Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17

Thread: historic Banana Trail on Mt Shaw?

  1. #1
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    4,481

    historic Banana Trail on Mt Shaw?

    Anybody here hike the Banana Trail on Mt Shaw in the 70s or 80s? I mostly did so once and it followed a different route than shown on the TB map, it continued up the brook instead of turning L and going over Tate Mtn and came out somewhere in the col between Black Snout and Shaw. It became harder to follow the higher up we got and we finally lost it and just bushwhacked. If you hike the current Banana Trail, you could look for old blazes where it leaves the brook and also at the col.

    I remember it being blazed with yellow C-shapes like bananas, similarly Thunderbird had thunderbirds and Gorilla had little gorillas.

    Also anybody ever hike a trail from Bean Pd to Mt Flagg?

  2. #2
    Registered User AndyF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Raymond, NH
    Posts
    179
    From looking at the TB map and your description it almost sounds like the old Banana trail joined what is now marked as the Thunderbird Trail. The current Thunderbird trail ends in the col between Black Snout and Shaw and also follows that same brook. Are you saying the current Thunderbird might be part of the old Banana? Did the old Thunderbird follow the same path as it does now? Did the Thunderbird and old banana meet at the same point in the col?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,094
    I believe the Banana Trail has generally always gone across Big Ball Mountain (also known as Tate Mountain and Blueberry Ledges). I believe it ascended to the peak in a slightly different fashion at some point.

    Here's the 1979 description from the AMC White Mountain Guide:

    This trail begins at the straight of the Thunderbird Trail. Follow the Thunderbird Trail 0.2 mi. and turn L onto a wood road. The road shortly crosses a stream and turns R paralleling the stream and then turns L and another wood road enters L. Go straight, passing two homes and then the trail leaves L. The trail, from this point on, is yellow blazed. It follows an abandoned wood road, with a stream on the R. About 1 mi. from the start, the old road ends at a stream (last reliable water) and the trail ascends steeply L. In 1 1/2 mi., the trail emerges on open ledges, known as Blueberry Mt., nice view of Dan Hole Pd. Follow cairns to top of ledges. The trail then descends into a col and then climbs steeply up to Black Snout. The trail enters the side trail to Black Snout. To the R 300 yds. is the carriage road to Mt. Shaw. The upper section of this trail is well blazed, but not well worn.
    Distance: To carriage road 3 mi. = 4.8 km (2 1/2 hrs).

  4. #4
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    4,481
    Quote Originally Posted by AndyF View Post
    From looking at the TB map and your description it almost sounds like the old Banana trail joined what is now marked as the Thunderbird Trail. The current Thunderbird trail ends in the col between Black Snout and Shaw and also follows that same brook. Are you saying the current Thunderbird might be part of the old Banana? Did the old Thunderbird follow the same path as it does now? Did the Thunderbird and old banana meet at the same point in the col?
    >Did the old Thunderbird follow the same path as it does now?

    Probably pretty close, although as TB has pointed out when a new logging
    road is built near a trail it often becomes the replacement trail route

    > The current Thunderbird trail ends in the col between Black
    >Snout and Shaw and also follows that same brook. Are you saying the
    >current Thunderbird might be part of the old Banana?

    Doubtful, the trail I followed was on the other side of the brook

    > Did the Thunderbird and old banana meet at the same point in the col?

    No, the route I used hit the branch road closer to Black Snout

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket21 View Post
    I believe the Banana Trail has generally always gone across Big Ball Mountain (also known as Tate Mountain and Blueberry Ledges).
    Did you hike it in the 70s or are you just citing the description? What I'm trying to figure is whether the route we followed was once the Banana Trail prior to that?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,094
    Quote Originally Posted by RoySwkr View Post
    Did you hike it in the 70s or are you just citing the description? What I'm trying to figure is whether the route we followed was once the Banana Trail prior to that?
    I don't recall hiking it in the 70s (in fact, I don't recall the 70s at all), but I don't believe I've seen anything that *doesn't* show the Banana Trail reaching Big Ball Mountain(/Tate/Blueberry Ledges).

    Considering the Thunderbird is relatively close, I'm not sure as to why one would have bothered having another trail in that immediate region without it reaching the ledges of Big Ball.

  6. #6
    Senior Member The Hikers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Barrington, NH
    Posts
    292
    We hiked, (or attempted to hike) the Thunderbird Trail with the three kids and dog in the early 90's. We had my antique White Mountain Guide from the 70's and didn't realize that the trail was not maintained. We got lost, of course, but kept going up (family bushwack) til we got to black snout. There we met hikers who directed us to the Mt Shaw Trail for our trip down.

    Incredibly we found a young man partying along the river who drove ALL of us back to our starting point miles away.

    A day to remember

  7. #7
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    4,481
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket21 View Post
    ... I don't believe I've seen anything that *doesn't* show the Banana Trail reaching Big Ball Mountain(/Tate/Blueberry Ledges).
    So what is the oldest map you've seen that *does* shows it? The only map
    I've seen that shows it is the TB map, as the PT map calls this route the
    Tate Mtns Trail and it doesn't appear on the USGS maps.

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket21 View Post
    Considering the Thunderbird is relatively close, I'm not sure as to why one would have bothered having another trail in that immediate region without it reaching the ledges of Big Ball.
    There are any number of examples of parallel trails in the White Mtns and on Monadnock, but given the fact that such a trail did exist on Mt Shaw I'm trying to find out more about it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member The Hikers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Barrington, NH
    Posts
    292
    The Banana and Thunderbird Trails, as well as the other Ossipee trails were well described in my 1979 White Mountain Guide, but , unfortunately the Key insert on the appropriate map is placed right over those trails.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,094
    Quote Originally Posted by RoySwkr View Post
    So what is the oldest map you've seen that *does* shows it? The only map
    I've seen that shows it is the TB map, as the PT map calls this route the
    Tate Mtns Trail and it doesn't appear on the USGS maps.
    I believe the oldest reference I have to it is from the aforementioned 1979 AMC White Mountain Guide description (no mention in any subsequent AMC Guides, nor in any of the 1960s, nor in one or two older ones I have).

    I don't have a date on the oldest map I've seen, but I suspect that map is similar to what you call the PT map. On the copy I have, it shows it in the same location, called the "Ball Mountains Trail"

    By the way, I have also heard the Banana Trail referred to as "Tate's Pasture Trail," with Big Ball Mountain (aka Tate Mountain aka Blueberry Ledges) being referred to as Tate's Pasture.

  10. #10
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    4,481
    Quote Originally Posted by The Hikers View Post
    We hiked, (or attempted to hike) the Thunderbird Trail with the three kids and dog in the early 90's.
    So what sort of blazes did the trail have or not have :-) I remember blue or black thunderbirds and the only other vote I have says black.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    1,306
    Quote Originally Posted by RoySwkr View Post
    So what sort of blazes did the trail have or not have :-) I remember blue or black thunderbirds and the only other vote I have says black.
    According to older AMC guides that listed these trails the Thunderbird trail had yellow thunderbirds. But I know little more than that.

    I would be very interested in knowing when these trails were cut and by whom. They are listed as far back as 1969 (?) in the AMC guides. Earlier than that I am unsure. A look at USGS maps from 1958 show trails to Larcomís and the carriage roads but nothing coming from the Canaan Road area.
    I'm just outwalkin....

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,094
    Oh that reminds me, I believe the Banana Trail is in the 1983 AMC Guide as well, similar description.

    I'll have to look back at my partial set of AMC Guides, but Thunderbird is in 69, 72, 79, and 83

  13. #13
    Senior Member Fisher Cat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    787
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket21 View Post
    Oh that reminds me, I believe the Banana Trail is in the 1983 AMC Guide as well, similar description.

    I'll have to look back at my partial set of AMC Guides, but Thunderbird is in 69, 72, 79, and 83

    I just did a little tooling around in my 1987 guidebook and have turned up nothing on either the Banana or Thunderbird Trail. Perhaps their fall into disuse happened somewhere between 1983-1987.
    " by reason of much foule weather and Extreme Bad Woods to travel in.."- From the letter of my great uncle Samuel Willard (accompanied by my grandfather Henry) to Governor Dummer on August 16, 1725, explaining the reason for his return, being instructed to "range all the country", of the Wawobadenik (White Mountains) July 19-August 16, 1725. I am a 13th generation New Englander and proud of it.

    LIVE FREE OR DIE - DEATH IS NOT THE GREATEST OF EVILS
    Gen. John Stark July 1809

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    1,306
    Quote Originally Posted by carole View Post
    I would be very interested in knowing when these trails were cut and by whom.
    I may have found my own answer. Camp Merrowvista has been operational since 1924, and with the nature of the blazes (banana, gorilla, and thunderbird) it seem likely a camp endeavor.
    I'm just outwalkin....

  15. #15
    Senior Member Amicus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    New England Avatar: Bay Circuit Trail
    Posts
    1,141
    Quote Originally Posted by carole View Post
    I may have found my own answer. Camp Merrowvista has been operational since 1924, and with the nature of the blazes (banana, gorilla, and thunderbird) it seem likely a camp endeavor.
    This has always been my assumption, for that reason. The Camp Merrowvista headquarters building has some old maps and materials that might confirm (or contradict) this theory. On the Gorilla Trail, I have observed a few aged and splotchy yellow/orange blazes of an irregular shape that might once have been gorillas. I have not seen their like on the Thunderbird or Banana Trails, however.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •