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Thread: Ambling & Whacking Along the Peabody Brook Trail (26-Oct-2008)

  1. #1
    Senior Member 1HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Bethlehem, NH

    Ambling & Whacking Along the Peabody Brook Trail (26-Oct-2008)

    Maybe I read the wrong weather forecast, but I thought the low cloud cover was supposed to lift yesterday (26-Oct-2008)? Anyway, since it looked questionable to me as to when (or if) the clouds would lift from the higher summits, I sat off to do some explorations from the Peabody Brook Trail in the Shelburne area just outside of Gorham. Depending on what the weather eventually decided to do, I had a very loose game plan to perhaps intersect the Mahoosuc Trail and go to Wocket Ledge and/or Gentian Pond.

    As I was hiking up the Peabody Brook Trail, I was keeping an eye on the sky. To the south & west, there were low clouds that were dark & gray. But ahead of me to the north, there were occasional patches of blue even though the cloud cover was still lingering on some of the mountaintops. I was also keeping an eye on the brook. From the overnight rain, it was raging!!

    When I arrived at the spot where the trail crosses the east branch of the Peabody Brook (2.1 miles from the trailhead), it was very apparent that crossing the brook was going to be a challenge. Going up & down the bank didnít result in finding a better crossing point. OK, so I checked the sky again and could see that the clouds were still hanging around. And, with this in mind, I asked myself if it was really worth trying to do the brook crossing just to get to Wocket Ledge and perhaps see nothing!

    Ultimately I decided to save Wocket Ledge for another day, and then quickly formulated a Plan B! Looking at the map, I could see that Black Cap Peak (2,795í) was pretty darn close! So, I did a short whack to what I think was the high point of this summit, although I didnít see a canister (is there one?). I then made my way down to some ledges hoping for some views. However, the clouds had rolled in and I sat in the mist eating my peanut butter sandwich with NO VIEWS!

    After my viewless lunch, I whacked back to the Peabody Brook Trail and started making my way back to the trailhead. Along the way, I took the short side trip on the spur trail to Giant Falls. With such a high volume of rushing & gushing water, the falls were pretty impressive!

    After the brief visit to Giant Falls, I could see that things were beginning to clear ever so slightly. I even got a few cloudy views in the direction of the Prezies from a couple of points along the trail.

    It was only mid-afternoon as I was approaching the trailhead and I was somewhat encouraged by the slight improvement in the cloud cover. So, I pulled out the map to see what was close by, and then started formulating a Plan C. Hmmm, Middle Mountain!! OK, there was probably time to whack up to there and be back down on the trail before dark. It was a fairly easy whack through open woods. But, when I arrived at the top of Middle Mountain, clouds were still hanging over the vicinity of the Prezies, and so any worthwhile views just simply were not there! However, there was quite a nice view of the eastern portion of the Androscoggin Valley.

    Bottom Line to all This: Despite some persistent cloudiness, it was overall a pretty good day of ambling and whacking along the Peabody Brook Trail. It gave me some ideas for some future adventures in this general vicinity. It is certainly a very nice area, and seems to be underutilized.

    Last edited by 1HappyHiker; 10-27-2008 at 06:17 PM. Reason: Wording clarification

  2. #2
    Senior Member forestgnome's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    ..Madison, NH
    Nice! Thanks for posting

  3. #3
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Very nice! I've only been to Giant Falls at much lower water conditions, I'm impressed with what you were able to experience! In your further explorations I recommend a visit (also at high water) to Driad Falls.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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