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Saturday, June 30, 2012

6/29/12 Not Great Hill, McFarland Mtn., and the Breakneck

We got directions for this trail to Great Hill from the internet and  they were not correct. According to that source the trail started on the east side of the loop road before the exit for 233 ( the red circle on the map above) . To reach the Great Hill on the map  would take more than 10 minutes and from that staring point you would cross two roads.

We took the short trail anyway and the instructions  correctly described a large boulder about half way up and some nice views from the top.


And there was even a little water for Kelley

Since that took only 15 or 20 minutes we headed to nearby McFarland. This trail starts from a park service road ( a couple of hundred feet in) about a tenth of a mile past park headquarters.  People have placed more cairns so the trail is easier to follow than in the past. The ridge is fairly open and pretty with views. 

We spent some time wandering the brush looking for another abandoned trail ( which we have failed to find in the past) and then head back down and went over to the Breakneck road and followed that to the ponds


This is entirely Kelley's work- I was focused on a leaf floating on mirror smooth water until she jumped in.

A good mix and an interesting hike 2 hours                                                                                                                                     


  1. Hi John...I would have jumped in that water to along with Kelley, it was a bit hot here "whew", but the leave is a pretty picture all the same!!
    I see that Kelley not only took a drink in that puddle of water on the mountain it appears she is laying in it too!
    Beautiful shot's from there , It looks so cool and refreshing with the lush green...but I bet it wasn't ; } !!
    Have a nice Sunday!!

  2. Hi Grace - Thanks for looking and commenting. actually it wasn't too bad- mostly cloudy which helped keep the heat down and it's usually cooler by the ocean anyway. Kelley get's in any water she can fit her body into. I think both to cool down but also just because she loves the water so much.Trying to decide where to go Sunday- you have a nice one too.

  3. It's clear to any reader of your blog that Kelley takes her work seriously..

  4. Hi penbayman- yes she does. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Hi John - I climbed Great Hill from the "Fire of '47" turnout and then drove to the park admin offices and hiked McFarland. There's a very well marked trail that begins about 15 yards from the gate (now closed) and curves up the west side of the mountain. At the summit, I found 4-5 cairns on the east side leading down to ledges directly opposite the portion of the WHP carriage road that fronts onto Breakneck Pond, but I couldn't find the trail further down and returned the same way I came up. Great hike and thanks for this post that led me to it.

  6. Hi Christopher - Glad you liked the hike and appreciate your information. We have had the same experience you had with finding part of the trail but not the rest of it and have tried several times. We have also, several times, tried from the Breakneck. Same problem - there is a trail- not sure the right trail but it peters out and again we always end up turning back. If you are interested in the abandoned trails The Pothole is a very nice one. There is a book you can get online or from the library called "Pathmakers" which is a history of the trails and describes many of the abandoned me if you can't find the book and I can send you a copy.


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