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Thread: Franconia brook trl/13 falls/twin brook trail region beta request

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    Senior Member ctsparrow's Avatar
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    Franconia brook trl/13 falls/twin brook trail region beta request

    So am aware of recent high bear activity near 13 falls backcountry campsite. Any trail issues with encounters in the area?
    Also, how is the beaver pond area on franconia brook trail? Foot+ of mud? Foot + water? Or just usual? Recent info from past month or so best. USFS not answering phones and talking to rangers am of long hike day not prudent if I should use alternate approach.
    Thx sparrow

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    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctsparrow View Post
    So am aware of recent high bear activity near 13 falls backcountry campsite. Any trail issues with encounters in the area?
    Also, how is the beaver pond area on franconia brook trail? Foot+ of mud? Foot + water? Or just usual? Recent info from past month or so best. USFS not answering phones and talking to rangers am of long hike day not prudent if I should use alternate approach.
    Thx sparrow
    If it would make you more comfortable, the REI in West Hartford, CT, has bear spray in stock.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctsparrow View Post
    So am aware of recent high bear activity near 13 falls backcountry campsite. Any trail issues with encounters in the area?
    Also, how is the beaver pond area on Franconia brook trail? Foot+ of mud? Foot + water? Or just usual? Recent info from past month or so best. USFS not answering phones and talking to rangers am of long hike day not prudent if I should use alternate approach.
    Thx sparrow
    You should not be concerned with bear encounters on the trail. If you do see one, make noise or make noise and back away if the bear does not run away. The only time I would be concerned, is if I didn't use proper food storage and had food in my tent, that could invite a problem. With all due respect to the previous commenter, Bear spray is not needed in the Whites.

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    Last month it was easy to get past the beaver pond section with dry feet.

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    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    With all due respect to the previous commenter, Bear spray is not needed in the Whites.
    I agree. That said, there are stories of bears in the Adirondack High Peaks visiting lunching hikers. If carrying bear spray is going to make the difference between someone feeling comfortable hiking or not, then I see no harm in carrying it.
    Last edited by TEO; 08-24-2022 at 09:51 PM.

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    Senior Member ctsparrow's Avatar
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    Thanks all. I carried bear spray in Denali, ⁵don't think I ll go that route. Have encountered bears on trails b4, they seem happy to move on. Concern is for human acclimated ones near 13 falls, will make noise keep my head on a swivel and eat lunch quickly lol. Thanks for the heads up on trail by beaver pond, good news there although rain Friday pm might muck it up a bit.

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    Luckily the beaver seemed to have eaten up the browse in the area a few years ago. The railbed acts as natural dam and what has been causing the flooding for a couple of years has just been debris floating during the spring and blocking the drainage. There is little elevation drop between the two sides of the rail so the when the water is high its going to flood. There really are no good options to reroute the trail without adding a lot of length as the limits of the wet area go quite far east. There really is not good options beyond major drainage work or elevating the trail similar what was done on the AT across from Pinkham. Neither option is in keeping with wilderness policy so hikers should plan to possibly wade earlier in the season. Eventually the area will drain and dry up and the hardwood browse will grow back in and new batch of beavers will try to move back in and develop dam system that will be deep enough for them to survive a winter.

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    Senior Member ctsparrow's Avatar
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    Awesome info peakbagger! I knew flooding def a spring thing wasn't sure how prevalent rest of season. I haven't done full length of Fran brook trl so very helpful! Thx!:

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    I agree. That said, there are stories of bears in the Adirondack High Peaks visiting lunching hikers. If carrying bear spray is going to make the difference between someone feeling comfortable hiking or not, then I see no harm in carrying it.
    If you need to feel "comfortable", then do some research as the OP did. Carrying something you don't need to give you a sense of comfort is ridiculous.

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    Senior Member dave.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    If you need to feel "comfortable", then do some research as the OP did. Carrying something you don't need to give you a sense of comfort is ridiculous.
    Shrug.

    We all carry our fears...

    ...and call them necessities.
    - Dave (a.k.a. pinnah)

    " Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat." - John Lehman, US Secretary of the Navy 1981-1987

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    I occasionally carry spray. I agree that a true encounter and one where you could respond fast enough is pretty remote. And unlike brown bears, black bears 99.9% of the time do not exhibit predatory behavior (according to the literature). But as human and bear encounters seem to be on the rise in the U.S. (with some instances of black bear predatory behavior), I would defer to individuals to take such precautions as are necessary to make them comfortable when hiking or camping. There have been instances where hikers have been attacked and killed by black bears who have stalked them (not situations where the hiker startled a mother bear with cubs). As such, I see no reason to criticize those who take steps that may be more conservative than others, particularly when it has no impact on me at all. If I were camping in an area known to have bear activity, I would carry spray. In certain parts of the country, I would arm myself as well. There is a reason why F&G carry firearms (typically slug shotgun) when responding to bear nuisance calls -- they know that while an attack is highly unlikely, it is possible. Habituated bears can be unpredictable. And I am very rational about it -- I know the risk of an encounter is very low and I know the ability to respond with spray is also very low. But there are plenty of bear encounters in the literature where spray or other defenses made the difference. Fortunately, as noted by others above, we don't have many encounters here in the northeast.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHClimber View Post
    I occasionally carry spray. I agree that a true encounter and one where you could respond fast enough is pretty remote. And unlike brown bears, black bears 99.9% of the time do not exhibit predatory behavior (according to the literature). But as human and bear encounters seem to be on the rise in the U.S. (with some instances of black bear predatory behavior), I would defer to individuals to take such precautions as are necessary to make them comfortable when hiking or camping. There have been instances where hikers have been attacked and killed by black bears who have stalked them (not situations where the hiker startled a mother bear with cubs). As such, I see no reason to criticize those who take steps that may be more conservative than others, particularly when it has no impact on me at all. If I were camping in an area known to have bear activity, I would carry spray. In certain parts of the country, I would arm myself as well. There is a reason why F&G carry firearms (typically slug shotgun) when responding to bear nuisance calls -- they know that while an attack is highly unlikely, it is possible. Habituated bears can be unpredictable. And I am very rational about it -- I know the risk of an encounter is very low and I know the ability to respond with spray is also very low. But there are plenty of bear encounters in the literature where spray or other defenses made the difference. Fortunately, as noted by others above, we don't have many encounters here in the northeast.
    When I offer my opinion, it is based on over 40 experience in the Whites. Ironically on Friday, me and my dog ran smack dab into 3 cubs and their mother at a very close range. My dog barked once and I told him to be quiet, the cubs actually turned and came towards us a bit. I held my dog close and yelled at the bear, advancing just a bit as I did. The cubs stopped and the mother ran off, quickly followed by the cubs. I sat down and had a snack giving them time to move on without feeling pressured or bothered. This was probably my 15th close encounter with bears in the Northeast. I admit to not being Mr. Rogers, but I know what I'm talking about. You want to tell someone to carry spray in the Whites to make them feel "comfortable", go ahead, it's not the right advice, for the wrong reason. Have a nice day.

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Also, if you don't have it out and ready at all times, you might as well not bring it.

    Like Sierra, we've spent many years hiking all over the NE. We've never had a negative encounter with bears, and never brought bear spray.
    Tom Rankin
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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    When I offer my opinion, it is based on over 40 experience in the Whites. Ironically on Friday, me and my dog ran smack dab into 3 cubs and their mother at a very close range. My dog barked once and I told him to be quiet, the cubs actually turned and came towards us a bit. I held my dog close and yelled at the bear, advancing just a bit as I did. The cubs stopped and the mother ran off, quickly followed by the cubs. I sat down and had a snack giving them time to move on without feeling pressured or bothered. This was probably my 15th close encounter with bears in the Northeast. I admit to not being Mr. Rogers, but I know what I'm talking about. You want to tell someone to carry spray in the Whites to make them feel "comfortable", go ahead, it's not the right advice, for the wrong reason. Have a nice day.
    I think I would be more likely to carry "Bare Spray" in the Whites for a potential encounter with a tripping naked Hiker on a roof than for an actual Black Bear encounter.
    "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 dug's Avatar
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    I don't get the angst with what others want to do. If someone wants to carry something because it makes them feel more comfortable, it has no affect on me. I personally wouldn't bother, and the only real interaction was with Brutus, the Pemi bear who ended up being put down (I believe). If we had spray, it likely would've been used as he showed no inclination on leaving initially. Could've made the situation worse. But, to each their own.

    Since we are measuring experiences, that comes with over 50 years experience in the Whites....

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