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Thread: Wrong turn on Jefferson Notch Road

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  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

  3. #3
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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 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.
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  5. #5
    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.

  6. #6
    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.
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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    My GPS has a 'avoid unpaved roads' option....
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  8. #8
    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 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.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    "I didn't know you could do that."
    On my first trip to Flagstaff Lake, I saw a road from Carrabasset Valley to Flagstaff lake on the Maine highway map. This road had a good roadbed, but is very overgrown with trees brushing both sides of my Pathfinder. Eventually I found a spot to turn around. Back in Carrabasset Valley I asked someone about it, and they said "No, you can't get there that way". No closure signs.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman View Post
    "I didn't know you could do that."
    On my first trip to Flagstaff Lake, I saw a road from Carrabasset Valley to Flagstaff lake on the Maine highway map. This road had a good roadbed, but is very overgrown with trees brushing both sides of my Pathfinder. Eventually I found a spot to turn around. Back in Carrabasset Valley I asked someone about it, and they said "No, you can't get there that way". No closure signs.
    That most likely would have been the "Carriage Road" Maine huts and trails got permission to reopen it for public use at one point but prior to that it was a private road normally gated road. .

  12. #12
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    That most likely would have been the "Carriage Road" Maine huts and trails got permission to reopen it for public use at one point but prior to that it was a private road normally gated road. .
    There is a good road that accesses the Flagstaff Hut used by Maine Huts. Saw one of their trucks bring a BIG load of fire wood in there last summer. I'm not sure where this road originates. Maybe off Slide Dam Road.
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  13. #13
    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.

  14. #14
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Why is the road not gated, like Bear Notch, Sawyer River, etc

  15. #15
    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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