View Full Version : Sewards route & camping questions

02-05-2005, 02:30 PM
Hi all,

We're planning our annual 3 day backpacking trip for the end of February. This year we're targeting the Seward range where none of us has been.

We're looking at the first day being the approach to basecamp, the second day up and back to the summit(s), and the third day back out to the car. We'll be tenting, but aren't opposed to being near a lean-to as they make nice cooking shelters (if unoccupied).

We understand that the road isn't plowed all the way to the summer trailhead adding 3 miles or so the hike. Given the road portion plus the relatively flat approach trail we're thinking sleds would work well for the approach.

We're undecided on which route would be best for this trip - either the herd path from North or the Calkins Brook route. Most trip reports I see indicate that the Calkins Brook is more popular these days which implies less chance of serious trail breaking (good as we'll likely be only 2 or 3). I'd be happy to hear any recommendations on route selection.

As far as camping goes, if we come in from the North then the Blueberry LT seems to be a good spot for basecamp. I'm less sure where the best spot to camp would be on the Calkins Brook route. Does anyone have any campsite suggestions for this route? Somewhere near where the herd path leaves the Calkins Brook Truck Trail would be about the right spot based on distance and elevation.

Thanks for any suggestions / advice. We're hoping there will be some decent snow in the Adks. as it's been pretty bleak this year in NH. Of course we need to be careful what we ask for as in years past on this trip we've failed to summit Marshall, Dix, Marcy, etc due to deep unbroken snow and only a small group to break trail. Let's hope last years success on Marshall and Redfield will be repeated this year!

02-05-2005, 09:15 PM
You are correct that Calkins Brook (CB) is the more traveled winter route for the Sewards. That said it isn't always travelled frequently so any new snowstorm(s) of significance would greatly affect a party of 2-3's success.

As for campsites keep in mind the Blueberry LT is several miles beyond the turnoff to Calkins Brook so logistically it doesn't make sense to set camp at BB LT and backtrack to Calkins Brook. Just after the Blueberry Trail turnoff to CB you will cross the horse trail that goes to Ward Brook Truck Trail. A short distance further on the left is a designated campsite. It is about another 1.75 mile to the CB herdpath.

A second option is at the beginning of the CB herdpath and just after crossing the brook is an area where a logging camp used to be located. You should be able to set up camp somewhere here.

Hauling a sled is a reasonable idea for most or all of the route to a campsite as described above. The only tricky section is a 0.75 mile section on the Blueberry trail just before the turnoff for the trucktrail to Calkins Brook.

Good luck and have fun.

Michael M
02-06-2005, 08:37 AM

I agree with Pvon, Head straight for CB and there are plenty of places to camp once you are past the Blow down area. We pulled sleds all the way to CB trail and then carried up close to the ridge. From from this high camp Seward, Don, Emmons are all in reach. I would make sure you get Emmons and Donaldson (at least), as you could always Return for Seward and Seymore from the LTs. As a newbie, I hoped to get all four peaks in one trip, in the end I traveled that road, three times, and once at 40 below. Have a great trip


02-06-2005, 09:55 AM
If you are early enough on your first day, maybe you could grab Seymour while in the area. Keeping that in mind....

Hike in to Blueberry Lean-to, set up around there, (Climb Seymour). On the next day, head back and go up Calkin's Brook, Donaldson, Emmons, then head to Seward. After seward, instead of backtracking, to the Calkin's brook trail, head down the 'traditional' route, and you'll end up quite close to your camp. You will be hiking more distance-wise, but you will eliminate the tougher walk back to just about Donaldson from Seward.


02-06-2005, 11:19 AM
I'm following this with interest because I am going there in August. Would that old logging camp at the beginning of the herd path be a good spot for several tents in August, i.e., no snowpack to smooth out the bumps?

02-06-2005, 12:08 PM
The logging camp is getting over grown and maybe problematic getting a good tent site. There is a great "renegade" site about 50 yards beyond where you cross the brook. Do not cross and stay on the left side and follow the trail. It is used by many, nice and flat and well maintained. Even has a small firepit. I stayed there last year in August with a couple of friends. The following day we did the range and still had time to pack out. I use the old logging camp only in winter.

02-06-2005, 02:02 PM
Thanks for the replies. Sounds like Calkins Brook will work nicely and I'm glad to hear there are some good camping options.

I'm sure we'll have fun and with some luck we'll get to visit 3 new peaks.