Thursday, May 7, 2009

Trail clearing on Rattlesnakes

I have been using the Rattlesnakes and their various loops as "workout" hikes as I get back out on the trails....Over the past couple of weeks myself and others, including Betsy, patty, Jeremy, Sandy and I have removed most of the blowdowns on the Col and Butterworth Trails.. Today, master trailworker claude and i set out with a rake and saw for an afternoon hike... The Col Trail from 113 starts off easily on a wide logging road crosses a brook on a bridge then follows a tributary that drains an old beaver dam/ marsh area. The trail crosses the brook then curves around for a beautiful section of trail along the side of the marsh..Nice view of the Squam range in the background.. After a brief wet section on an old logging road the trail continues its gradual ascent on a nice hard foot bed through a mixed oak and hemlock forest..The ridge Trail junction is soon reached and we turn left towards the peak less travelled..this section of trail is excellent with a hard gravel or ledge base..we cleared waterbars and a couple of fresh blowdowns then reached the excellent viewpoint on the edge of Squam Lake..The trail curves around and eventually reaches the now viewless summit..2 weeks ago there were veiws but the leaves are out now....The Butterworth Trail drops off steeply to the north..reroutes have made the trail more pleasant than in the past but still a good pitch..We cleared several large birch will require a larger saw than what we had..After following Metcalf Road for a bit we took an old logging road through a landing area and headed back south..after a bit an older road angles down next to a prominet stone wall and we followed that section, crossed the roaring brook..some ral nice spots in here..and whacked through the open beech woods back to the road...Nice day on and off the trail and we did not get rained on.. Allwaterbars cleared..allbut one blowdown removed..

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