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Guthook
06-28-2013, 05:43 AM
I hiked from Grafton Notch to East B Hill Road last week, and I noticed what looked like an abandoned trail on the east side of Baldpate Mountain– a trail sign for the AT, much like where the old Clearwater Brook Trail hits Elephant Mountain, and a pretty obvious path to the north. The one on Baldpate looked fresher, though– the side trail still had some faded blue blazes and may have been used recently by trail maintainers, since there was a relatively new staircase on the AT nearby.

I looked at some older USGS maps, and sure enough there is a Baldpate Mountain Trail right there, which isn't marked on my 2004 MATC maps. I vaguely remember climbing Baldpate from the east around 2000, so I'm curious about this trail. Anyone know when it was closed and why (with all the logging in the area, I can imagine it was a landowner request)? Or any other info about it?

bryan
06-28-2013, 06:41 AM
shows on one of my older map programs as well. frye brook trail?
http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?37404-Frye-Brook-Trail-East-Baldpate

bryan

Guthook
06-28-2013, 08:01 AM
shows on one of my older map programs as well. frye brook trail?
http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?37404-Frye-Brook-Trail-East-Baldpate

bryan

Yep, that's definitely the one. I know I've seen the Frye Brook Trail name somewhere before, too. I wonder what happened to it.

peakbagger
06-28-2013, 08:18 AM
Frye Brook Trail is quite easy to follow and is the route of the former AT, it goes by the Frye Brook Flumes which is a Maine Public Reserve land and is marked with a sign on East B Hill road. The trail was still blazed a few years back and was easy to follow. It follows an old woods road to close to the intersection of the AT. It was a "fall line" road and has some serious erosion issues due to the road construction. The trail from East B hill road is fairly easy to follow, basically stay on the left side of the brook and there is an old road that parallels the flumes. The scenic route runs along the edge of the flume and there is a tentsite and outhouse at the former Frye Brook AT Shelter site. Eventually after you get above the flumes and Frye brook becomes a brook the routes converge. From then on, if in doubt follow the main course of the brook. There was significant cutting along the trail a few years back by the state of Maine.

I prefer this approach to the Rt 26 approach because of the flume.

I expect it fell out of use as it would really need significant repairs and water bars to stabilize the route. MATC is hurting for maintainers and I expect they would rather direct resources elsewhere.

Guthook
06-28-2013, 03:03 PM
I expect it fell out of use as it would really need significant repairs and water bars to stabilize the route. MATC is hurting for maintainers and I expect they would rather direct resources elsewhere.

That's what I figured. Route 26 is the more accessible point for most folks. And they were probably able to put more effort into maintaining the AT from Grafton Notch. Speaking of which, also on that hike last week, I finally saw the new stairway on the AT near the top of Baldpate– that thing is a work of art, especially since I'd become accustomed to the old trail up there.

peakbagger
06-28-2013, 03:56 PM
Glad I could fill in info, I did some corridor maintenance with Dave Field from MATC awhile back and this section of the AT used to be a major road walk along active logging roads until it was relocated on the ridge line. The Frye Brook route of the AT basically ran the route down to East B Hill road where it then followed the ridgeline for quite a stretch.

Raymond
06-29-2013, 01:47 AM
We used that trail when we climbed East Baldpate in 2005, and my ladyfriend took a dip in the water afterward. We had it all to ourselves, though we ran into some hikers once we hit the Appalachian Trail.

RoySwkr
06-29-2013, 04:17 PM
This used to be the premier route to Baldpate if you preferred a more scenic hike to a shorter drive to the trailhead and the opportunity to bag other peaks on the way up. The new AT is designed as part of a continuous route and hence may not be as attractive as trails laid out without this constraint.