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Thread: Success Pond Road - A lot better than in the recent past

  1. #1
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    Success Pond Road - A lot better than in the recent past

    I did a bit of trail magic yesterday. I picked up an AT section hiker on the North Road in Shelburne , assuming he was going to Gorham. While driving into Gorham I asked him where he was staying and he said he was actually heading to Berlin. Turns out he had driven up Success Pond Road in the AM and did the stretch from Goose Eye and out Peabody brook trail assuming he could find a ride back to his car. It was around 5 PM and I knew his chances of getting a ride back to his car was pretty poor, so I offered to drive him up. Compared to my last visit up the road, it is in far better shape. The first stretch to the ATV lot used to be very washboarded with craters and rocks sticking out. Its still rough but once past the ATV lot, its smooths out and it looks like gravel has been put down and regraded. No more road "alligators" that were present when Dillon was just re-grading the road down into the subbase and tearing the tops of culverts off. I even saw prep work for repairs. Its still got its rough patches but the camp owners look to be back to flying up the road. I encountered one sideways on one of the curves. I was expecting we would be pushing daylight by the time we got to his car but had plenty of daylight to drop him off and make it home before dark.

    Yale via its Bayroot shell has recently been selling land with high conservation value along the south side of the Mahoosucs and the Androscoggin River to various land trusts and conservation organizations and has been buying the cut over former Brown Company lands in Sucess which were stripped by Dillon logging for the past 20 years. The woods are in rough shape but Yale claims to be in it for the long run so they have the time window to wait it for 30 or 40 years until it has commercial timber value again. They would really have to work hard to be worse land manager than Dillon which established itself as timber liquidator early on and got rewarded nicely stripping the timber and by selling easements to various conservation groups and the National Park Service (for AT protection). Dillon had already sold conservation and development easements on the land so it is going to remain undeveloped. If Bayroot manages these woods like they do in Maine, they will try to regenerate it in softwoods and then start doing large clear cuts. If you look on the south side of the Mahoosuc's on Google maps you can see the major clear cuts they have been doing in the last 20 years. NH has far laxer standards than Maine for logging so boosting the NH portfolio makes sense. Bayroot has been boosting their returns since day 1 by selling high value conservation and recreational properties and easements to cover subpar returns on timber management and I expect that approach will continue but not much left that Dillon didnt sell in Success. One of the proposals at one point was for the National Guard to buy the Dillon holdings in Success and turn it into a mobile artillery training range.

    There are inholdings off of Success Pond road that have legal rights to access plus the road network is needed for fire access so I expect it will be kept open to the public at least in the short term and with less logging it may stay in better shape.

  2. #2
    Member JToll's Avatar
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    Thursday morning I was driving up Success Pond Road 10.9 miles to the Notch Trail. About half way I came across a guy who had hiked all the way from Gorham and was headed to the Speck Pond Trail. I gave him a ride. A half mile further I came across another hiker. I am not sure where he started but he was headed way up Success Pond Road. I also gave him a ride.
    Last edited by JToll; 09-10-2022 at 03:48 PM.
    NH 4K: 48/48, VT 4K: 5/5, NY 4K: 2/46

  3. #3
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JToll View Post
    Thursday morning I will as driving up Success Pond Road 10.9 miles to the Notch Trail. About half way I came across a guy who had hiked all the way from Gorham and was headed to the Speck Pond Trail. I gave him a ride. A half mile further I came across another hiker. I am not sure where he started but he was headed way up Success Pond Road. I also gave him a ride.
    Nice gesture. Back in the 70’s and 80’s I was a trips leader for a Summer Camp. We would do loop hikes but much of the time we did through hikes. If you were the lucky counselor you would get to hitch solo back to the starting point to retrieve the the camp vehicle if it were a through hike. Of course this was in the day when people actually still picked up hikers. The “Whosacs” were always a challenge if Success Pond Road was involved.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  4. #4
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    That road network is a gem. I love cruising around back there in the truck. We spent Saturday driving much of it north of SPR. Last year the "main" roads had been brushed and it appears most of them were freshly graded this year. I'm glad SPR was on the list as we've been avoiding that one and accessing things via the longer drive to Blake Rd and Slippery Hill Rd.

  5. #5
    Member JToll's Avatar
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    A report on NETC says Success Pond Road will be closed just past the Success Trail trailhead starting Sept 19 for a bridge replacement.
    NH 4K: 48/48, VT 4K: 5/5, NY 4K: 2/46

  6. #6
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    Would be nice if they fixed York Pond outlet road. Presumably you still have to drive up North Rd to access 26 in Upton?

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