Ice Gulch Path, etc - 8/29

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NH Tramper

Apr 10, 2012
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North Conway, NH Avatar: Cannon Mtn.
Date of Hike: Aug 28, 2014

Trail Conditions: Heading in to the gulch via Ice Gulch Path (IGP) was easy going at first, then we left the trail in favor of the Peboamauk Loop Trail. This was supposed to be the harder option, but one with great rewards. We found the rewards to be less than advertised -- the falls were pretty but obscured by a fallen tree. And aside from losing then immediately gaining 80' of elevation, the only thing really difficult about this loop was the slippery rocks and, potentially, the myriad crossings (all easy for now). Soon we were back on the IGP at the foot of the gulch. This is were things got fun. We took on the gulch slowly at first, it was easy fun, then we noted the difficulty ramping up as we rose higher. We also noted the cool temps from ice deep under the rocks and in the subterranean spaces -- ice which we did find and spaces we did explore. It felt great. Such pretty sights along this trail. Remember to look up often. Do, however, watch your footing; the jagged boulders are slick in places. At the head of the gulch we got on the somewhat muddy Cook Trail and started walking back towards Randolph Hill Road. After 2.2 miles featuring a couple of small blowdowns and an easy crossing we expected to encounter specific trails according to the Map Adventures and AMC WMG maps. Nothing lined up, though. While the sign text was clear enough to make getting mis-routed unlikely, it was disconcerting to see nothing matching our expectations. The trail we were on, too, was obviously new at the end (with its unworn roots, new blazes, etc.). Come to find out, Mt Crescent Trail was re-routed. It now starts at a new trailhead at the end of Randolph Hill Road. We made it out and road-walked about a mile back to our starting point by the not-so-obvious sign and not-so-red barn.

Special Equipment Used: None, we even left our poles in my truck.

Comments: I hiked this one with Steff as it is something we've wanted to check out for a while. What a fun day, great trail, pleasant weather, and very few bugs.

Mike "Tramper" Cherim
North Conway NH
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