Shelburne Trail

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DayTrip

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Haven't hiked in 2 months thanks to some major home project developments (large amounts of time + large amounts of money = zero outdoor recreation) so I was plotting out some Summer loop ideas to keep my spirits up. Had a question on a section of the Shelburne Trail in the Wild River Wilderness. In particular, I'm wondering how hard it is to follow the section that leaves from the camping area via the Highwater Trail (which I already know is a mess) and heads up to Shelburne Moriah. It looks like it coincides with an old railroad grade for awhile before climbing up to a col where it veers West to the summit.

Curious if anyone has traveled in there recently and has any feedback. Wouldn't be doing until probably mid Summer so no rush replying. :)

P.S. My deja-vu is telling me I think I asked a similar question before about this area before but it is the specific 2 mile or so stretch in particular that I described above I'm wondering about. I feel like somebody's trip report in the past year or so chronicled some trail rerouting and updating in this area so the limiuted knowledge I had may no longer be applicable. Peakbagger maybe?
 
I came down that stretch from Shelburne-Moriah a few years back in July and I don't recall any issues with it - other than the deer flies that began to attack near the bottom. It was a very clear trail to follow.
 
I came down that stretch from Shelburne-Moriah a few years back in July and I don't recall any issues with it - other than the deer flies that began to attack near the bottom. It was a very clear trail to follow.
Thanks. That section of the Highwater Trail leading back to Wild River Campground was really confusing when I did it in I think 2019. The section around where you pick up Shelburne to do the "big ford" to the road had erosion, reroutes up and down the river bank with light tread and was generally just really confusing. There was a particular section that went back and forth over numerous brook crossings with white arrow signs nailed to trees (behind branches in several places) that I did several times back and forth before I figured out what the hell was happening. I may just road walk from the campground to the ford point and go directly up Shelburne instead of dealing with Highwater section.
 
That section of trail south of the ridge is well graded and eventually turns into a road walk as you get down near the river. The challenge is the intersection with the High Water trail and the short final section across the "ford" across the river. This area really got screwed up by Hurricane Irene with the river split into two channels and the Bull Brook drainage looking almost like another channel. When we first encountered it doing the Highwater trail it took us about 20 minutes of searching to find the continuation of the Highwater trail as the Shelburne trail was far more obvious.
 
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I did this hike 2 years ago. From campground across river, up Highwater Trail to Shelburne Trail. Highwater was ok until just before the Shelburne Trail. We lost it and ended bushwhacking to the right and ended up on the Shelburne. Shelburne trail was easy to follow except right at the HOL. We lost the trail on the way back and bushwhacked for quite a while. On the way back we continued on the Highwater for awhile and the forded the river at the NH/Me state line then walked 4 miles back to the car. We did not see anyone the whole day.
 
I attempted this route once last year, but the river crossing was too high and fast for my dog. It is a bigger and tougher crossing than a lot of the standard route crossings in the Whites, you will need to keep that in mind and watch the rain gauge.
 
That section of trail south of the ridge is well graded and eventually turns into a road walk as you get down near the river. The challenge is the intersection with the High Water trail and the short final section across the "ford" across the river. This area really got screwed up by Hurricane Irene with the river split into two channels and the Bull Brook drainage looking almost like another channel. When we first encountered it doing the Highwater trail it took us about 20 minutes of searching to find the continuation of the Highwater trail as the Shelburne trail was far more obvious.
Yah that is the section I got messed up in. The trails in that junction were essentially rocks in rivers zig zagging through it, with some herd paths just to add to the confusion.
 
I attempted this route once last year, but the river crossing was too high and fast for my dog. It is a bigger and tougher crossing than a lot of the standard route crossings in the Whites, you will need to keep that in mind and watch the rain gauge.
I've crossed it before and kept notes about the gage heights when I did it. I went a slight bit East of the official crossing, which seemed to be the widest and deepest point at least that year, and hit a slower sandy area that was knee to mid-thigh on me (of course I'm 6'3" though). It was pretty comfortable actually but I know that varies quite a bit based on conditions. My plan is to start right there so if it is not doable I'll know right away and can just pick an alternate starting point and if it is doable it will be out of the way in case it rains.
 
I did this hike 2 years ago. From campground across river, up Highwater Trail to Shelburne Trail. Highwater was ok until just before the Shelburne Trail. We lost it and ended bushwhacking to the right and ended up on the Shelburne. Shelburne trail was easy to follow except right at the HOL. We lost the trail on the way back and bushwhacked for quite a while. On the way back we continued on the Highwater for awhile and the forded the river at the NH/Me state line then walked 4 miles back to the car. We did not see anyone the whole day.
Highwater Trail is one of the most messed up trails I think I've done in NH, with the lower sections of the Mt Clinton Trail not far behind. On one section you're cruising a nice well trodden path and then suddenly it vanishes or you come out to a sandy wash out 10 feet above the river. It goes through nice forest though, especially the stretch between Moriah Brook Trail and the old Spider Bridge junction. I love the Wild River Wilderness, although it is getting somewhat "discovered" the past few years. The lack of easy 4k access and tiny parking areas help keep it fairly quiet.
 
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