View Full Version : Pilot/Pliny Range, plus Unknown Pond tentsite questions

07-15-2012, 08:18 AM
Hi all - this is my first post. Happy to be joining such a great forum with such great people! Hopefully I'll be posting some trip reports before long.

In the next week or two I'm planning a two-day excursion (ok, maybe "excursion" is a little heavy :) to the Pliny-Pilot range, to bag Cabot and Waumbek, and throw the Horn & Bulge as well. Day 1 will feature a hike into Unknown Pond tentsites to hopefully claim a site, then hike Bulge, Horn, and Cabot, and return to the tentsite for the night. Day 2 will be the hike out, then drive over to do Waumbek up/down.

Two questions:

Is this itinerary crazy? Timing per the WM Guide shows just several miles of hiking, and since we should be able to stash most of our stuff at the tentsite, the hike through Bulge/Horn/Cabot and back will be light. The small group of us that will be hiking are fit and have done day hikes longer (and harder I think) than this.
How likely (or not) is it that we'll find an available tentsite? Plan is to hike in early on a weekday (such as Friday) morning, so we're hoping that not all would have been used on Thursday night.

Many thanks for your sage advice!


07-15-2012, 10:40 AM
I think you'll be find in all regards. It's a mellow, moderate hike into Unknown Pond on the Unknown Pond Trail from either side (hatchery or Mill Brook Road). While the area has grown in popularity, going up on a weekday morning ought to mean getting an available campsite (note that camping is no longer allowed allowing the pond shore, the sites have been relocated up the slope on the north side), it's a very mellow and enjoyable hike to Cabot from Unknown Pond (my favorite route there), you barely notice The Bulge, and of course The Horn is awesome (watch for the spur trail), and as long as you get an early start, you'll be back down in no time to drive around and hike Waumbek.

Make sure you go to the cabin, as well as visit the true summit (not where the sign is). Also, filter your water from the pond outlet brook, not the pond itself (less suspended solids).

My gut feeling is that afterward you'll be better off going west on 110 then down 3 to 2 to get to Waumbek, rather than navigating through Berlin and Gorham. The difference on the map is only the 10 minutes of driving between the hatchery road and Mill Brook Road, but in reality it's much slower getting through Berlin and Gorham.

07-15-2012, 10:45 AM
That is not a particularly crowded area. I doubt you'd have any trouble finding a spot to camp.

Here's a suggestion: If you have a group, and the ability to car-spot, why not do a Kilkenny Ridge Trail traverse from Jefferson to South Pond? That is a fantastic trip and it may make your journey more enjoyable if you don't have to backtrack on Day 2. You will also get to traverse the remote and wild area between Cabot and Waumbek, crossing over the Weeks and Terrace mountains.

07-15-2012, 01:37 PM
Agree with everything suggested by MJ and WG. If you do the traverse, Weeks and Terrace is classic Kilkenny Ridge Trail. Great forest. and Unknown Pond is pristine.

And, as it appears you are peakbagging, later on in life you may be happy you went over N ans S Weeks as well if you do the traverse.

Welcome to VFTT.

07-15-2012, 07:34 PM
Agree with all that is said. We did Cabot, Bulge, Horn as a clockwise loop coming out UPT. At the time we were doing the 48 and 52WAV. We are going back to do the Weeks and Terrace (NHHH) because there are always other lists :). You would get these if you do the ridge. Still two days and you get the camping in.

07-16-2012, 02:39 PM
You will be fine at Unknown, had the place to ourselves on a July Saturday night last year...