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So as not to repeat myself excessively, I am reducing the amount of description of trails that have already been posted. Please use the search function ( upper left) to find older posts which have more detailed trail descriptions and pictures. You can also use this to find specific hikes either by trail or mountain.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

12/20/14 City Forest

Another cold ( 21 degrees) gray day. I couldn't get excited about a drive so we just went to the forest again. We did the same route we did two days ago but it only took an hour and a half- moving faster, few pictures (didn't want open coat and remove gloves) no stops for Kelley to get in the water as everything was frozen. We did meet a couple of walkers. one dog, and one runner

Still quite a bit of snow. All West Trail except the third which is a side trail

Saturday, December 20, 2014

12/19/14 Breakneck Road and McFarland Attempt

Forecast was for clear weather but it was 31 and mostly gray- a couple of times it tried to clear but didn't get far. We went over to the island because there promised to be less snow and ice. We started from the Hulls Cove end.

There was little snow left

At one point there is a stream to cross- only deep enough to be over the tops of your boots but slippery rocks to navigate

There is little elevation gain but apparently enough for there to be more snow on the bushes

Upper Breakneck Pond

A beaver dam between the two ponds that needs to be crossed

The plan was to take the road to it's end at Rte 233 but shortly after crossing the dam I spotted a trail that looked like it had some recent use. Several times we have tried to follow the abandoned trail up McFarland and we decided to give it another try ( blue line on map ) . We got further than we usually do but the trail just disappeared as it usually does. I thought we were near the top so we bushwhacked  at bit but kept coming to difficult rocky palaces and eventually gave up and headed back down. Of course we had lost the path we had come up on and it was another bushwhack. We came out south of where we started up and had another pond the beavers had created that covered the road. and left me another dam to cross. Kelley liked it.

We then returned the way we had come. A pretty good hike in spite of failing to find the path to the top of McFarland ( we know another way up and have looked for the trail from the top too - also without success).Kelley had lots of water and I managed the water hazards without wet feet.  2  1/4 hours

Thursday, December 18, 2014

12/18/14 City Forest

Yesterday it rained all day and we just walked around the neighborhood in the rain. This morning we awoke to a couple of inches of new snow and snow falling. Kelley was very excited and anxious to get out in it. I had to do the drive first and then we headed for the forest. We started from the parking lot this time ( I knew the beaver pond would still be frozen) and the trails were very good- just enough snow to cover the ice and yet not make it a slog.

When we reached the intersection with the trail to the pond Kelley still wanted to go down there. As expected  it was frozen and she even walked out on the ice as if to check it- not a usual behavior.

But there were numerous pools of water along the trail which she took advantage of .

We met three of Kelley's friends , Cadie, Homer, and  Keturah  and this made her happy. Did not get pictures of Cadie and Homer.

Keturah had run ahead to greet us and now Kelley is headed for her mistress

No one had been on the old rail bed yet this morning

You can see from these cut trees how the wet snow was sticking to everything.

We took a side trail back to the West Trail and when we got to Main Kelley wanted to continue on the east Trail so we did for just a short ways. She manged another dip

A beautiful day in the woods. Good footing, lots of water for Kelley, and people with dogs.  2 hours 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

12/16/14 Walden

Dreary weather continues, 31 degrees and snow showers and the next two days are to bring more rain and snow. Again, not wanting a long drive with uncertain conditions we went to nearby Walden.

The trails had pretty good footing with packed snow, little ice, and some water.

Stuff in the snow

Kelley seemed to enjoy the hike, though we met no one. She found water to get into and did a lot of sniffing.

This was a short hike with the loop taking only one hour 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

12/15/14 Perch Pond

Another gray cold day (31 degrees) even though the forecast was for clear skies. Reluctant to drive far with still uncertain trail conditions so we went to Perch Pond.

We started from the North trailhead and found there was still a fair amount of snow and only one person before us.

Luckily the crust was firm enough, for the most part,  to support Kelley. When we got to the Spruce Road there had been more traffic and walking was easier for me. Once we got off on other tails there was little or no prior traffic and  more water than we had seen on any previous hikes.

When we got to the pond we found it frozen.

Kelley was disappointed but found several small pools that were not frozen. Another day in which we met no one. The sun never came out and it was still 31 degrees when we finished our two hour hike. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

12/14/14 City Forest

Gray mid thirties. Difficult to predict trail conditions as we seem to be stuck in this nasty weather pattern so we just went to the nearby forest.

We started from the end of Kittredge Rd. and followed the route shown.

The beaver pond was still mostly frozen

but here was plenty of water that wasn't.

The trails weren't too bad - the light snow was gone so we could see the patches of ice and avoid them.

A tiny pine

We met three guys on bikes on the West Trail . a guy working in the woods, and another biker on the rail bed but no dogs and no other hikers.

On the way out Kelley walked out on the ice of the beaver pond but then came back to enter the tiny corner that was melted.

A pleasant enough outing. Kelley was enthusiastic and though it stayed gray we didn't get any rain.  2 hours

12/13/14 Along the Kenduskeag

Another gray morning with possible rain. Overnight we got a little new snow - just enough to cover the icy patches and make the trails more treacherous. Decided to check out a trail we use in winter - it's part of a snowmobile trail and usually has good footing though there hasn't been enough snow for them yet.

We started from the end of Pushaw Rd. and were surprised, again, at how much snow remained. There was very little ice and it looked like an ATV had been the only user.

The Kenduskeag was quite high

There were a lot of low spots with water but they weren't hard to get around. Kelley rests in one while I take a picture

Another view of the stream

and some reeds in the snow

When we reached Griffin Rd. we retraced our steps back to our start. It had been a pretty good outing with only light drizzle. Kelley was enthusiastic - she likes new places or places we haven't been in a long time and there was lots of water for her to get into . 1  1/2 hours