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cyohman
03-21-2011, 01:48 PM
I am visiting the area for about a week from the Pacific Northwest. I moved out there from Maine about five months ago. I am seeking information about the route(s) to Mount Ingalls. I am planning on hiking this Saturday.

From what I have read here and elsewhere, it seems the Scudder Trail has been restored. Is this true? Does it follow its old route from the Millbrook (Mill Brook) Road? Is the Millbrook Road plowed this time of year or closed? I saw a Mill Brook Road closed on the Forest Road status page, but that was for the Pemi area. Also, is the trail still 2.7 miles along?

Furthermore, can the Scudder Trail be intersected from Philbrook Farm via Mt Cabot? The shortest route appears to be Mt Cabot via the Blue Trail. Does the connector exist between the top of Cabot and the Scudder Trail? Is there still a path from the peak of Ingalls to Ray's Pond? Doesn't seem like it would be hard to fine, because it appears to be only a tenth of a mile away.

Would any of the reclaimed trails (Scudder and the path between Cabot and Scudder) be obscured by snow? Are they marked by cairns or blazes? I ascended and descended Cabot in the winter via the Red and Blue trails a couple of winters ago, so I know those routes were findable during the winter.

On a lark, does anyone know if the Garmin TOPO U.S. 24K Northeast DVD has the old trail data? I looked at the WMNF GIS data and it is not there, because the area is not in the WMNF.

Also, I'll throw this in there, since I noticed it.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/news/2011/newsrel_20110211_scoping_saco_trails.pdf

Synopsis: Bog Brook, Church Pond Loop, East Branch, Gleason, Rob Brook, White Ledge Loop and Wildcat River have parts that will be closed.

I tried looking for more detailed info on the WMNF site, but did not find it. Does anyone have more details as to what sections of the trails are going to be shutdown? I could see Bog Brook being closed, but that makes access to the Rainbow Trail harder, especially if they close the Wildcat River trail. Are they just talking about closing the first parts and relocating the trailhead? As far as the Gleason Tr, it's understandable cause the Bennett Street Tr parallels it. I hope they aren't closing the whole White Ledge Loop. There are decent views and its right next to the campground. I had a memorable (stupid) waste-deep post-holing experience there last spring. It's why I always carry snowshoes during snow season, despite what my judgment is at the trailhead.

The request for comment on the changes passed a week ago.

In closing, it's nice to be back in the area. The 10% difference in sunshine between here and the PNW is significant. Had a nice sunny day on Faraway and Roberts yesterday. Still, the PNW has advantages over here, so I'll remain there for now.

Thanks in advance.

erugs
03-21-2011, 02:04 PM
I, too, was concerned about the White Ledge Loop, but it is only a short section of trail the begins outside of the campground area. The trail will continue to begin and end at the same location within the campground.

As a side note, I was sorry to see that the gates closed early there this year and there was no parking available. It would make a nice winter loop if there was some "official" place to park.

cyohman
03-21-2011, 02:15 PM
I believe the part you are talking about starts across from the Pine Knoll Campground. Where did you get your information?

The gate you're talking about is at the White Ledge Campground?. I did notice that it seemed to close early last year. I am not sure if this is permissible, but I did park on the side of the entry road so I was not blocking the gate last spring. They didn't tow or ticket me or any of the cars parked this way. I'd recommend a call to the Saco Ranger Station for official information.

erugs
03-21-2011, 02:22 PM
Yes, Pine Knoll is across Rte. 16 and down the road from the soon-to-be-closed trailhead. When I spoke to the Saco Ranger they said something to the effect that no one hikes that trail in winter and that I could park along side the road.

I know from past unpleasant experience, that parking along side the road means that your wheels do not touch the pavement. A group of us hiked in after the gate closed but before snow and as you said, we also parked on either side of the entrance, leaving plenty of room for officials to drive in if they opened the gate. Some of our group spoke to a home owner nearby, who gave permission to park on their property.

It's a conundrum. People don't hike there when there is snow because there is no parking, and there is no parking because people don't hike there. I've noticed there are some pull-ins further down on Route 16. I suppose one could park there and walk north along the narrow highway... :(

RoySwkr
03-21-2011, 02:37 PM
Synopsis: Bog Brook, Church Pond Loop, East Branch, Gleason, Rob Brook, White Ledge Loop and Wildcat River have parts that will be closed.

I tried looking for more detailed info on the WMNF site, but did not find it. Does anyone have more details as to what sections of the trails are going to be shutdown?

There is a previous note here on this topic, with a link to the WMNF page that gives the actual info

The Mt Ingalls trails seem to come & go, I hear there is a new group maintaining them but have no contact info

erugs
03-21-2011, 02:43 PM
I found this information on a quick Google search. Seems here would be a good person to contact on your Ingalls question:



Shelburne Trails Club - Dick Lussier

Editor: Lussier, Pat Date: Sep 7 2010

Dick Lussier, husband of Rotary club member Pat Lussier spoke to the club about the newly formed Shelburne Trails Club. The purpose of this trails club is to restore abandoned trails in the Shelburne area and to assist in keeping the Philbrook Farm trails open and usable. Dick started the club after discovering that a number of former trails in the Shelburne area had been destroyed by logging or abandoned. So far Dick and several other members of the club have succeeded in reopening the Mt. Ingalls (Scudder) trail, the trail connecting Mt. Ingalls and Mt. Cabot, and the Bowl and Pitcher trail. They have also done maintenance on the Mt. Crag trail and several others in the area.

peakbagger
03-21-2011, 02:54 PM
The Shelburne club was real active this summer and reopened the majority fo the trails plus installed signage. They had done a great job brushing out the routes. I dont remember extensive reblazing, but during the summer the trails we did could be followed via a mix of trailbed, old and new blazes. I am not sure how active the trails are in winter. Most of the trails are on the last USGS map of the area and appear not to have moved.

cyohman
03-21-2011, 03:04 PM
Thanks to everyone who replied.

Here is the USGS map with the trails.

http://ims.er.usgs.gov/gda_services/download?item_id=5170029&quad=Shelburne&state=NH&grid=7.5X7.5&series=Map%20GeoPDF

DougPaul
03-21-2011, 03:56 PM
Thanks to everyone who replied.

Here is the USGS map with the trails.

http://ims.er.usgs.gov/gda_services/download?item_id=5170029&quad=Shelburne&state=NH&grid=7.5X7.5&series=Map%20GeoPDF
Here is an even larger version: http://www.archive.org/download/usgs_drg_nh_44071_d1/o44071d1.tif

All USGS 24k topos are available from here: http://www.archive.org/details/maps_usgs

Doug

cyohman
03-21-2011, 04:04 PM
Thanks for the link Doug. I might be one of the few who thought it was terrible when the USGS went from GeoTIFF (.tif) to GeoPDF. That link will not only be helpful for hiking, but for work. If you didn't know, what you have provided can be loaded into ArcGIS or any other GIS.

DougPaul
03-21-2011, 05:21 PM
Thanks for the link Doug. I might be one of the few who thought it was terrible when the USGS went from GeoTIFF (.tif) to GeoPDF. That link will not only be helpful for hiking, but for work. If you didn't know, what you have provided can be loaded into ArcGIS or any other GIS.
I also prefer TIFF over PDF for topo maps...

BTW, the TIFF files are copies of the original 250 pixel per inch scans contracted by the USGS. The .tfw (Tiff World File, gives the coordinates of the corresponding TIFF file used for entering the TIFF files into a GIS) files are also available from the same site.

The .fgd (digital raster graphic metadata for the TIFF files) files, however, are missing. I have a few from other sources--they appear to all be very similar. The files are labeled 'ACCESS CONSTRAINTS: "None"', so I have included one from a nearby 24K quad.

Unfortunately the 100K and 250K scale DRG maps do not appear to be available from the same site. (I have a few from other sites that I downloaded a number of years ago--I haven't searched for current sites.) (DLG versions of the 100K maps were available from the USGS a number of years ago--I haven't checked recently.)

Doug

cyohman
03-21-2011, 05:27 PM
BTW, the TIFF files are copies of the original 250 pixel per inch scans contracted by the USGS. The .tfw (Tiff World File, gives the coordinates of the corresponding TIFF file used for entering the TIFF files into a GIS) files are also available from the same site.

Doug

It loads in ArcMap without the .tfw file. The metadata appears to be in the header of the file. I can see the projection when I look at the file's properties in the table of contents.

DougPaul
03-21-2011, 05:38 PM
It loads in ArcMap without the .tfw file. The metadata appears to be in the header of the file. I can see the projection when I look at the file's properties in the table of contents.
Makes sense--including the auxiliary info in the data file is always a good idea. I don't use a GIS so I was unaware that it was in the TIFF file.

I just checked: the contents of the .tfw file can be found in both the .fgd file and the EXIF data in the .tif file.

Doug

cyohman
03-21-2011, 05:40 PM
OK. I don't use a GIS so I was unaware that it was in the TIFF file.

I just checked: the contents of the .tfw file can be found in both the .fgd file and the EXIF data in the .tif file.

Doug

No biggie. There may be other GIS that expect the .tfw or .fgd. It's a varied bunch of software. :)

1HappyHiker
03-21-2011, 07:59 PM
This information might be of limited help, but here goes.

Yes, indeed the Scudder Trail to Mt. Ingalls has been restored via the fine work done by the Shelburne Trails Club. I've only hiked this newly restored trail in the summer months, and so I'm unable to provide you with any winter hiking information.

For what it's worth, I've now hiked to Mt. Ingalls twice (again, just summertime-conditions) via the restored Scudder Trail. Once I did it by starting from the Austin Brook trailhead and then took the Yellow Trail eastward to pick up the well-blazed Scudder Trail. On another occasion, I parked at a small roadside trailhead on the Millbrook Road where I immediately picked up the Scudder Trail.

I have no idea as whether the Millbrook Road is plowed in winter. I rather suspect (but again don't know) that it might be a snowmobile trail in winter. Even if it is unplowed, it would only be about a half-mile (or less) road walk from the North Rd/Millbrook Rd intersection to the trailhead (assuming there is a place to park at that intersection).

You could try telephoning the Philbrook Farm Inn at (603) 466-3831 to see if they might have any information about trail conditions. They might since some of the connecting trails begin at that location and they might keep up to date about such information for their guests.

Also, you might consider sending a PM to one of the VFTT members who is active in the Shelburne Trails Club. One such member is FormerStarMan. Go the Members List and you will see that name. Or, if that doesn't work out for you, you can PM me and I can supply you with an E-mail address that might work.

cyohman
03-22-2011, 12:31 AM
Thanks John. Great info as usual. The trails leading to Ingalls are all present on the Garmin Northeast 24K data. It appears the quickest way to get there is the Scudder Trail off the Millbrook Road. That approach is 4 miles roundtrip. The approach from either the end of Millbrook or Philbrook Farm is ~5.6 miles. The route from Philbrook is minutely shorter. I'm going for it and will message FormerStarMan for further info.

FormerStarMan
03-22-2011, 11:29 AM
The Scudder Trail has been reopened and blazed since last summer. You can access the Scudder Trail off of the Austin/MillBrook log road where there is a trailhead sign, or can also access the orange blazed Scudder trail from the Yellow Trail after starting at the Philbrook Farm.

MillBrook Road is not plowed and we just had about 8” of new snow there overnight. You can certainly snowshoe or C-X ski up the road. As of the past weekend, we had still encountered 18” + of snow even on the lower elevations. I would recommend snowshoes for the next few weeks if hiking to Mt Ingalls, unless you enjoy post-holing into 2’ of snow. I would also carry micro-spikes for changing conditions.

Another option is to ascend the Red Trail (more direct than the Blue Trail if the intent is to climb the Scudder Trail to Mt. Ingalls) to Mt. Cabot from the Philbrook Inn and connect over to the Scudder Trail with the just re-opened connector. Trail grooming on that connector is not complete and it is a little rough, but it is blazed. We led a snowshoe group up this route four week ago and continued on the Scudder Trail along the ledges to just where the trail began its northeasterly ascent. There haven’t been many snow-shoe hikers in there this year and even the previously packed trail has seen much new snow.

Ray’s Pond is well worth hiking to and is most impressive as snow melts around it in the spring. The trail to the pond is easy to follow.

MillBrook Road was closed with a cable for a short time last year due to ongoing logging, but has been left open since Fall. Bayroot has not conducted any logging up MillBrook or Lary Brook Roads this winter.

The newly formed Shelburne Trails Club is reopening many of the “lost trails” and former fire trails in Shelburne. The trails are a work in progress and are being cleared and maintained by local volunteers. If hiking the new Shelburne trails in the summer, please limit trampling of lichens where the trails cross rocky open balds or cliffs. There is not yet a well defined treadway through theses sensitive areas. Thanks.

Larry – V.P., Shelburne Trails Club

RoySwkr
03-22-2011, 06:43 PM
Any notes on parking at Philbrook Farm Inn?

1HappyHiker
03-22-2011, 07:43 PM
Any notes on parking at Philbrook Farm Inn?
Perhaps "FormerStarMan" will chime in and add some additional info, but according to the current (28th edition) of the WMG, on page 533 it states the following:

"Several trails, distinguished by color, start from the access road at Philbrook Farm Inn on North Rd. in Shelburne. Hikers are permitted to park at the inn but are requested to speak with the inn management before leaving their vehicles."

cyohman
03-22-2011, 09:24 PM
FormerStarMan, thanks for the info. In regards to parking, I have parked once at the Philbrook Farm and stopped by for info on two separate occasions. Parking there has never been a problem and the folks at the Inn have always been very helpful and friendly. It wouldn't be a bad idea to call ahead, just in case they are busy. I can't wait to experience the hike to Ingalls. I've enjoyed past wanderings to the Crow's Nest, Cabot, Crag, and Middle Mountain.

FormerStarMan
03-22-2011, 10:43 PM
If parking at the inn, you should use the lot at the left front of the inn and not in the drive to the entrance of the inn. You should also stop in at the inn and ask permission if parking in their lot.

The family just placed a conservation easement on most of the 800-acres they own around the farm. The State of NH holds the easement which is manged by NH F&G. The easement land is open to public access, but the acreage around the Croftie Farm and the Philbrook Farm where the trails originate is not under the easement and use is by permission of the owners. Interestingly, guests of the inn have been maintaining the trails around the inn since the 1860's, with one continuous family doing most of that work.