garfield longer than Carrigain although you can save a mile each way by using the Heritage Trail/snowmobile trail.
http://vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=11956

As near as I can tell there won't be a $500 fine so I bet most hikers will still park at 5 Corners and walk the road.

Mohamed Ellozy
12-23-2008, 09:29 AM
As near as I can tell there won't be a $500 fine so I bet most hikers will still park at 5 Corners and walk the road.Not sure which branch of the road Roy means. The Galehead end is longer than parking at Beaver Brook, and the Garfield end seems, according to the link posted, dangerous:
Visitors are advised not to travel by foot over the South Gale River Road as fording the multiple river crossings where the bridges are out can be very dangerous in winter conditions!

DougPaul
12-23-2008, 10:42 AM
An unfortunate choice of labels...

My interpretation is the "South Gale River Rd" is the road from the western entrance (Garfield end) and the parking lot in question is at the junction of this road and Rte 3. (The naming is presumably because the western section of the road follows the South Branch of the Gale River. The North Branch of the river parallels the road near the eastern entrance (Galehead end).)

So access this winter is through the Beaver Brook trail system or the east North (east) Gale River Rd.


Five Corners (the junction of Rte 3 and Trudeau Rd) was the traditional parking area for both hikers and snowmobilers before the winter parking lot was put in at the entrance to South Gale River Rd.

Doug

RoySwkr
12-24-2008, 08:21 AM
Not sure which branch of the road Roy means. The Galehead end is longer than parking at Beaver Brook, and the Garfield end seems, according to the link posted, dangerous:
I meant the Garfield branch of course.

The FS considers the crossings dangerous because they weren't designed for hikers, but some are small side streams and the largest is the Gale River branch which the Garfield Trail crossed before the new parking lot was built and I've done in winter several times. And I always walked from 5 corners to the road anyway to save $3 :-) If I as to hike Garfield this winter I'd use the Garfield branch again to save 3 miles on the RT


An unfortunate choice of labels...

My interpretation is the "South Gale River Rd" is the road from the western entrance (Garfield end) and the parking lot in question is at the junction of this road and Rte 3.

That's the only lot they plow, I think 5 corners is done by the highway crew.

I think the lot was plowed during hunting season, not sure why they changed their minds.

Mohamed Ellozy
12-24-2008, 08:40 AM
... and the largest is the Gale River branch which the Garfield Trail crossed before the new parking lot was built and I've done in winter several times.I suspect that the trail was rerouted precisely to avoid that crossing ... I explored the old trail a couple of winters ago and at that time the river was uncrossable (of course, with solid ice bridges it could be a piece of cake).

I, for one, will only do Garfield this winter if I hear that there are solid ice bridges, or if I feel fit enough to do the longer Beaver Brook/Heritage Trail approach.

DougPaul
12-24-2008, 08:48 AM
I suspect that the trail was rerouted precisely to avoid that crossing ... I explored the old trail a couple of winters ago and at that time the river was uncrossable (of course, with solid ice bridges it could be a piece of cake).

I've also done the old route, both back when it was the trail and as an option in winter (with good ice coverage). That crossing is big enough to be rather dangerous if not adequately bridged. The section of trail (old logging or firewarden road?) that parallels the river between the road the crossing is also rather soggy.

Doug

bobandgeri
12-24-2008, 04:11 PM
Drove by there this afternoon on our way to Twin Mountain.

There is a very large sign (8' x 8') stating that the Hiking Parking is closed and that you should hike at the Beaver Brook area.

Also - the area that is normally plowed at 5 Corners for parking is not plowed as of tonight. Just before it coming from Rte 93 there is a fire road where snowmobiles unload sleds that can fit one or two 4-wheel drive vehicles.

FYI - we have a solid 2 feet of snow at the trailer in Twin Mountain!

bryan
12-24-2008, 04:34 PM
could someone in the know describe the parking situation at the beaver brook area and what the best route would be to get from there to the gale river (summer) trailhead. never had to approach from there before.
thanks.

bryan

Mohamed Ellozy
12-24-2008, 05:04 PM
The Beaver Brook area is a XC ski trailhead plus picnic area about a mile or so (I think!) east of the Gale River Loop, marked with Forest Service road signs. From there head south along the XC ski trail, taking a right at a couple of junctions. Ends in a logging yard with the road in plain sight.

Take a look at this map (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=103828115753497871383.000443fe9d00a1b2caadc&t=p&z=14).

1HappyHiker
12-24-2008, 05:05 PM
could someone in the know describe the parking situation at the beaver brook area and what the best route would be to get from there to the gale river (summer) trailhead. never had to approach from there before.
thanks.

bryan
Not sure how to describe the parking situation at the Beaver Brook Wayside area other than to say that itís well marked and very easy to find. As you are headed toward Twin Mountain from I-93, itís one-mile from Trudeau Road. Itís a fairly decent size area with room to park quite a few cars (Iíd roughly guess maybe 20 or so cars).

In terms of how to get to the Gale River and Garfield Trailheads, according to the Forest Service Press Release (http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/news/2008/1229580000-1229700475-18-Dec-2008.php), it sounds like there are trail signs posted at the Beaver Brook area. This Press Release states (in part):

ďHikers should follow trail signs posted in the Beaver Brook Ski Trail system to connect to North Gale River Road and follow the road to either Garfield Trailhead or Gale River Trailhead.Ē

Hope this helps . . . maybe someone else will post some additional info that I didnít think of.

bobandgeri
12-24-2008, 05:24 PM
The Beaver Brook parking area is plowed.

Here is a map of the area.

If not marked as indicated by 1HappyHiker you can follow the XC trail to it's closest spot with the Gale River Road. Cut through the woods over to the road and take a left. At the first junction, follow the road to the right and you will come to the Galehead lot (right before the "168" label )and then the Garfield lot. (labeled "Parking")


http://rbhayes.net/garfield-galehead-parking.jpg

Kevin Rooney
12-24-2008, 06:14 PM
There's another map here. (http://www.twinmtnsnowmobile.org/map.htm) It's about 1.1 from the Beaver Brook TH to the Gale River TH, and then about another 1.6 via the Gale River Rd to the Garfield TH. The road isn't flat.

Typically this part of the GR Road is used by snowmobilers, so it's often groomed.

MichaelJ
12-25-2008, 06:45 AM
Normally Beaver Brook is day use only; are they allowing overnight parking there for hikers?

bryan
12-25-2008, 07:21 AM
thanks to all for the info./maps.
i do remember when hiking garfield last year (from the now closed parking) that the road heading from the summer trailhead to gale river trailhead was well packed out by snowmobiles. a bit longer walk to garfield this year, but it sounds like the beaver brook area is actually a little better access to gale river.

thanks again.

bryan

Kevin Rooney
12-25-2008, 08:55 AM
... it sounds like the beaver brook area is actually a little better access to gale river.

It is, by about a mile.

bobandgeri
12-25-2008, 10:32 AM
Drove up to Beaer Brook to check it out:

It is plowed.

There is a large sign at the entrance to the trails indicating that hikers should follow the marked trail to the road - 1/2 mile - then follow the road to the regular trailheads.

There is no indication regarding overnight parking for hikers - the normal sign at the entrance indicating that the area is closed from 10 PM to 6 AM is still posted.

RoySwkr
12-26-2008, 09:27 AM
It is, by about a mile.

From the maps it appears to be less than half a mile shorter in each direction.

bryan
12-29-2008, 07:05 PM
hiked that way today. the forest service has signs at all the junctions on the ski trail to point the way to gale river road. as of today there is no real differentiation between a snowhoe track and a ski track. it's all sort of a big mess due to the conditions. there is a fee collection tube with envelopes available so i assume they want people to pay who do not have parking passes.

bryan

Mohamed Ellozy
01-01-2009, 08:53 AM
For completeness, let me link to a Trail Conditions report: Garfield from Five Corners (Garfield Trail) (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=27081). About the crossings:
NOTE: all Bridges OUT (3 of them) on the south road from Rte 3! No signs posted @ road warning of bridge outs. Each bridge requires special route finding to cross the Scarface Brook (really a river)!! Plan for 1.5-2hrs time walk to trailhead from the south road.

RoySwkr
01-01-2009, 05:41 PM
For completeness, let me link to a Trail Conditions report: [url=http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=27081]

Sounds like I was right about people trying it from 5 Corners anyway, the time they took is about the same as from Beaver Brook but it might be quicker now that it's broken out :-)

Wonder what happened to the 8x8 sign B&G reported?

bobandgeri
01-01-2009, 06:00 PM
Wonder what happened to the 8x8 sign B&G reported?

Seems odd. The Trail Conditions report that Mohamed linked too indicated a trip report with more info, but we don't see it.

The sign was fairly sturdy and surviced the high winds up until last weekend, so hard to believe it could have been knocked over. Ditto on signs warning about the bridges being out - they have been up since the flooding that caused the damage.

MichaelJ
01-06-2009, 07:23 AM
The big honkin' sign was there this past Sunday, but I have a funny feeling it was at the south/west end of the loop road, not at 5 Corners, where snowmobilers were parked and loading/unloading.

And I think there's some confusion here, too, because the conditions report Mohammed linked to is titled "from 5 corners" but then states they went in "on the south road from Rte 3" ???

lattinhill
01-06-2009, 08:23 AM
Not to add to the confusion , but isn't " 5 corners " considered the south end of the loop road ? I always called it the west end but I think I was wrong .

Dave

DougPaul
01-06-2009, 09:20 AM
Not to add to the confusion , but isn't " 5 corners " considered the south end of the loop road ? I always called it the west end but I think I was wrong .
No.

Five Corners is the junction of Rte 3 and Trudeau Rd. as shown in the map posted by bobandgeri. The north end (ie east, follows the North Branch of the Gale River) of the loop road comes out here.

Doug