PDA

View Full Version : Mount Cabot (8/12/12)



Jeff&Henry
08-14-2012, 08:07 PM
Route: York Pond Trail > Bunnell Notch Trail > Kilkenny Ridge Trail > Unknown Pond Trail (loop)

Full Photo Album: http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot (Note: captions under the photos)

---------------

We had been reluctant to climb Mount Cabot due to it's remote location, and now, after bagging it, I wonder why we waited so long. ;-)

First off, how cool to start a hike at a fish hatchery? I never knew such places existed. It's quite an operation, and the "raceway" near the York Pond trail head is fascinating.

The hike up York Pond Trail begins quite easily, with the trail passing through delightful open fields (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023107687&k=2SjXSqf), then shoulder-high golden rod and wildflowers and quickly gets damp, then wet, and stays wet (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023108009&k=FZB9NL6).

Due to our rather late 11 AM start (we underestimated how long it would take to get to Berlin from the South Shore of Boston) we began to pass hikers coming down from the summit, and a father/son duo joked that we'd just begun to enjoy the wet trail.

The Bunnell Notch Trail follows along a river which appears to be on large sections relocated new trail (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023107917&k=3dLrJf4). We joined Kilkenny Ridge after about 90 minutes, and about 1.5 miles from the summit, the real climb begins (shortly after passing the Mt. Cabot Trail (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023108074&k=7z3SsR4) -- which is sadly, no longer maintained, although we passed a hiker going down who had come up the MCT. The made me smile. And except for one very fine overlook (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023109529&k=2XDSmXP) about a mile from the summit, our views were fairly limited, except for glances between the trees. About two and a half hours into the hike, we passed Cabot Cabin and plowed on the summit -- the REAL summit (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023108601&k=MpvxWDV) (stick on the tree) NOT the summit sign.

Note: Does anyone know why in the world is the summit sign is placed where it is (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023113139&k=xzSRcDg), when it's quite obvious there's a higher piece of land about 100 yards away? Thank goodness I had seen other VFTT posts, so we KNEW where to look for the real summit.

We spent only enough time on the summit for a few photos (to chronicle our 41st summit (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023110322&k=QjXc3VC)!) then continued on towards the Bulge, and the trail got wet again. Just after the Bulge we stopped for our lunch and I called the fish hatchery to let them know we wouldn't be down until about 6 PM, and, thankfully, the gentleman I spoke with said the gate would be staying open until at least 10:30 PM. That took the pressure off -- we could take our time.

Unknown Pond was lovely, although we were watching our beautiful day quickly turn dark, so we started down Unknown Pond trail. I commented to Henry I could almost use a headlamp -- it's amazing how dark the woods can be. Looking at the map, I thought we might have a nice gradual descent to the trail head, but UPT began by passing through completely grown in trails (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023112365&k=snnzfTK) (sometimes over Henry's head), then rocky, soaked trail along a river and finally a rather nice old rail bed.

About 2 miles from the end of hike, it POURED on us (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023112499&k=bqd5W7c), although after 6 hours of hard hiking in high humidity, the rain cooled us down nicely.

At about 6:30 PM, we exited the woods into the parking lot at Unknown Pond trail head -- our car was the last one in the lot (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023112638&k=r2Lq6zP), but the sky had cleared to show us Mount Cabot. This was a long day, especially due to the humidity, but we enjoyed the solitude. I look forward to doing Cabot in the Spring (with more views) or fall (where the foliage I'm sure will be brilliant).

---------------

Some other photos:

> Was there some confusion where the summit was? They had to replace the arrow? (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023108052&k=G7PNPNf)

> I call this "Onion Tree" (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023111785&k=CqN5hxz)

> I think yellow blaze impedes us more than helps us (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023111768&k=4d6qtG4)


Photo Album: http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot




Jeff & Henry
41/48
jcwheel@gmail.com

Summerset
08-15-2012, 06:42 AM
Congrats to you both for bagging another one! Not sure why there are two signs, I knew about this too, and my son found the tree with the little stick sign.

Tom Rankin
08-15-2012, 07:06 AM
Wow, that does look wet! We are doing this for Flags, I will come prepared!

I haven't been up Cabot that way in a long time, thanks for the update.

Lefty E
08-15-2012, 07:35 AM
Like Owl's Head "old summit" Cabot also was discovered to have a slightly higher bump when GPS came into being....so the "old" summit sign is still there...and though I have done Cabot a few times, thanks for that pic of the directional arrows...guess I never looked at it because I knew the way!! Next time you hit Cabot don't forget to tag The Horn, best views there but the spur from Kilkenny Ridge Trail can easily be missed....

Jeff&Henry
08-15-2012, 08:14 AM
Like Owl's Head "old summit" Cabot also was discovered to have a slightly higher bump when GPS came into being....so the "old" summit sign is still there...and though I have done Cabot a few times, thanks for that pic of the directional arrows...guess I never looked at it because I knew the way!! Next time you hit Cabot don't forget to tag The Horn, best views there but the spur from Kilkenny Ridge Trail can easily be missed....

Yeah...we saw the spur path to the horn...but I'm not too proud to say fatigue was getting the best of us...and the promise of a dip in the pool was lingering in our minds. The horn is definitely on the list for the next go 'round...

As for the arrow -- that's a funny one, because the Kilkenny Ridge Trail joins from the right..and the trail continues straight -- what other direction would it be? But it looks like someone carved out the old arrow and inserted the wood block with the new one...and then there's the scratched arrow pointing toward the right?

I don't think anyone would ever get lost...just one of the those funny backwoods things, I guess. ;-)

Jeff&Henry
08-15-2012, 08:17 AM
Like Owl's Head "old summit" Cabot also was discovered to have a slightly higher bump when GPS came into being....so the "old" summit sign is still there...and though I have done Cabot a few times, thanks for that pic of the directional arrows...guess I never looked at it because I knew the way!! Next time you hit Cabot don't forget to tag The Horn, best views there but the spur from Kilkenny Ridge Trail can easily be missed....

Thanks for the explanation Lefty -- althought, it's kind of odd...the higher land is rather obvious from the summit sign (this photo was taken by me, standing on the true summit, with Henry almost next to the marked summit (http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/24733285_WNhfDv#!i=2023109635&k=BV9mTz9))...I just feel bad for all the hikers that stop at the sign...and technically miss the real summit!

surf88
08-15-2012, 01:03 PM
Nice Pics, looks fun!
http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/i-7z3SsR4/0/M/Cabot-16-M.jpg
Ive hiked Cabot 11 times in the past 12 years and thats the first time I've seen that sign. Must be new.
"No Longer Maintained?" Is that different from closed? Anybody know if the closed and no trespassing signs are still up on the other end at Heaths Gate?

Pucknuts61
08-19-2012, 07:46 AM
Nice Pics, looks fun!
http://jcwheel.smugmug.com/Hikes/Cabot/i-7z3SsR4/0/M/Cabot-16-M.jpg
Ive hiked Cabot 11 times in the past 12 years and thats the first time I've seen that sign. Must be new.
"No Longer Maintained?" Is that different from closed? Anybody know if the closed and no trespassing signs are still up on the other end at Heaths Gate?
We did Cabot yesterday via Heaths Gate ( Mt Cabot Trail) We didn't see any signs from the start until Kilkenny and the new "no longer maintained" sign. The trail is still easy to follow, just a couple blowdowns, but it is growing over.
Even that tall sign at the 3 gates is gone.

Raven
08-19-2012, 02:51 PM
"No Longer Maintained?" Is that different from closed? Anybody know if the closed and no trespassing signs are still up on the other end at Heaths Gate?

I believe this is the difference (in the Whites): "No longer maintained" just means that...blowdowns are left, no more blazing done, etc. Essentially the trail is left to return to a wild state. You can bushwhack it anytime you like. Many hikers find and hike trails no longer maintained in the Whites. One on Hale may be as popular as the official trails.

As for "closed," that means use of the trail is not permitted. I have rarely seen this in the Whites excepting private property (e.g. Cabot) and in the aftermath of Irene (e.g. parts of Rocky Branch). Some on the forum have told me they have had no issues in recent hikes coming up the former Mount Cabot Trail. I plan to hike it again soon as well but have not since its "closure."

Someone please correct me if I am mistaken.

peakbagger
08-20-2012, 07:27 AM
Nothing has changed with the former Mt Cabot Trail. As far as I know, the owner in question has not gone away. I expect getting the former trail route off the map and out of the WMG, has calmed things down. It expect it is a management decision on the WMNF's part, that rather than crank up controversy at this one location which could impact access to many other trail segments and trailheads on private property, thats its best to leave the trail officially unmaintained within the WMNF and then at some point in the future, when the landownership on the private property section of the trail changes, the decision can be revisited.

One thing that the national forest system has is a far different concept of timing than the average individual. Management plans are on the order of decades or even centuries. To a hiker with a short time window to bag the 48's, having to drive and extra hour to the fish hatchery is a major imposition while to a WMNF the option of waiting 20 years is not an issue.


I am surprised that it hasnt been revolved yet as the WMNF was planning to set up Mt Cabot cabin as a reservation only facility and having the former trail route as an option for access would increase the demand.