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Thread: LT Trailwork and Stratton Loop Clockwise

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    Senior Member Cumulus's Avatar
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    LT Trailwork and Stratton Loop Clockwise

    Last weekend I participated in another trailwork weekend with the Connecticut Section of the Green Mountain Club. On Sunday after work was over I climbed Stratton Mountain for the fifth time. I did the loop clockwise, kinda.

    The Conn. Section of the GMC is responsible for the Long Trail from Glastenbury Tower to Kelly Stand Road. (The LT is also the Appalachian Trail there.)

    The crew this time was me, Jim, Jim, Kevin, Mike, Adam, Moose Hunter, and our fearless leader, Dick. I had met all of them before except Adam (Mike's son) and Moose Hunter. Moose Hunter was at her first Conn. GMC event. She had through hiked the LT just a few months ago and wanted to give something back to the hiking community.

    We had great weather all weekend. No rain, fairly warm, good views on the mountain, and not many bugs.

    We were based at Story Spring Shelter this time. One of the Jims came early and started working to the south, and the rest of us came in from the secret trail midday Friday, and worked north. This trip was all about brushing and deepening water bars; there weren't any blowdowns which needed attention.

    There were a lot of through hikers coming through that weekend, mostly northbound AT throughs, but also some southbounders and some LT throughs. Friday night we found out how much of a hiker bubble we were in, when AT NOBOs kept showing up, even after it got dark. We estimate that we ended up with about thirty people at Story Spring that night (including us). The shelter itself was full, all of the established tentsites were taken, a few tents were set up in the woods, and one guy slept on the picnic table.

    On Saturday one of the Jims left early, and the rest of us finished the section of the trail between SS Shelter and Kelly Stand Road. After that some of the crew climbed Stratton up and down from KS Road. I was thinking of joining them when I remembered I had left my poles in camp (because I was carrying loppers and a hoe), so I stuck to my original plan of hiking Stratton on Sunday.

    On Saturday night there were a lot less people, about eleven including us. When I woke up and packed up Sunday I discovered that some rodent had chewed up the bite valve on my Camelbak.

    So on Sunday everyone else went back to Connecticut and I parked at the LT crossing of Kelly Stand Road to hike Stratton. I'd hiked it four times before, but always coming up from the South, twice doing it as a counterclockwise loop using Stratton Pond Trail. This time I was going to reverse that.

    I did the .9 mile roadwalk to the Stratton Pond Trailhead and started up that trail, or so I thought. I'd remembered that SPT is sketchy in parts, but it was worse than I'd remembered, and then, after about half a mile, the trail disappeared. I spent a lot of time looking for the continuation of the trail until I finally gave up and decided just to bushwhack to the pond, hoping I'd either hit the pond, the LT, or Lye Brook Trail.

    The bushwhack wasn't bad; the woods were fairly open, and twice I came across snowmobile trails which I followed in basically the right direction. Then after about a mile of this I hit a very well maintained blue blazed trail. Figuring this was the Stratton Pond Trail I followed it northeast. I was confused why this was so much better maintained than I remembered when the other end of the trail was so much worse maintained than I remembered. I started to wonder if I had actually been on the SPT at all when I started.

    In any case, I came to the LT, went the .1 miles west (northbound) to the lake, hung around there a little bit, and then started climbing east (southbound) to Stratton. At Stratton summit I climbed the tower, hung out a little, and proceeded south. Along the LT from the lake to the trailhead I met about eight through hikers (both AT and LT) which I'd previously met at the shelter.

    After I got back to my car I drove back to the Stratton Pond Trailhead and saw that I had indeed taken the wrong trail. I'd taken the trail which starts at the back of the parking area; I should have taken the one which passes right by the sign at the base of the parking area. Be forewarned.

    Here are the pictures.

    --

    Cumulus

    NE111: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2); Cat35: 28/39; WNH4K: 32/48; NEFF: 36/50
    LT NB 2009

    "I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
    "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
    - Lewis Carroll
    Last edited by Cumulus; 08-13-2014 at 09:05 AM. Reason: switching "north" and "south" when describing Friday's trailwork

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