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Thread: Owl's Head

  1. #1
    Senior Member KRobi's Avatar
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    Owl's Head

    In reading the many reports about the trek to Owl's Head, it seems most people do the bushwack and avoid Franconia Brook on the way in but then cross it on the way out? Am I misunderstanding this? If not, why not just do the bushwack both ways and avoid the crossing altogether? This is one of our final 9 so we need to make plans and was curious. Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lefty E's Avatar
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    Owl's Head

    I've only done Owl's Head twice, but I enjoyed the crossings..the first time was a dry year and did it without removing the boots, second time, took water shoes with me and enjoyed the cool water of the brooks on a hot day..and seeing different terrain may be a reason why some people do both the bushwhack and the trails the same day....

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    It really makes little difference time-wise whether you take the trails or the BP bushwhack when river levels are low. Best to check the USGS East Branch hydrograph for levels below 300-400 cfs, which means you can probably rock hop the FB and LB crossings.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Call me a traditionalist but I like the out and back via the trails. Despite a few more miles the trail is essentially a well graded logging road (old railroad bed). No real worries about blowdowns or getting lost. The river crossings are a great excuse to stop for a break. Usually by this time of year the stream crossinga are easy but if you are worried, a pair of sandals is all you need.

    Overall a real nice hike on a good day.

  5. #5
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRobi View Post
    In reading the many reports about the trek to Owl's Head, it seems most people do the bushwack and avoid Franconia Brook on the way in but then cross it on the way out? Am I misunderstanding this? If not, why not just do the bushwack both ways and avoid the crossing altogether? This is one of our final 9 so we need to make plans and was curious. Thanks
    I do usually bushwhack both ways :-) For slow hikers like myself, it saves time and it also avoids the mosquito hell near the old Camp 9.

    Some reasons to do the trail going back to road only:
    * You are trailbagging and need to do it once
    * If you fall in and get seriously wet, it's a minor problem and won't cancel your trip
    * The Black Pond bushwhack is easier NB as you're looking for a wider area
    Last edited by RoySwkr; 07-28-2010 at 09:27 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Frodo's Avatar
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    Personally, I stick to the trails in Summer and Fall and just do the BP whack in Winter and Spring (unless the water levels are high, which they rarely are in this time of year).

    I find taking the FB/LB trails both faster and more enjoyable this time of year compared to the slower BP whack, which is tough to out run the mosquitoes...
    "If all the world's a stage, I want to operate the trap door"

    - Paul Beatty

  7. #7
    Senior Member kerry13's Avatar
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    Otter River, Mass Avatar: Leisurely winter hike on Monadnock's Red Spot Trail
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    We just did Owl's Head today. We tried the bushwack in. There is not a well worn trail as has been indicated in other posts. We met at least 8 others who took the bushwack in and all lost the trail very quickly too. There are spots were it gets' real muddy. Three of us traveled 25 yds apart looking for signs of the worn trail, after we lost it, and we could never find it . We continued at a bearing of 324 deg and had no trouble running into Lincoln Brook Trail Bushwack out is tougher because there are swampy areas around Black Pond and if you are not familiar with the BW or use an incorrect bearing you could miss Black Pond, it's not very big

    We took the trails out. All crossing right now were rock hops and none of us got wet.Some good rain and you'll be wading for sure. There were no mosquitoes or horse flies today, not even at the camp 9 area. There are some muddy sections but generally enough rocks or roots to keep from sinking too deep. It is a long way out doing the trails. They go on forever.

    We also found the new summit location to be confusing. Seems to be lots of trails up there merging and dead ending We fumbled around for a good 1/2 hr trying to get back to the old summit to head down.
    Yesterday is history, Tomorrow a mystery,
    Today is a gift, enjoy it!

    Kerry

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