View Full Version : EB&L Railroad Logging Camps and Trestle 16

06-23-2013, 12:39 PM
Not sure if this qualifies as VFTT trail report, as there was no view and no top. :D We thought some people might be interested, so we figured we'd post it in General Backcounty...

We had a different sort of adventure yesterday. We took a stroll into yesteryear along the old East Branch and Lincoln Railroad bed in search of some of the old logging camps. The history behind the whole logging era is fascinating. J.E. Henry didn't know it at the time (and as we have researched probably wouldn't have cared), but he played a role in making hiking what it is today. We had an old hand drawn map as a guide. We believe the we found Camps 7, 8, 15, and 16. There were a lot of artifacts at all the camps, which lead us to believe we had found the right ones. The artifacts are protected by law, so they must be left where you find them. Granted most of what is out there may be' junk' in some peoples eyes, but to us it was looking back at history, some of those artifacts may have dated back to 1902.
We started at Lincoln Woods, on our bikes, and took the Lincoln Woods Trail out to the Pemi Wilderness, stopping at Camp 8, then Camp 7. The railroad ties made for some fun bike riding. The trail itself is in good condition except for that area of the trail that Irene took out. That section is slated for repairs this year according the volunteer at the ranger station there at Lincoln Woods.
Once we hit the Pemi Wilderness, we hid the bikes in the woods (no bikes are allowed in the wilderness area) and continued on foot down the Bondcliff Trail. There were a few blowdowns on the trail, but nothing to stop you from continuing down the trail. We had no trouble finding Camp 15. We say that, but to be honest, we really can't be 100% sure. We had the old map and compared it to a trail map, then explored where it looked like it should be. Every time though there was a large amount of artifacts.
Camp 16 on the other hand, seemed to be spread over a wider area. There were old beds, bottles, buckets, pipes and even what appeared to be part of an old shoe where we explored. A lot of the metal out there we had no clue what it could have be used for, but they were all signs of a presence long before us.
Continuing on we head down an unmaintained trail to Trestle 16 aka Black Brook Trestle. It is believed to have been built between 1903 and 1917. Levi Dumas (aka Pork Barrel) was self taught construction foreman and he did a heck of a job. The trestle is 100+ years old and is standing up to the test of time. It made us wonder how many more generations will get a chance to see it.
We crossed Black Brook and continued on to the spot where the suspension bridge used to hang. As we walked along this section of unmaintained trail it was apparent that the forest was reclaiming this part the land the EB&L railroad used to chug along. We climbed down to the river, it was so peaceful and we had the place to ourselves. We headed upstream looking for a place to cross and continue the days adventure, but didn't find any place we want to risk it, so we turned around and headed back out. All in all it was a great day, we love the Pemi Wilderness.
We did make a video of our days adventure. For anyone who might be interested in seeing, here is the link...