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Actonthegoat
10-22-2014, 06:52 AM
I'm breaking in a couple of Alpine goat kids in eastern/central MA. We're graduating from local conservation trails and looking to find the next challenges. An excellent terrain example would be Monadnock, though pack animals are not permitted there and we respect the rules and regs. Any suggestions for rocky trails, 8-10 mile distance, in MA or southern NH would be greatly appreciated.
thanks!

Actonthegoat
10-23-2014, 06:43 AM
just to clarify, I'm not asking for goat friendly suggestions. i'll research the rules before we go. Just looking to find some of the more open granite loops in the 8-10 mi range.
thanks!

richard
10-23-2014, 03:06 PM
mts. Welch & Dickey

Ed'n Lauky
10-23-2014, 08:52 PM
I[ve always wondered what it would be like to hike with a goat I hope you'll post some of your adventures.

Stan
10-24-2014, 07:14 AM
Goats can be very useful on trail maintenance.

IQuest
10-24-2014, 09:04 AM
Are there any specific rules against them? I've seen some dogs larger than some goats. It would be great if they could carry your overnight gear.

JustJoe
10-24-2014, 10:46 AM
At first I thought I was ready for a rubber room. :rolleyes:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-PPteX_wgdtk/UYZTqAaSfkI/AAAAAAAApPU/7gCS62WxdQU/s800/P5040165.JPG

Then I was sure it wasn't me. :cool:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-F7oLJNaYW60/UYZTuBrr0II/AAAAAAAApQ4/xYOwN0bomOE/s800/P5040187.JPG

Walter. On Mt Chocorua a couple years ago. :)
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-A5vqKsT0Jsw/UYZTv89np0I/AAAAAAAApRg/mMcYkc9OSYU/s800/P5040192.JPG

Quietman
10-24-2014, 03:06 PM
There are a few steep rocky sections on the Wapack on N & S Pack, and the upper half of the Raymond Trail on S. Pack has some steep rocky areas. The Holt trail on Cardigan and the Winslow trail on Kearsarge are steep and rocky, but shorter. The old powerline on Watatic is very rocky, but even shorter.

TJsName
10-24-2014, 04:39 PM
Are there any specific rules against them? I've seen some dogs larger than some goats. It would be great if they could carry your overnight gear.

I don't typically consider goats to be pack animals (but maybe they just go by 'hoofed', so I'm not sure). I'm guessing there are a lot more people that have issues with dogs than goats. It's just a guess though. I was wondering the same thing not too long ago when talking about bring my small dogs onto Talus fields (they can't really do it), but I thought a goat would have a blast. :)

TJsName
10-24-2014, 04:54 PM
just to clarify, I'm not asking for goat friendly suggestions. i'll research the rules before we go. Just looking to find some of the more open granite loops in the 8-10 mi range.
thanks!

As for trail suggestions - assuming you are open to a drive to the whites, some good candidates are:

Welch-Dicky (very crowded on weekends though)
Baldface Loop
Jefferson via Caps Ridge (very popular), Castle Trail (less Popular), or Castle Ravine (not popular). With 2 cars you can go up one down the other. You can loops with 1 car, but the Link is tough for humans.
Wildcat Ridge Trail (lots of rocks, not so much open granite)

I think my best suggestion though is the Algonquin Trail. It's off of Sandwich Notch Road and goes up Sandwich Dome from the south. There are lots of Rocks and open ledges to play on, and it's not super popular. You could loop it with the Back Mtn Pond trail, but beware of the potential beaver flooding on the Guinea Pond Trail/Black Pond trail area - I'm not sure what the current status is.

Good luck!

Ed'n Lauky
10-24-2014, 05:33 PM
I'm guessing there are a lot more people that have issues with dogs than goats. It's just a guess though.

Interesting issue, it got me to thinking, do your goats butt at all? If they butted someone off the trail they might not be too popular. Do you keep them on a rope or leash? As I said before, I always wondered what it would be like to hike with a goat.

nartreb
10-24-2014, 10:30 PM
I wouldn't take a goat into the true alpine zone (~4500') in the northeastern US. I wouldn't want to turn my back and discover the goat had eaten a bunch of diapensia or other endangered species. Fire balds like Monadnock wouldn't worry me as much.

There's not a huge selection without increasing your driving range a bit. Mt Tom in Holyoke MA has potential but most of the trails don't really attack the terrain. Monument Mountain is a bit small. That leaves Monadnock (and maybe Pack Monadnock), Pawtuckaway, Cardigan/Firescrew, then going farther to Welch-Dickey, Morgan-Percival, Chocorua - check the 52 With a View list.

If you hike in the meadows of the Alps you learn to treat billy goats about the same as bulls: give them plenty of space. Getting butted is no joke.

Actonthegoat
10-27-2014, 07:02 AM
When I'm checking regulations I search ‘pack animals’, ‘livestock’ and ‘pets’. I consider them to be all three :)
Pack animals are not permitted on the AT. They seem to be generally allowed elsewhere with a couple exceptions, Monadnock being one. There are a couple of state park campsites in NH that don’t permit them, but not many. Mass Audubon doesn’t permit animal visitors either.
Planning to hike Mt Tom this fall. The Whites won’t happen until spring I think.
Thank-you all for the suggestions!
5096

Actonthegoat
10-27-2014, 08:21 AM
Interesting issue, it got me to thinking, do your goats butt at all? If they butted someone off the trail they might not be too popular. Do you keep them on a rope or leash? As I said before, I always wondered what it would be like to hike with a goat.

I hike with a wether (castrated male) and a doe. They are not aggressive, but they are still kept on a leash at all times.
A goats first instinct is to run from any perceived danger. But if they can’t run (because they are leashed) they will face down the threat.

The most common problem we have encountered is dogs off leash. Most seem to be well trained, and according to their owners they are the friendliest dogs in the world. Which is all well and good until they are a couple of minutes up the trail from the owner and encounter an animal they aren’t used to.

We had one such incident this weekend. Luckily the dog sat when I commanded it. We waited more than five minutes for the owner to come along. No way the goats were turning their backs to the dog. So we waited… There is no doubt in my mind that if the dog, trained as it was, had decided it wanted a closer smell it would have been butted.

In all the rules I’ve read, in Maine, Vermont, NH and MA, I’ve yet to find a park or trail that doesn’t require a dog to be leashed at all times. – It’s not just because the dog might bite a human!

David Metsky
10-27-2014, 08:25 AM
Pack animals weren't allowed on the Dartmouth owned trails on Moosilauke after a bad experience with someone taking mules up the mountain. It used to be posted but the signs were stolen earlier this year and the replacement signs no longer mention it. Not sure if the ban is still in effect, but a call to the DOC would answer that.

Ed'n Lauky
10-27-2014, 08:33 AM
I know how you feel as I hike with a smaller dog and smaller dogs seem to excite the prey instinct in many larger dogs. As you say most dogs are pretty well behaved but we have had a few incidents. The State parks require dogs to be leashed but in the White Mts. it's a bit more ambiguous as the rules say either leashed or under strict verbal control. A lot of leeway is taken with that verbal control bit. I would love to see you and your goats but since I've moved south and am no longer in the New England area I'm afraid that won't happen now.

peakbagger
10-27-2014, 09:39 AM
The telemark Inn in the Bethel Maine area used to run llama treks in the Wild River area for several years. Unlike goats the llama were not very sure footed and were basically confined to old logging roads. They had a WMNF outfitter guide permit but were limited to more remote areas like Evans Notch and the Kilkennies.

Stan
10-27-2014, 09:59 AM
I've often thought it would be fun to hike and backpack with horses. Out west it is not unusual to share trails with horses and other pack animals and I was surprised to find that the trail up Guadalupe in Texas was designed to include horses which gave me even greater respect for skills of riders and horses as parts of the trail can be treacherous. There are signs in a few places requiring riders to dismount and lead their horses. Near the summit there is a corale of sorts to tie up the horse while the rider hikes the remainder.

I've searched and inquired unsuccessfully for White Mountain trails acceptable and suitable for horses, at least on public land. I lobby Maine Huts and Trails to make their system horse friendly ... and I don't even own one.

I'm wondering how much weight your goats carry and if you use them to haul backpacking gear. I would expect you'd bring some of their favorite food but they do brouse pretty effectively and have been hired to clear brush from pastures and parks. They'll eat poison ivy, too.

Actonthegoat
10-27-2014, 11:13 AM
I'm wondering how much weight your goats carry and if you use them to haul backpacking gear. I would expect you'd bring some of their favorite food but they do brouse pretty effectively and have been hired to clear brush from pastures and parks. They'll eat poison ivy, too.

Goats can carry up to about 25% of their body weight. For a fully grown Alpine wether that can be as much as 55lbs. I haven't started loading mine yet, and won't for another year. Next summer he'll get used to the pack with just a few pounds.

Food wise they will try anything and don't necessarily know what's bad for them. We keep a close eye on what we are passing through. Mountain Laurel is poisonous, Poison Ivy is delicious...

Actonthegoat
10-27-2014, 11:20 AM
Pack animals weren't allowed on the Dartmouth owned trails on Moosilauke after a bad experience with someone taking mules up the mountain. It used to be posted but the signs were stolen earlier this year and the replacement signs no longer mention it. Not sure if the ban is still in effect, but a call to the DOC would answer that.

I just checked with the Ravine Lodge. Pack animals, including goats, are permitted on the DOC trails. It's been a while since I have hiked Moosilauke. That may be a good one for next summer!

sdways01
10-27-2014, 01:00 PM
I know someone briefly mentioned Monadnock, but you wouldn't be allowed to bring them on the mountain there. The rule is "no pets" since dogs isn't specific enough. The ranger that I am friends with has turned around people with goats before.