Although my adopted trails came though the storm okay, many trails, roads and bridges here in New England suffered extensive damage. One of the casualties was the bridge over the Sawyer River on U.S. Route 302. It is currently closed for several weeks to make repairs. That particular bridge closure had an impact on the drive to the Mt. Tremont trailhead from my home in Bethlehem. My usual round-trip highway journey of 60-miles was transformed into a 130-mile expedition!
Normally, I can hop onto Rt. 302 in Bethlehem and drive that road directly to the trailhead. However, due to the bridge closure, I needed to travel a rather circuitous route employing Rt. 302 eastbound, then Rts. 3, 115, 2, 16, and then Rt 302 westbound to the trailhead.
When I arrived at the trailhead, I was somewhat surprised to see other cars parked there, especially since there are numerous signs along westbound Rt. 302 indicating that the road is closed beyond Bartlett. Regardless, during the course of my trek along the trail I met up with these other hikers. One group was from New Hampshire, and the other from Connecticut. They were all having a wonderful day of hiking in the Whites!
As indicated earlier in this report, the Mt. Tremont Trail suffered no significant damage from the storm. However, a few segments of the trail did experience some erosion due to the heavy amount of water running down the trail. In terms of fallen trees, I removed three from the trail corridor during this visit. There are still a few downed trees that I'll need to address on a future maintenance trip. But, please be assured that with only a slight break in your stride, each of those remaining blowdowns can easily be stepped over or ducked under. (That is a true statement as of the day of my visit on 09-Sep-2011. Things can happen quickly in the forest. Who knows when another tree might fall onto the trail corridor!)
Okay, it's time for some pictures! I'll start with a photo of my favorite waterfall along Stony Brook on the lower end of the Mt. Tremont Trail.
Higher up on the trail, there is a nice northward vista toward the Presidential Range on the horizon, along with some other notable mountains such as Stairs Mountain, Mt. Resolution.
There were some pleasant trailside views as well. I don't know the names of mushrooms, but whatever it's called, this particular variety is so colorful and it's one of my favorites.
Growing on the side of a tree was the rather peculiar mushroom shown in the photo below. It's sort of unsettling when a mushroom stares back at you!
Upon reaching the top of Mt. Tremont, there were all the usual views, especially since it was such a beautifully clear day. The series of snapshots below shows a few of these vistas.
Mt. Carrigain and Carrigain Notch
Sawyer Ponds and nearby Green's Cliff
Southerly view toward high peaks in the Sandwich Mountain Range
Highly zoomed photo of the rocky top of Mt. Chocorua
Some Extra Time:
The time spent on maintenance of the Mt. Tremont Trail was less than I had anticipated. And so, on my way home I had time to make a brief stop at the Hall's Ledge trailhead to do a cursory check for storm-related damage. Since the first 250 ft (or so) of this trail runs along the Ellis River, I thought there might be some trail damage due to the river having overflowed its banks. However, it was terrific to find that this portion of the trail was totally intact!
Shown below are two photos. The first one was obviously taken at the trailhead for Hall's Ledge. The second snapshot shows a view from the trailhead looking toward Mt. Washington.
To sum it up, I think most Trail Adopters would agree that your adopted trails become almost like "family", and it's painful when one of them suffers some damage. Fortunately, my "family" survived the storm with only a few minor "cuts and bruises". For that, I'm very thankful. My sympathy goes out to those adopters who were less fortunate with their trails.