Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Little Sugarloaf, Sugarloaf, Bear Mountain, Oregon Mountain, Mowglis Mountain, Firescrew, Mt. Cardigan, Mt. Cardigan (South Peak), Rimrock, Orange Mountain, Crane Mountain, Grafton Knob, Church Mountain, Brown Mountain, NH
Trails: Elwell Trail, Oregon Mountain Trail, Mowglis Trail, Clark Trail, Ranger-Cabin Trail, South Ridge Trail, Skyland Trail, road walk
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, May 18, 2019
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: We spotted a vehicle at the Elwell Trail trailhead near Wellington State Park -- plenty of room for a dozen or more vehicles -- and another at Alexandria Four Corners. Parking for a few vehicles on the side of the road at Alexandria Four Corners. (Per AMC Southern New Hampshire Trail Guide, don't block any driveways.) 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant, Leaves - Significant/Slippery 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Not an issue. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: In general, trails in good shape, except for unmaintained/lightly maintained section of Elwell Trail from Bear Mountain to Oregon Mountain Trail intersection. See detailed notes, below, about various sections.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: Black flies -- out in full force and biting, in particular in the afternoon. Ticks, as well. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Nice, long, sort-of-boomerang-shaped ridge traverse with Mt. Cardigan at the center (with a quick trip to Oregon Mountain), to check on trail conditions. Hike is just over 17 miles with about 6200 feet of elevation gain, and uses the entire Elwell Trail and almost all of the Skyland Trail.

1. Elwell Trail from Wellington State Park to Bear Mountain: some deadfall and minor brushing, in particular from Alexandria-Hebron Turnpike to intersection with Bear Mountain Trail;

2. Elwell Trail from Bear Mountain to power line cut: some deadfall and small (handsaw) blowdown here and there. Power line cut was recently brush-hogged, so trail cairns and markers stand out easily;

3. Elwell Trail from power line cut to Oregon Mountain Trail: this 2.7-mile section appears to be lightly maintained, and includes the logged section from a couple of years ago. It's not difficult to route-find, and quite a bit of it is in okay shape. However, the trail needs some serious brushing in sections, deadfall/small blowdown removal, and large blowdown removal -- there are at least three more large blowdowns on this section versus what we found last year. (A small group of folks could get this trail back in shape over the course of a weekend.);

4. Oregon Mountain Trail to ledges with trail sign: in good shape;

5. Elwell Trail from Oregon Mountain Trail to Carter-Gibbs Trail: in good shape -- one small (handsaw) blowdown not far from Oregon Mountain Trail, some light brushing, and some minor winter deadfall removal, near Carter-Gibbs. Last year's relocation of short section near intersection with Old Dicey Road is bedding in nicely -- the relo cut out some significant trudging on an old, wet, eroded logging road. Signage and blazing are clearer, too.

6. Elwell Trail from Carter-Gibbs Trail to Mowglis Mountain: one new very large blowdown, about 0.5 miles west of Carter-Gibbs. Other than this, some minor brushing, deadfall removal, and a few small (handsaw) blowdowns. Otherwise, in great shape given the work done on this last year.

7. Elwell Trail from Mowglis Mountain to Mowglis Trail: some deadfall, a few small (handsaw) blowdowns, and one large blowdown. One previously reported blowdown on this section really isn't a blowdown so much as a ripping up of the trailbed: the tree fell away from the trail and took with it about 20 feet of trail, on angled granite ledge. This will require a short trail relocation. Otherwise, in great shape given the work done on this section over the past few years.

8. Mowglis Trail: in good shape overall. One large blowdown (if we recall) will require a chainsaw.

9. Skyland Trail: in very good shape overall. A few small (handsaw) blowdowns, and one new large blowdown. Still the same large blowdown from last year, just east (south?) of summit of Church Mountain.  
Name: Pancks and Tesco Heaney 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2019-05-19 
Link: http:// 
Bookmark and Share Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.

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