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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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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

4/16/14 City Forest

Weird weather continues. Yesterday it rained much of the day and  this morning we woke to an inch of new snow and a gray day. I stalled 'till the sun came out and it was up to 30 ( but windy, making it feel colder)  before we headed to the forest. No idea what the trails would be like after the rain and snow. The West trail was in pretty good shape- you could feel leftover snow and ice under the new snow but it was not slippery.

I had been discussing these rectangular woodpecker holes with someone who was also curious about them. I found they were unique to Pileated Woodpeckers and they proved shelter for other birds. The hole is several inches high.

Rabbit Trail runs off the West

When we got to the rail bed we went north a short distance until water stopped us. Going south the trail was very good with only the light new snow until we passed the second intersection with the Walden loop Trail  - we then started to encounter water.

  and then lumpy snow- I think more old snow because it is more shaded in this section

 After the intersection with the snowmobile trail we ran into water running across the trail. We had never seen it out of the pond  at this place before and could see more ahead. Kelley was game but I was ready to turn back.

We went back to the side trail we usually take to get across to West but ran into more water I could not cross. Back to a side trail I thought would get us around the water but no one had been on it and it was hard to follow. We eventually lost the trail and bushwhacked for awhile, running into more water,

 until we picked up another trail that took us back to the rail bed. From there to another side trail I knew would take us back to West without water problems and it did. Back to the car. I had not expected so much water in places it has never been a problem, but it was still a pretty day. And Kelley really seemed to enjoy the hike after missing one yesterday and getting all that water was a nice bonus. 2  1/4 hours

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

4/14/14 Eliot Mtn. and Harbor Brook

A little warmer ( 50's) but cloudy and foggy- supposed to clear but it did not until the end of the hike.

The start of the Eliot Mtn. Trail looked promising- no snow or ice.

It did get pretty wet though, with parts of the trail like small streams

The summit of Eliot does not offer views but fog would have obscured them anyway

The trail down the other side of Eliot and the Asticou were also in good shape. When we reached Harbor Brook, Kelley was into the water which is shallow where it is crossed by a bridge.

The Harbor Brook Trail was a big change - still a fair amount of snow in places and quite a bit of ice.

Mostly I could maneuver around the ice - it was a problem for Kelley as there were not as many places she was willing to enter the stream. Still it's a pretty trail and worth the extra care needed to maneuver.

Another interesting hike with a variety of trails and scenery.  2  3/4 hours 

Monday, April 14, 2014

4/13/14 Northern Headwaters

Gray day with various kinds of precipitation forecast. Much cooler - 38 when we started and 34 when we finished. Not doing anything when we left home but ice pellets when we started the hike from Whitten Hill Trailhead.

When went up Whitten Hill to do the loop. The trails were pretty good - a mix of bare ground, snow, ice, and  water. The ice was not very slippery because of all the debris from the trees.

Not sure why, but the higher trails were the clearest.

We took a detour on the Goose Ridge Trail ( # 7 on the map) to visit a couple of small streams Kelley likes.

We continued to a small dam on the trail

There is a break in the dam that Kelley can't negotiate so, at this point, we turned back

In summer, she would swim the pond behind the dam to get around it but the ice kept her back today

Back on the loop the trail along the Sheepscot  there was  more snow and ice . The water was flowing swiftly and Kelley  looked it over but opted out

After the trail turned away from the river it became quite wet with lots of standing water until we were on the hill again.

An interesting but soggy hike. The ice pellets just bounced off and the snow that followed was light but then we got regular rain for the last hour. All in all the footing had been better than expected and Kelley enjoyed all the water.  2  3/4 hours 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

4/12/14 Sunkhaze Wildlife Refuge

This is one of our friends favorite hikes so we decided to give it a try. Sunny and 50's so the weather was fine. The trails were a bit of a challenge - still a fair amount of snow -  with a narrow path down the middle that most of the time supported you ( but sometimes not) . If you stepped to the side you broke through and were thrown off balance.

We went first to the beaver pond that was mostly still frozen- but not firmly, as I broke through and got a wet foot as I tried to move out onto it.

The dogs were all interested in examining the dam.

Faith has treats!

These shots of the trails give an idea of the amount of snow still present

The path through the Cedar swamp section consists of a series of bog bridges- all under the snow today, even though there was less snow here than in most other sections.

The footing was a little challenging but a beautiful day ( I did the second half in shirt sleeves) and the woods were pretty. The dogs seemed happy to be out and Kelley found lots of water to get into.  2  1/4 hours 

Friday, April 11, 2014

4/11/14 Walden Parke

Started out gray but the sun came out and it was in the upper 50's when we got here- first hike in shirt sleeves this year. The plan today was to find a good hike for tomorrow with a friend, We first went to the Perch Pond trails- still can't get in parking lot but I got off the road and briefly checked the trails- Kelley wouldn't get out of the car- ice and snow with little evidence of use. Next we went to Demeritt  Forest. Again, Kelley wasn't interested so I just walked a short way in and it looked like mostly packed snow- but I didn't go far. Next stop was Walden and Kelley decided to join me.

From the parking area it didn't look promising - mud and water saturated ground

It improved as we walked the east side of the loop , with deeper snow in some sections but not too bad

When we reached the rail bed it looked mostly bare

but we were soon into more snow but, again, not bad

When we got on the east side of the loop we found a lot more snow that had had less traffic. This was more difficult as we both kept breaking through and it became a bit of a slog.

Kelley didn't like breaking through and looked at me accusingly. She did find lots of water though. So this was a very mixed bag- from bare ground to fairly deep snow. Something I had not encountered before was snowless leaf covered ground that looked dry until I stepped on it and sank into water- very saturated ground. We only walked for an hour and a quarter but got in a walk on a beautiful day. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

4/10/14 Newport-Dover-Foxcroft Rail-Trail

Yesterday a man we met at City Forest told us there was more snow north of Bangor and he thought this trail was still in good shape. Sunny and 40 when we started with a pretty good breeze but fine once we were in the woods. Even though only about 35 miles north of us we could see the amount of snow increase as we drove. We parked at the Irving and crossed the road to start the trail and soon crossed the river there.

The Piscataquis was still mostly frozen

The trail was in excellent condition- packed snow with no ice- great walking.

A good sized stream we crossed

and a smaller stream

Another shot of the trail that better shows the snow they still have

In some spots there was running water in the ditch beside the trail. Kelley is considering. but the sides are steep and snowy and she wisely passed.

On the other side of the trail, however,  she only had to crawl under some brush

We walked to the 23 mile marker- we had started the other side of the 27 - and turned back. As we neared the start we met a skier with two dogs- the only person we had seen the whole hike. It had been a good day, beautiful weather and surroundings and easy walking. Kelley  seemed to enjoy it too.  3  3/4 hours

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

4/9/14 City Forest

Rainy yesterday but today is sunny and upper 40's. Problem is till trying to find trails to hike. City Forest is close to home. The road down to the parking lot was closed because they were working on it and we walked across the meadow and down past the beaver pond. Pond is still frozen but lots of water running across the dam resulting in one wet foot.

The West Trail  had a lot of ice and I eventually got my ice grippers out of my pack. There were also, surprisingly, sections with fairly deep snow.

When we got to the rail bed we went north but were soon stopped by water across the trail

I also would not trust the ice just a bit further on. We just started south when we met a couple. The trail was soft snow and they said some water further on. The man said he had been in Greenville ( north of Bangor) and there was still a lot of snow there. He thought the rail-trail from Dover-Foxcroft ( also a bit north of us) still had some packed snow. We may try that tomorrow.

We went back by way of the Main and Loop Roads and they were completely clear of ice and snow.

Not a bad hike- it was good to be out in the sun and Kelley found lots of water to get into. 2 hours.