PDA

View Full Version : Pawtuckaway Question



Davehiker
06-22-2005, 05:22 PM
Perhaps Sherpa John can help me.....I'm headed to Pawtuckaway camping with the family for a few days next week. We've been there before, but not this year. I've enjoyed hiking a loop over the Fundy and Shaw Trails, over South Mt. from the north, and back to the campground by the Mountain Trail. After reading "the Pawtuckaway Debacle" thread in Trip Reports, I'm left with a couple questions.

I found the beaver activity on the Shaw Trail, and the trail had been detoured along the shore to the north. Has this changed? Is it still passable?

I'm interested in going up to North Mountain and the Boulder Field. I only have the State Park hiking map. (http://www.nhstateparks.org/pdf%20Maps/PawtuckawayHikingFinal3.pdf) Will this get me hopelessly lost? I haven't had a problem with this map on the trails I've hiked.

I'm thinking of going out Fundy to Shaw, turning right and going through the boulder field, continuing over North Mountain, then back Round Pond Trail to Mountain Trail.

Thanks, Dave

RoySwkr
06-22-2005, 06:02 PM
I'm interested in going up to North Mountain and the Boulder Field. I only have the State Park hiking map. (http://www.nhstateparks.org/pdf%20Maps/PawtuckawayHikingFinal3.pdf) Will this get me hopelessly lost? I haven't had a problem with this map on the trails I've hiked.


You can get a much faster-loading version of the map at http://www.nhstateparks.com/Maps/pawhiking.html

The N end of the North Mtn bypass is in an old picnic area with roads going every which way and is a good place to get lost, but if you have good visibility or a compass you can figure it out. There is also a 4-way intersection S of N Mtn where the map shows a 3-way.

Davehiker
06-22-2005, 07:57 PM
The link on RoySwkr's post is an HTML file, dated January 1993, while the link on my post is a PDF file, dated July 2004. My printed map from the park is also dated January 1993. All the maps are identical, as near as I can see, so I don't suppose it matters!

Thanks for the info, Roy!

Dave

bill bowden
06-24-2005, 12:20 PM
Pawtuckaway is a major rock climbing and bouldering area, so there are plenty of blazes and trail markings around the boulder field and cliffs known as the beginners slab and lower cliff, there are also lots of rude trails to the microwave walls, devil's den and dome rock to allow for a little confusion and scrambing. The good news is there are plenty of people to get lost with and lots of folks to ask directions of.

chomp
06-24-2005, 12:41 PM
I found the beaver activity on the Shaw Trail, and the trail had been detoured along the shore to the north. Has this changed? Is it still passable?

I'm thinking of going out Fundy to Shaw, turning right and going through the boulder field, continuing over North Mountain, then back Round Pond Trail to Mountain Trail.


That is a long-ish hike that you are describing. The Round Pond Trail is 3 miles from road to road to give you an idea of scale. You are probably looking at about a 15 mile loop total.

As for the specific trails - the Shaw Trail is in great shape. NEMBA (North East Mountain Biking Association) did a lot of work on this trail last year to get it in better shape. There is still one significent flooded section, but there is a herd path around the wet area. I just rode this trail 2 weeks ago, and it was in very good shape.

Fundy - nice, easy, wide trail the hugs the lake.

Round Pond - Somewhat boring but straightforward.

Have fun on the bolders - that place is a ton of fun. The skeeters were out in serious force a couple of weeks ago, so be prepared.

dms
06-24-2005, 12:46 PM
The North Mountain Trail is great, sometimes you'll think you are up Whites, there are multiple ledges and lookouts. It's a fun trail! But at the moment, the bugs are plentiful so be prepared!

Jim lombard
06-24-2005, 01:11 PM
I'm interested in going up to North Mountain and the Boulder Field. I only have the State Park hiking map. Will this get me hopelessly lost? I haven't had a problem with this map on the trails I've hiked.

On my first few hikes into the park I found the most confusing part was around Round Pond. Once you go around the flooded part of the trail you will find a small sign to the Boulder field and following that will take you to the North Peak pretty easily. The trail to the South Peak is not marked at this point (that I remember) Don't forget to check out the cave below the North summit called the Devils den. It's not marked but going to the summit from the BF theres a spur trail leading left. Here's the Trip report (http://www.seekingthepeakforkenya.com/pawtuckaway.html) from the VFTT hike.

BRING BUG SPRAY!!!!!!!

Sherpa John
06-24-2005, 02:12 PM
Chomps post says it all Dave.

I agree with Jim... bring BUG SPRAY!

Last I knew Shaw trail had been re-routed... but I haven't seen it myself and the new route does not appear on the maps.

Maybe you could pick up the new AMC Southern NH trail guide at EMS. It might help.

Sorry I can't be of more assistance. The boulder fields are neat. check out devils den!

SJ

NewHampshire
06-24-2005, 03:26 PM
Well, since it was my report that started this I guess Ill throw my 2 cents in. Lombard is correct about the Round Pound Boulder trail problem. When we came off the North Mt trail and hit the boulder loop we went left since, from where we were standing, it was the only direction we could see blazes. We were standing at the sign high up on the tree that says "lower slabs" pointing back the way we came. When we hit Round Pond road we literally came thrashing through brush. There was a little kiosk with Park rules on it, but nothing else. From the road you couldnt even see it, let alone I dont remember being able to see blazes from that point. I wonder if whoever is in charge of the trails assumes everyone will start the boulder loop from the east and has marked that better or what, but if you try finding the western terminus from Round Pond you will need to do some careful looking. He is also correct that the South peak trail (from this point) is not marked at all save for the balzes which need to be searched for a little carefuly. We DID find the balzes (but at that point the little sis was wanting to get outta dodge.) Granted Im still new to the hiking scene and following trails as a whole and those with more experience have fewer problems, but it seems to me that a place like Pawtuckaway would have a bit better trail marking system.

Anyways, the AMC southern guide says that the Shaw trail "is not suitable for summer travel as the eastern end runs through a swamp that, in times of high water, could leave the trail under several feet of water. I suppose you could give it a try, worse that happens is you have to turn back.

And just for reference, the "beaver pond" near the intersection of the North Mountain trail and boulder trail is now a marsh. The wonderful guy we met, Doug, and his son were telling us that apparently the beaver dam got washed out in the last storm and now the water has drained.

good luck!
Brian

Davehiker
06-25-2005, 09:43 AM
Thanks for the help, everyone. I'll bring bug dope, and watch my step near the Boulder Field. Coming from the east, it sounds like I'll be able to find the way.

Dave

chomp
06-28-2005, 07:57 AM
Anyways, the AMC southern guide says that the Shaw trail "is not suitable for summer travel as the eastern end runs through a swamp that, in times of high water, could leave the trail under several feet of water. I suppose you could give it a try, worse that happens is you have to turn back.


I know what the book says, but like I posted before, I was just on this trail. It was completly suitable for all sorts of travel - foot, mountain bike, and horse. A lot of work has been done to this route within the last year. It does flood in times of high water (such as early spring), but it is in excellent shape right now.

NewHampshire
06-28-2005, 04:45 PM
I know what the book says, but like I posted before, I was just on this trail. It was completly suitable for all sorts of travel - foot, mountain bike, and horse. A lot of work has been done to this route within the last year. It does flood in times of high water (such as early spring), but it is in excellent shape right now.
Well Ill file this away into th memory banks. The AMC guide copyright (I believe) is from 02, so I guess its not that shocking they have worked on the trail since. Thanks for the heads up.
Brian

chomp
06-29-2005, 07:00 AM
so I guess its not that shocking they have worked on the trail since.

Just to give credit where credit is due, NEMBA (New England Mountain Bike Association, http://nemba.org/ ) are the people that worked on this trail. In addition to doing major repairs to the Shaw Trail, they also constructed a new trail that makes a link from the Shaw Trail to Round Pond Trail. While it was designed as a mountain biking trail, it has a fine outlook on a small ledge over a swamp and because it is a link between two trails and near the campground, it sees heavy foot traffic as well.

Davehiker
06-29-2005, 04:42 PM
Well, I made the trip, and it was great. The weather was hot and sticky, and I was SOAKED, but had a lot of fun.

Both the Fundy and Shaw trails have indeed been well maintained by the mountain bike folks, and I passed a new trail that they cut, the Woronoco Trail. It makes a loop from the Fundy trail back to the Mountain Trail, near the campground road. It is shown on the latest map from the park, but not on either on-line map linked above in this thread. It's shown on this scan of the State Park Map (http://www.snemba.org/images/woronoco%20map.jpg) from the Seacoast New Hampshire Chapter of NEMBA site. I didn't notice the trail that Chomp mentions, but I'm curious now. I appreciate the good maintenance on these trails.

I had no problem with the trails near Round Pond. As I approached from the South Ridge Trail, I checked out the parking area and boulders there, and continued back up the road to the next trail, which cuts over to the North Peak Trail. I enjoyed that area a lot. The Devil's Den and North Peak were the high point of the trip. The North Peak Trail was the least maintained trail of the trip, with a few blow-downs, but still not bad.

The bugs were indeed plentiful, and my bug dope didn't effect the deer flies much. I've had trouble with them here in the past, and I HATE them. I must have squished a thousand of them.

I didn't go to the North Peak By-pass trail area that Roy mentioned, but I did note the 4-way intersection shown as a 3-way. No problem as I pressed on to the Round Pond trail, headed south. The Round Pond Trail is a snowmobile trail, and well maintained as such. I was fortunate to get a ride back at the paved road, and so avoided the road walk back to the campground.

My map shows a 8.75 mile trip, with 1700ft. of elevation gain. A nice trip for a hot day!

NewHampshire
06-29-2005, 04:49 PM
Great! Glad you had a good time. I think later towards the fall my sister and I will go back for a nice long trample up there. Maybe we will check out the Shaw Trail while we are at it.
Brian

chomp
06-29-2005, 06:43 PM
the Woronoco Trail. It makes a loop from the Fundy trail back to the Mountain Trail, near the campground road. ...
I didn't notice the trail that Chomp mentions, but I'm curious now.


The Woronoco Trail is the one that I meant. I was confused as to the naming - I thought that the Mountain Trail was an offshoot of the Round Pond Trail, but it is the other way around.

I am glad that you had a good time! Pawtuckaway has a lot to offer for its location. Next time, check out the North Mountain area, there are lots of rocks and cliffs to play on over that way. Glad that you enjoyed your first trip in the park.