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Thread: Quiet day in the Wild River

  1. #1
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    Quiet day in the Wild River

    Despite the busy week this past week and full trailheads, we had a quiet day Friday making a loop in the Wild River area. We parked at the Wild River Campground and made the shallow crossing of the Wild River at the old Moriah Brook Bridge location. There was heavy rain on Wednesday night with a corresponding spike in the river gauge but it dropped over Thursday until Friday morning. We then headed up the Moriah Brook trail. Typical of many of the Wild River trails, the trail follows an old logging road following the brook. Moriah Brook does have lot of interesting water features including many falls, canyons and pools, there is a lot of evidence of heavier use in the past but it decidedly looks under utilized these days. There are a few stream crossings that are not obvious but with a bit of looking around its easy to pick up the trail on other side. The trail is well graded but eventually ends up in the somewhat open but muddy base of the cirque. From there it's a steep well graded climb up the Carter Moriah trail. The hike along the CM trail to Moriah was quiet and the summit had just one group. There were some dark clouds forming on the ridge so we didnt hang around long and headed over to Shelburne Moriah. We encountered the most traffic of the day heading over to the Rattle River junction. Once we headed east we didnt see anyone for the rest of the day.

    It was a bit warmer and muggier on Friday then expected. By the time we hit Shelburne Moriah we were getting in the mood to head down. The PUDs along the ridge started to get a bit old and the junction with the Shelburne Trail was eagerly awaited. I have never made the run down the Shelburne trail as when I long ago did the north end of the trail, the Shelburne trail down into the valley was closed. The hike down Shelburne trail starts out a bit tedious with bony and occasionally wet footing. After awhile we crossed a brook and transitioned to a very nice old logging road that runs through a mature hardwood forest. Its a hard to beat that stretch of trail, great but soft footing. After one big stream crossing we ended up at the junction with the Highwater trail. We were warned that the last 3 tenths of the Shelburne trail was a navigational challenge as the river channel has changed significantly. There are cairns and yellow flagging that can be followed that gets a hiker to the main channel of the river. From there its find a way across and bushwhack through the woods to pick up the old trail. Note the trail from Wild River road ends up on steep eroded banking with a deep channel. The riverbed is quite wide and the continuation on the other side if down river and not obvious. There are a couple of small cairns but someone has set up temporary pole with flagging.

    Overall its a long but nice loop over nice territory with out a lot of usage.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 08-31-2019 at 10:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Ahhh, Thanks for bringing back memories of my old stomping ground. In the 80s I spent many hours fishing up Moriah Brook into the Moriah Gorge, and then above for the little wild Brookies. At the first upper crossing of the brook was the site of one of the old WM logging railroad disasters. An engine on its way back up the mountain had its boiler blow up right at the crossing. You can still see the old iron bars embedded in the ledges where the fatal trestle used to be. Just above that crossing you pass by some gigantic old beaver dam remnants that crossed the upper valley centuries ago. Better seen when the leaves are down. Hopefully you took the short whack(s) over to look down into Moriah Gorge. I think that the gorge rivals the Flume Gorge, and is of course much more wild nowadays.

  3. #3
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    Funny you mention Brookies, I am not a fisherman but was telling my companions that the brook looked like good place for brook trout. I did see several holes in rocks and steel pins in the rocks in a few spots.

    Its was pretty green on this trip to check out the beaver dams but on prior trip I was quite impressed. I thought the dam was newer and possibly gotten taken out by Hurricane Irene. Lots of drowned big hardwoods.

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