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Thread: Spur of moment romp on Ossipee Range (Black Snout 2803’)

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    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
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    Spur of moment romp on Ossipee Range (Black Snout 2803’)

    I had in mind to hike the Ossipee’s at least once this year. So I have this beautiful forecast and awake late due to certain party night before so I pack hastily and head up Rt 3 and 93 to arrive at TH at Roxane bottling plant with the idea of hiking Black Snout and Shaw.

    I'm on trail by 12:35 so there isn't much day light left. Bottling plant is not best choice to start from to hike these two peaks, but I wanted to check out the bottling plant TH and explore some new trails and re-visit Black Snout. I head up lower and upper Bridle path Trail and Oak Ridge Cutoff making it to High Ridge Trail in good time. The Bridle Paths follow spine of a ridge and shimmering lake is almost always in sight with the leaves off the trees.

    The High Ridge Trail is very nice to walk along although I make a racket crunching along thru leaves. I come across a single white vertebrae bone possibly from a moose laying in middle of the trail. Two holes symmetrically placed looked like two eyes make for a funny face.



    I arrive at junction with the spur trail to Black Snout re-uniting with part of the route we did last November’s Ossipee Hike. The 0.50 mile to summit goes quick and in no time I'm gazing at views of Flagg Mt and Lake Winni.



    I stop to take some pictures of the basalt rocks with interesting white crystals (phenochrysts).



    It's 3:00 and sun is very low in sky so I don't stay long. I retrace steps along High Ridge Trail until junction with Mt Shaw Trail. My plan is to descend Mt Shaw Trail down to 2200’ and turn right and follow the contour to meet up with Turtleback Mt Trail. Trail Bandit’s map shows a dotted line almost connecting the two of them.

    On way down I meet the only person I encountered on the trails this day. Turns out he was John, a Wild Cat Mt ski instructor who I met last winter. I wonder what he thought when I abruptly say goodbye and turned off into woods. There's a sort of shelf in the rock at 2200’ to I walk along. I shortly encounter an obvious abandoned road cut into side of the steep slope. It doesn’t appear to have been abandoned for very long as trees growing up in road were no more than 1” diameter.



    The road leads to east branch of Fields Brook. There appears to be remnants of stone masonry of abutment to enable road to cross this brook.



    Road leads to junction with Turtleback Mt Trail. Turtleback Mt Trail looks like it’s been re-graded recently. The roadway has hay scattered on it and freshly cleaned and redefined drainage ditches. I made it to Turtleback Mt just in time for sunset at 4:32.

    I try to make it to Turtle back summit to catch sunset but don’t quite make it. I now have 30 minutes to darkness. I decide to cut across the many switchbacks save time arriving at junction with Faraway Mt trail at 5:00 when it was indeed dark and time to put on headlamp.

    I stay on Turtleback Mt Trail to take advantage of good footing rather than Bridle Path. I was back at TH 5:39 glad to have a nice day out on a nice mountain. Good place to re-visit this winter on snowshoes.
    On #67 of NE67
    On #99 of NEHH
    On #45 of WNH48

    "Commuter—one who spends his life
    In riding to and from his wife;
    A man who shaves and takes a train,
    And then rides back to shave again." EB White (1899-1986)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Trail Bandit's Avatar
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    Hi Jazzbo,
    Your abandoned road is the old carriage road that was the Turtleback Mountain Trail before the more recent loggers had at it and cut across the switchbacks. Mr Plant's workers did a lot of nice work. It seems to last in spite of many years of neglect.

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    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
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    The road makes a nice connector with Mt Shaw Trail. I'm glad you thought to show it on the map. It sure came in handy for me. Here's a picture I took from Turtleback Road Trail. The turn off the is not real obvious. You can see a faint road going off at far right. The saplings are still amenable to loppers along it's course. Be a pity not to make it official connector.



    The road ways have been kept up very well by the land managers. Do they permit mountain biking on these roads?

    Last edited by Jazzbo; 11-13-2009 at 07:16 AM.
    On #67 of NE67
    On #99 of NEHH
    On #45 of WNH48

    "Commuter—one who spends his life
    In riding to and from his wife;
    A man who shaves and takes a train,
    And then rides back to shave again." EB White (1899-1986)

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    Senior Member Trail Bandit's Avatar
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    Hi Jazzbo, The Turtleback Mountain Trail is maintained by the NH Dept. of Trails are is the trail to the summit of Shaw, and the Shannon Brook Trail, as a snowmobile trail. (Corridor 15 I think). They did a little more digging with heavy equipment than is good for a hiking trail, but it will probably be OK in a while. They were thinking "Snowmobile Trail on snow covered frozen ground I guess. The grass will grow back in time. I don't think the LRCT allows mountain bikes on their trails in general. I have seen a biker on the snowmobile trail that had come up to Shaw from Connor Pond. He was in his late 70s and might have had an old age dispensation. It would be nice to connect the Shaw Trail to the Turtleback Mountain Trail, via the dotted line you followed. Things being the way they are, I doubt you will get permission. If anyone does clear it, I will be blamed immediately. My plate is fairly full already, so I hope nobody does it. There are other places that cry out more for a trail (From the Summit of Bald Knob to the Summit of Turtleback). There is a request for that in the works, and it may come to be. The wheels of permission turn very slowly.

  5. #5
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzbo View Post
    Turtleback Mt Trail looks like it’s been re-graded recently. The roadway has hay scattered on it and freshly cleaned and redefined drainage ditches.
    That was the state Trails Bureau with a Kubota U45 excavator with bulldozer blade, a couple weeks ago they had put up signs on one section for trucks to keep off and in another place for hikers to keep right on the scalped area because it was less muddy.

    Yes, that's the same agency that closed the other side of the Ossipees for a little brushing out :-(

  6. #6
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    Snowmachine trails tend to get attention by the state as there is a funding mechanism in place to pay for the work. Supervision of state lands and easements for hiking are funded out of an ever shrinking budget. Its a lot easier to close an area than deal with contentous issues.

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