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View Full Version : seeking Crawford-Ridgepole redlining advice



Maineman
08-13-2014, 09:47 PM
I have some time off next week and am planning to hike the Crawford-Ridgepole trail and all of the connecting side trails. I have carefully read the various route descriptions but having never been there I'd love to hear any suggestions.

I will have a car and a very light overnight setup (although I am aware/respectful of the camping restrictions in this area of extensive private land)

I was considering simply doing a north-south traverse and then tackling the connectors as loops where possible. I expect there will be a bunch of roadwalking involved so info on trailheads more or less likely to see other hiker traffic would also be helpful.

Thanks in advance!

Summerset
08-14-2014, 07:51 AM
We did a traverse about a month ago:

http://nh48.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/crawford-ridgepole-trail-traverse-7-12-2014/

We have not done all the connector trails from the road up to the CRP, yet, so I can't comment on those trailheads. The northern terminus, on Sandwich Notch road doesn't have much parking and can be driven by regular cars, but just be careful. A higher clearance vehicle is better, but not absolutely necessary. There is parking a few tenths before the CRP on Sandwich Notch Rd., which is more like a small trailhead parking area. The Mt. Morgan trailhead and the Rattlesnake trailhead across the street usually have someone parked there. On weekends, they can be very busy. There is a trailhead for Mt. Percival now, and a connector trail between the two. Both my husband and I can remember when connecting those two trails involved a road walk. We saw quite a few cars at the Cotton Mt. trailhead, the southern terminus, but that was a weekend, can't say what it would be like during the week.

Another note is water. There really isn't any on the ridge (like many ridges!), until you get quite close to the southern terminus, and all normal water treating precautions apply. Just make sure you take as much water as you'll know you'll need.

RoySwkr
08-14-2014, 11:02 AM
Even with multiple cars you will need to do a lot of backtracking to collect all the side trails.

You will probably find more hikers on the Morgan-Percival loop than everywhere else combined.

Note that the highest point of the range is off-trail with a very faint herd path and cairn on top.

TJsName
08-14-2014, 02:23 PM
Have you already done the Beede river path and Mt Israel? If not, that's a nice 10 mile loop (with mead trail and the road walk).

As for the ridgepole trail, there are a bunch of 3 way intersections. I would suggest going N/S, but start at the Doublehead trail, then go down to SNR and back up. When you get to Morgan (which has a small spur to the west to the true summit), go down the Mt. Morgan Trail, to the lot, then take the Morse trail to the Mt Percival trail, down to the lot, then turn around and back-up to Percical. From there, keep going south. Go down and up Old Mtn Road (both directions), then down the trail a but more, down Prescott... It's a lot of doubling up, but with one car you don't have a tone of options. :)

Maineman
08-14-2014, 04:34 PM
Thanks all - TJ, that was exactly the kind of breakdown I was hoping for! I love this place :)

Stan
08-14-2014, 08:47 PM
You can complete one loop of the ridge and two side trails by strategically spotting a bicycle. My hiking partner spotted a bike at the end of Doublehead Trail and we went northbound (east) over Morgan to Doublehead. Doublehead from Sandwich Notch Road is a fairly quick out and back with an interesting scramble. Livermore can be done as a short loop. The rest of may require some duplication and backtracking.

trailbagger
08-15-2014, 12:00 PM
We did a traverse about a month ago:

http://nh48.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/crawford-ridgepole-trail-traverse-7-12-2014/

We have not done all the connector trails from the road up to the CRP, yet, so I can't comment on those trailheads. The northern terminus, on Sandwich Notch road doesn't have much parking and can be driven by regular cars, but just be careful. A higher clearance vehicle is better, but not absolutely necessary. [snip]

Piggybacking on MaineMan's original question, can a low-clearance vehicle make it to the Guinea Pond Trailhead, without requiring the driver to go to extreme measures to avoid scraping bottom?

Maineman
08-15-2014, 12:11 PM
Piggybacking on MaineMan's original question, can a low-clearance vehicle make it to the Guinea Pond Trailhead, without requiring the driver to go to extreme measures to avoid scraping bottom?

I hiked the Algonquin trail on Monday. Other than needing to take it slow in a spot or two my Toyota Yaris made it there from the Sandwich village side with no problems. I descended the Smarts Brook Trail and walked the length of Sandwich Notch Road from route 49 back to my car. I found the approach from the west to be very rough in spots including one pretty steep paved, cracked & rutted part that could be trouble for smaller cars.

TJsName
08-15-2014, 06:16 PM
Thanks all - TJ, that was exactly the kind of breakdown I was hoping for! I love this place :)

It's possible I've thought about these things. :) Also, Stan has a good point if you have a bike to spot in addition to the car. You didn't mention it so I didn't assume it, although you have made mention of it before.

Maineman
08-15-2014, 08:19 PM
Sadly, someone stole my bike last week. It wasn't even nice or anything :(

TJsName
08-15-2014, 11:34 PM
Sadly, someone stole my bike last week. It wasn't even nice or anything :(

From a trailhead??