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Thread: Little Haystack thru Garfield via... (see post for trails) - 6/30

  1. #1
    Senior Member NH Tramper's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Little Haystack thru Garfield via... (see post for trails) - 6/30

    Date of Hike: June 30, 2013

    Trails: Falling Waters, Franconia Ridge, Garfield Ridge, Garfield Trails

    Trail Conditions: We went up the slightly over-blazed Falling Waters Trail and true to its name we enjoyed the many falls, one of which sort of ran through the trail. Over all it was a bit wet and muddy in places, the rocks were wet and slippery, and there were a couple of blowdowns, but we made short work of it. Beautiful route. The Franconia Ridge Trail had some drying mud in places but it was it good shape with dry rocks... easy going. Same was true of the alpine section of Garfield Ridge Trail, but once in the trees it got wet and muddy, complete with some running water and really soupy sections. All was avoidable, though; why some hikers walk right through the mud avoiding the stepping stones has always puzzled me but the mud was tracked up pretty good. This was also true of Garfield Trail; muddy sections, some water, slippery rocks, and a blowdown or two as I recall. Most disturbing was the presence of mountain bike tire tracks from the top of the switchbacks all the way to the trailhead. In fact, the muddy sections down low were really tracked up as if several mountain bikes went through. Not sure of the legality of this -- I think we can only leave footprints and take photos on these trails -- but the tire tracks tore up the mud wickedly in places. What a mess. All crossings were easy on Falling Waters and Garfield Trail, though poles really helped. The black flies were pretty bad on the high summits, including Garfield and along Garfield Ridge Trail. We needed protection.

    Special Equipment Used: We brought trekking poles for the crossings and found them useful. Bug spray was needed. Yuck.

    Comments: Hiked this one with my friend Stefanie and we had a great time -- her longest hike ever. We had heard stories about the Garfield Ridge Trail being long and hard, and it was, and it was also wet and slippery, but we stood up well to it. Honestly we were more intimidated by the Kinsman Ridge Trail from Cannon to the Cannonballs, and the Nelson Crag Trail, so this one was actually a delight. It reminded me a bit of the Mahoosuc Range. Beautiful and remote feeling. It was sunny and nice for most of our hike. The only time we had clouds was when we were in the trees, and it was great, cooling things off a bit. To our delight, it rained only after we were safely back in our vehicles and headed south.

    Mike "Tramper" Cherim
    Nottingham NH
    Redline Guiding | NH Tramper
    Trail Adopter: Mountain Pond Loop Trail - [Report Trail Conditions]

  2. #2
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    http://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/whit...74405&actid=24

    Where You Can Mountain Bike on the White Mountain National Forest

    All trails, roads, and *travel corridors on the White Mountain National Forest are open to mountain bikes except in Congressionally designated Wilderness areas, on the Appalachian Trail, or where otherwise posted.

    ...

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NH Tramper's Avatar
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    Hi Tim,

    I called the forest service about it this morning and they did say while mountain biking is allowed on that trail they were glad I called because tracking through mud is not allowed (it effectively says that on the rules sign at the trailhead). They said they are probably going to post a reminder of this at the trailhead. I mountain bike myself and am not against the sport, but if it damages the trail it's not a good thing. Had the bikers waited a few days or maybe a week the mud would dry and the damage to the trail would have been mitigated.

    Mike
    Redline Guiding | NH Tramper
    Trail Adopter: Mountain Pond Loop Trail - [Report Trail Conditions]

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