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Thread: Owls Head river crossings...

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    Senior Member SherpaWill's Avatar
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    Owls Head river crossings...

    I was thinking about doing Owls Head Saturday and was wondering if anyone knows if the recent rain has made the river crossings difficult. I think more rain is in the forecast this week and Iím trying to figure out the likelihood of having to wade through ice cold water at the end of October.

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    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Having done it in ice cold water in mid-October before I recommend one of the bushwhacks, either Fisherman's or Black Pond.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SherpaWill's Avatar
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    Thanks. I’m assuming that the snow will be gone by Saturday too.

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    Senior Member dailey7779's Avatar
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    Just on and off showers today and tomorrow, so you should be fine on Saturday. I was in there yesterday morning and they were pretty easy for me. My friends who are shorter and not as confident in hopping across rocks needed a helping hand to stay dry so I just stood in the water and gave them a hand. Current was not fast or that high and the water wasn't too cold either. We did take the Black Pond whack but the one major crossing where it pops out didn't look bad either. If I had been solo I would have stuck to the Lincoln Brook and Franconia Brook trails on the way out to change it up. Snow should be melted by Saturday too.

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by dailey7779; 10-20-2020 at 09:49 AM.

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    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    Having done it in ice cold water in mid-October before I recommend one of the bushwhacks, either Fisherman's or Black Pond.
    I don't know if Mike P. remembers, but I had just turned back from the Franconia Brook crossing when I ran into him on his way to it. Here's what it looked like on that morning of October 20, 2007:

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    I would highly recommend the Black Pond Bushwack on the way in and either that or the Fisherman's on the way out.
    Last edited by TEO; 10-21-2020 at 10:07 PM.

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    I generally use the USGS 01074520 EAST BRANCH PEMIGEWASSET RIVER AT LINCOLN, NH (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nh/nwis/uv?site_no=01074520) river gauge to assess those crossings. In Summer, generally a reading of 500 cfs or less means the crossings are "doable" as a reasonable rock hop and/or fairly shallow and safe walk through (like mid shin). Of course everyone's skills and risk tolerance varies. As of right now it's running 486 cfs. It's had some very significant spikes the past week or so that were definitely in the danger range. If you want a rough guide to monitor the crossings this week as the rain and snow melt comes and goes I'd suggest following this gauge. The Black Pond Bushwhack is definitely the better option to me too unless you're really hell bent on going the official trail route. I don't find that section of the trail terribly interesting.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    I don't know if Mike P. remembers, but I had just turned back from the Franconia Brook crossing when I ran into him on his way to it. Here's what it looked like:

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    I would highly recommend the Black Pond Bushwack on the way in and either that or the Fisherman's on the way out.
    That would be a solid NOPE! for me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    I remember, dumbest crossing I ever did. Took fisherman's BW on the way back.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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    Senior Member SherpaWill's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for the input. I'm not familiar with the fisherman's bush whack. Whereabouts is that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SherpaWill View Post
    Thank you everyone for the input. I'm not familiar with the fisherman's bush whack. Whereabouts is that?
    It runs along Franconia Brook/Lincoln Brook from the end of the Franconia Falls trail to the Lincoln Brook crossing.

  11. #11
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    The fisherman's bushwhack parallels the Black Pond bushwhack along the Lincoln/Franconia Brook and joins up with the Franconia Falls Trail.

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

  12. #12
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    IMHO the Fisherman's bushwhack is not really that useful when the Black Pond bushwhack is available which is far shorter. It does go through some nice Hemlock woods and is sprinkled with the remains of old campsites dating back to the last bug peak in usage in the early eighties

    Remember the East Branch streamflow is your best objective resource https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nh/nwis/u...60,63158,00060 Some folks have equated a specific range of gage heights in the past with the ease of making these stream crossings. If the flow is flat or trending down prior to the hike and the flow is below the mean that is a good indication that its a reasonable level this time of year.

  13. #13
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    IMHO the Fisherman's bushwhack is not really that useful when the Black Pond bushwhack is available which is far shorter.
    Far shorter? Not saying it is or isn't, but I think this image speaks for itself.



    I measured each using Gaia and Black Pond is ~1.8 miles and Fisherman's is ~2.0 miles.

    Tim
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    Last edited by bikehikeskifish; 10-21-2020 at 12:07 PM.
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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    The fisherman's whack is certainly more scenic.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SherpaWill View Post
    Thank you everyone for the input. I'm not familiar with the fisherman's bush whack. Whereabouts is that?
    So named because it would be the path that fisherman would make if fishing the whole stream. It just follows the water. I've not been on the BPBW, however, being here for many years, once upon a time, trip reports would mention people not being able to follow concisely and coming out in different positions. (Lost would be too strong a word)

    The Fisherman's BW is easy, follow the water. It's basically a trail you walk next to Vs. directly on it.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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