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Thread: Wrong turn on Jefferson Notch Road

  1. #1
    Senior Member gram's Avatar
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    Wrong turn on Jefferson Notch Road

    https://www.masslive.com/news/2019/1...hampshire.html

    Twice our GPS has led us to dirt roads, once in NH, once in VT. Both times there were paved road options.
    gram

  2. #2
    Senior Member JustJoe's Avatar
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    Not sure if he was using Google Maps or Garmin but that happens often. Neither can usually distinguish roads (usually forest or logging) that are close in winter or just plan gated all the time. I've had this happen several times but knew better. Google especially, will look for the most direct route, often not knowing the status of said road.
    Joe

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    Unless the signs were stolen, there are some very big yellow signs that indicate road is closed to winter traffic. That said, given the lack of snow and the use the road gets from snowmobiles in winter, it gets quite well packed from side to side and resembles a plowed road. In the past, prior to the base station road being plowed from the last condo road to the Mt Clinton road intersection a friend and I drove this stretch easily. One of the requirements for the state to start plowing the stretch of the base station road was that snowmobile trail had to be relocated off the road which required at least one new bridge. Jefferson Notch road on the other hand is frequently not gated due to snowmobile use. My first winter Jefferson attempt was started from the Caps Ridge parking lot on the day after New Years when the road was bare on both ends and could be driven by a regular passenger vehicle. This was a year where we had no significant snow until mid January. I expect the tow bill is going to be quite steep as they probably brought in a snowcat.

    I have also seen winters where Sawyer River road was passable to the parking lot. I think the FS has made an attempt in recent years to just lock these roads once after hunting season and wait until spring to open them to avoid stranded cars. Then again years ago a hikers car got stuck on Caribou Valley road one winter and I think it sat there for several weeks until they could get it out.

    It is unusual that the GPS did send them to Jefferson Notch road, my experience is that the logic usually defaults to primary highways. When I am going cross country over seasonal rural roads I frequently need to force the GPS to use these roads by setting intermediate waypoints at the end of these roads. At Baxter State Park, my GPS usually tries to get me to exit the park via the Abol Pond trail which hasn't been a road for 50 years.

    No one hurt and they stayed with the vehicle, it could have been far worse if they had started walking. An embarrassment now but in few years a great family story.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    The F&G law enforcement FB page has more details. They had to bring in a tracked ATV with a winch to get the vehicle out of the ditch, and then the towtruck took it from there. Subjects were cited for driving on a snowmobile trail but didn't mention charges for reckless action requiring an emergency response. No word on why they kept driving looking for a place to turn instead of just backing up (admitting that backing can be more tricky!)

    IMX Google usually will say "this road may be seasonally closed". I checked as soon as the story came up and could not get it to route via Jeff Notch; might have been updated in a hurry, of course.

  5. #5
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Flatlanders....sometimes it’s best to cross reference with a good ‘ole analog paper map. Especially when in an area you are not familiar with. Believe it or not many tangible maps show that Jefferson Notch Road is closed in Winter. I bet these folks bought “Alexa” for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong. I am way into Computers and technology. But there is a point when using one’s on brain cells is appropriate.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    My GPS has a 'avoid unpaved roads' option....
    Tom Rankin
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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Unless the signs were stolen, there are some very big yellow signs that indicate road is closed to winter traffic.
    As of last THU they were still there and very obvious on either side of Base Road.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 48/48; ME 4k: 2/14; VT 4k: 1/5; ADK 46: 6/46; Cat 3.5k 10/35

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rankin View Post
    My GPS has a 'avoid unpaved roads' option....
    Many GPSes have an option for "shortest route" or "fastest route". Fastest route tends to choose highways, shortest route often chooses dirt roads, cow paths, etc.

    I also check my GPS routes before driving them...

    Doug

  9. #9
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    When I moved to Goffstown, I wanted to explore Clough state park and the Everett Dam. Google took me to the backside down 3 miles of dirt roads, I got close enough to see it, but was separated by a large swath of woods and unable to get to it. I then drove around and got right to it via the paved road.

  10. #10
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Why is the road not gated, like Bear Notch, Sawyer River, etc

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    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    Why is the road not gated, like Bear Notch, Sawyer River, etc
    Snowmobile route

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillwalker View Post
    Snowmobile route
    Bear Notch and Sawyer are Snowmobile routes, too. Difference might be that Jefferson Notch is NHDOT and not USFS?

  13. #13
    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Once while snowmobiling up Jefferson Notch Rd from the Jefferson side I ran into a fellow with a Outback and he made it a ways up before getting stuck. Fair amount of snow on the ground. His luck he was on a hill and only had to turn around to gain momentum to come down.
    Also ran into folks at Lafeyett place stuck and towing out was a tough task for the tow truck. Both places are signed it seems they either ignore or don't read the signs. Probably a little of both. Am I surprised ? no. Just the nature of the human race.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    A few years ago I helped our now gone member, "Paradox" drive up to the Caribou Pond road near Sugerloaf to retrieve his SUV. He had driven almost all the way to the AT crossing before getting stuck in full winter road conditions. He had to walk out back to Carabasset to catch a ride back to his home in Holderness. When we got to his car, the road was completely melted out and Spring was in full bloom. I think his car was up there for a couple of months before we went to get it. It had been unmolested, but had been manhandled slightly off the snowmobile travel lane with no damage. RIP Paradox. Relative to GPS mis-routing, my house is the last house on an old pioneer road here in Western Maine. The old road turns into an Snowmobile/ATV route 500 feet past my house and as a road was abandoned in 1927 by the town. According to Maine law this returned the road back to property owners, but still allows it to be a public right of way. It is not passable by vehicular traffic, but is still recommended by my Garmin GPS and others as a valid route. It took us three years to have a Dead End sign put up, but we still pull cars and trucks out of there during all seasons. The biggest fun is when a tractor trailer comes up our hill and ending up backing for almost half a mile to get back out of our self-maintained single track road. We keep a big John Deere with tire chains that has been used many times to pull people out. Once even had to pull a wrecker out that had tried to pull a car out and a police SUV that had been driven in to investigate. Police officer had never been up there and didn't know where the public road ends and the abandoned road begins. If you want to see where I'm talking about. Google my Lat/Lon as shown in my profile.

    Happy New Years Everyone!
    Last edited by Hillwalker; 01-01-2020 at 07:29 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rankin View Post
    My GPS has a 'avoid unpaved roads' option....
    My brain is wired with the 'seek unpaved road' option ... and I looooove paper maps. You see and experience so much more off the main roads, as with the grid in MNSHO, and my wife razzed me about always finding 40 miles of bad road.

    I never got trapped on a snowmobile trail, though once we took an ATV trail between Moxie Pond and Shirley Mills south of Moosehead Lake. Near the Shirley end two fisherman patiently waiting for a bite stared in awe as one commented, "I didn't know you could do that." That's a line we've heard once bringing in our kayak and another time after a hike. They were trips not found on the internet, maybe until now, but they were found on paper maps with a sense of wonder if they were possible and what would we find.

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