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Trail Bandit
10-25-2012, 10:09 AM
I have been studying some of the old and now disused trails on Mt Sunapee. The 1915 Ayers Mao shows one that I have been trying to find the name for marked with a red arrow. Also note that there was a trail that went up the North Peak.
http://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4105
The USGS topo map from 1955 shows both of the trails which start from the area of the present campground, near the bottom of the present Sun Bowl ski lift.
http://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4106
An old Sunapee State Park map (undated) shows the nameless trail of interest, again marked with a red arrow. The trail up the North Peak is not shown but of interest are the trails marked with line segments, inter-spaced with "X" marks. marked with a red #2. These trails are marked with very faded blazes but are very overgrown. I guess the park no longer supports cross country skiing.
http://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4107
The lower section of the nameless trail has been replaced by the access road that goes to the summit, also known as the Porky or Williamson ski run. There is still a sign at the bottom of the Porky run which
indicates the start of the trail. About 30 years there was a sign part way up the Porky ski trail that indicated where the trail went off the road and into the woods.
http://www.vftt.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4108
Do any of you remember the name of that trail? Note: if you look, you can follow most of both of these old trails.

Chip
10-25-2012, 04:36 PM
I enjoyed a very nice winter hike there, basically around the outside, over the top and down past the overlook to the lake and then down through the woods and ski trails, while my kids skied. No help to you, but nice hike if anyone is in the ares.

RoySwkr
10-25-2012, 05:29 PM
The lower section of the nameless trail has been replaced by the access road that goes to the summit, also known as the Porky or Williamson ski run. There is still a sign at the bottom of the Porky run which
indicates the start of the trail. About 30 years there was a sign part way up the Porky ski trail that indicated where the trail went off the road and into the woods.

Do any of you remember the name of that trail? Note: if you look, you can follow most of both of these old trails.
Trail #1 was still being maintained a few years ago, on a trail work day the easiest assignment was to take the chairlift up and go down that way.

When I had a web page for Sunapee I called it the Pseudo-Rim Trail because at least one sign called it the Rim Trail although there was also the current Rim Trail. I was told by the then-president of SRKG that it was to be (re)named for one of the activists in creating Sunapee State Park. (Note that although the park was created to preserve old-growth forest, some of the old growth near this trail was included in the ski area permit hence could be cut down for ski trails.)

Creag Nan Drochaid
10-25-2012, 08:27 PM
I just KNEW we shoulda taken that trail off the map...
The work day Roy mentioned was probably the one where we went down the Newbury Trail where it is now. 'Twas but four years syne.
The trail in question may well have been originally cut over 100 years ago for use by the public and also guests at Johnson's hotel, which was where the campground is today (Johnson Brook drains the NE bowl). Like most trails for hikers in the days before anyone thought of drainage it went straight up a steep slope.
This trail has been unmaintained for about 20 years because it is either a gully or a brook bed depending on when was the last rain, and is duplicated by either the Rim Trail or walking Porky's/Williamson access road to summit but turning left on Solitude Trail/Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway. To keep it open invites use and yet more erosion. To have a more sustainable trail from the road up to the saddle above Lake Solitude would mean an entirely new route, with much sidehill, revetting, steps, ditching, waterbars etc. An enormous investment of time when there are so many trails in use now that need help: more erosion control, short relocations, and routine maintenance. Since they are not getting it, there is no reason to add it to the trail in question. Besides, said trail passes through the old growth forest on Mt Sunapee, so there may be conservation reasons to not maintain it on its present route, like the impact of more tourists on fragile soils and steep slopes.
Historic interest aside, this is one trail we should leave abandoned. Bushwhack, yes. Open, no.

RoySwkr
10-27-2012, 09:50 AM
The work day Roy mentioned was probably the one where we went down the Newbury Trail where it is now. 'Twas but four years syne.
... This trail has been unmaintained for about 20 years because it is either a gully or a brook bed depending on when was the last rain, and is duplicated by either the Rim Trail or walking Porky's/Williamson access road to summit but turning left on Solitude Trail/Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway. To keep it open invites use and yet more erosion.


The trip I was talking about when a group went down was National Trails Day 1998 - less than 20 years ago but longer than I thought :-)

The group I was with did the Rim Trail starting from the summit, a guy who had scouted from the bottom had found several blowdowns in the first 1/4 mile before turning around so we had 2 chain saws and our leader was busy trying to keep us from doing any work before the junction as other groups behind us were supposed to do that. Started sawing right at junction but there wasn’t actually that much blowdown, occasionally one saw got stuck but then the other could cut it out. We even cut some things that maybe didn’t need it including a hollow blowdown a couple feet in diameter. There was a clump of blowdown at the lower end which is
apparently what the guy had seen but we still finished way early. But
Andrew Brook was even easier, it was supposed to take 35 person-days to
clear so they sent one group up and one down, but somebody had cut
everything during the week so all they had was cleanup.



Besides, said trail passes through the old growth forest on Mt Sunapee, so there may be conservation reasons to not maintain it on its present route, like the impact of more tourists on fragile soils and steep slopes.
Historic interest aside, this is one trail we should leave abandoned. Bushwhack, yes. Open, no.
I'd rather have hikers in the old growth than cut it down to widen the ski trail which is what may happen if people don't know about it

Trail Bandit
10-22-2015, 09:16 AM
A short update on this trail. As of 10/15/1015 the "Lake Solitude" sign has been removed and all of the blazes along the trail have been painted over with "Government, all hiding grey". The trail is still in good shape, except for at the very top where brush was piled in the entrance to the trail.
It is too bad that the State Park people have time to obliterate old trails and none to maintain them.