Monday, March 29, 2010
A cold day that started sunny but turned cloudy. We still wanted to do the West Ledge Trail and the park forest roads remain closed so we parked at the gate at the end of the public Seal Cove Rd. and walked in to the trail head on the roads.
On the way we passed a small loop in the road that said 'Bald Mtn.' and we took that as we had not been there before. There is a very short wooded(unmarked) trail off the road that leads to the 'summit'.It was not exactly 'bald' and offered a limited view.
We continued on to the West Ledge Trail which ,I think, is the nicest of the Western Mountain trails. It starts in woods but has many open ledges with great views. It is steep in parts but with mostly good footing and only a couple of spots Kelley had to get around.
When we reached the intersection with the South Face Trail we continued on that to the summit. This section is mostly wooded and has little more elevation gain- a 'walk in the park' until near the top there are some rocks to climb.There was some ice but some large downed trees were more trouble to get around. We returned the way we came and counted it a good hike in spite of the gray weather. 3 hours
Sunday, March 28, 2010
A cold but sunny day. We started on the Valley Trail near the pumping station parking area. We took this pretty wooded trail to the Beech S. Ridge Trail.
The S. Ridge Trail is fairly steep but has mostly good footing and many stone steps and some open ledges with views. This was a very nice section.
From the summit we took the Beech Mtn. Trail which drops quickly down to the parking area from where we took the Beech Cliff Loop Trail. This is a short pretty trail with nice open ledges
which gave us this view of Echo Lake. I had not before seen whatever is happening on the water surface. I presume an effect of the wind.
We then did the Canada Cliff Trail which looped back to the parking area where we began the Beech Mtn. Trail. This trail starts out in quite deep woods and there were patches of ice to manuver around before we rose above the trees to very nice views.
Kelley waiting for me to catch up
Long Pond from Beech mountain Trail
At the next intersection we took the West Ridge Trail down. This trail also has some steep sections but has good views and, today, little ice
until near the end where the trail is close to the pond and the plank bridges were covered in ice from the water splashed up by the wind and we had to bushwhack around that section.
3 3/4 hours
Friday, March 26, 2010
Big change from yesterday's balmy spring-like weather. Mostly cloudy with a couple of peeps of sun , cold ( didn't get above freezing) ,and a dusting of new snow.
We started from the trail head on Barnestown Road which is one of several trails up this mountain. Once you cross the road the trail begins a steady fairy steep climb through woods with some open ledges with nice views.
And then drops down into the woods again for a stretch of mostly level or rolling trail. Here Kelley is trying to determine which trail we take.
The trail then begins the rise toward the summit and is much more open and rocky. Today this granite was icy and a bit tricky for me. We bushwhacked around some really icy spots and near the top there were a couple of places Kelley needed to find her own way.
A view of Mirror Lake from the mountain.
Resting after an apple snack before heading back down.
We returned the way we had come. 3 1/4 hours
Thursday, March 25, 2010
A nice sunny day after three of rain. We started again on the Bowl Trail near the Sand Beach parking lot and took that past the trail to the Beehive
To a connector trail
that took us to the Gorham Mtn. Trail. No snow or ice today and less water than expected after all the rain. This is Sand Beach from the trail.
This is a fairly short and easy hike and we soon reached the summit and continued over and down toward the ocean. We met a nice couple ( they have come here to hike from Connecticut for 40 years) with a large friendly Chocolate Lab that Kelley got to play with which made her very happy.
When we reached the Ocean Path we turned right toward Otter point and soon saw a man below us on the rocks painting.
Most of this trail is flat and open but there are a few sections with trees and rocks.
When we reached the end of the trail we turned back and followed the trail back past the Gorham Trail and on to Sand Beach enjoying the views, the sun, and the breeze. 3 hours
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Weird day weather-wise with mostly clouds, some snow (the white spots on the pictures are not defects),and briefly, sun and snow at the same time. We started on the Asticou Trail ( a nice, mostly flat, walk in the woods) from The Jordan Pond parking lot and walked to the start of the Penobscot Mtn. Trail. This trail was recently reopened and is an easier beginning than the older trail ( now called the Spring Trail)
Near the start of the trail
The trail starts in woods but soon rises to open vistas. The trail has good footing and is not difficult.
Looking down from the trail
After merging with the Spring Trail it becomes completely open and is mostly over granite sheets.
Mary doing a good job of getting Kelley to pose.
Mary and Kelley at the summit in the snow
We decide to make the hike a loop and return via Sargent Mtn. S. Ridge Trail. This involved a steep and somewhat treacherous drop into the notch between the two mountains ( some deep snow drifts and a fair amount of icy rocks) and then a climb up to the Sargent Mtn. trail.
Kelley supervising Mary's ascent
At Birch Spring there is a very difficult section for Kelley as there is not an easy way around and she needs a boost( which she does not care for).
A short detour to Cedar Swamp Mountain for lunch
We then followed the Sargent S. Ridge ( a gentle descent through mostly woods) back to the Asticou and that back to the parking lot. A very nice hike. 5 3/4 hours