Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Owl's Head, NH
Trails: Lincoln Woods Trail, Black Pond Trail, herd path, Lincoln Brook Trail, bushwhack, Owl's Head Path
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, April 11, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes:  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Ice - Black, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Ice - Breakable Crust, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Stable), Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Monorail (Unstable), Snow - Spring Snow, Snow/Ice - Postholes, Snow/Ice - Small Patches 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: The USGS site reported the East Branch of the Pemi in Lincoln at just over 800 cubic feet per second when we crossed the third crossing (both there and back), so you can use that as a reference when reading the below. We came prepared with water shoes and a change of clothing wrapped in several plastic bags. We secured our phones in ziplocks and were prepared to get wet. We have crossed wide, fast-moving water before, so we were mentally and physically ready. None of us would cross water like this solo, but with three of us, we felt comfortable. The first crossing's usual rock-hop looked a bit sketchy to me - if you fell, you were going to land in a little white-water waterfall area - so we used the water shoes and waded calf-deep a little ways upstream. The second crossing was doable with some very careful boulder hopping. Almost went with the wade-through approach upstream for safety's sake, though. The third crossing required wading past the knees (I am nearly 5'10") through extremely fast-moving water. We found a line near the normal crossing area where we could go on a slight diagonal facing the current and away from any place where falling would mean tumbling down little waterfalls. We went one at a time, with two people on the banks ready to jump in without packs and assist if necessary. Alex is shorter than Sage and me (she is around 5'4") so the water went to her thighs at one point. All went well, no one fell in, and the boots stayed mostly dry thanks to our using water shoes. Poles were also an absolute necessity - the water will push you over if you aren't bracing yourself and keeping three points of contact at all times. Note we did not look upstream for an easier place to cross as we felt we could handle what was in front of us well enough, especially with the water shoes. So if you come to this crossing with high water and don't feel safe about it, it's worth looking upstream for a while since there might be an easier way a couple tenths of a mile up. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: See above for my description of the water crossings. This was at 800 cubic feet per second - the crossings will be easier of course when the water is lower. During snow-melt season and after heavy rains, the USGS site is your friend (it is linked in NETC at the top of the NH section).

We tried to time this hike so we would reach the crossings at their low point of the day. There is a pattern showing lately on the USGS site with the warm temps and the snowmelt but with the lack of rain. We looked at the past few days of data and took an educated guess as to when the water might be at its lowest and when it might start to rise again. That worked out.

Trails are snow-free until Lincoln Brook Trail. There, a shallow monorail exists sometimes. It is easy to avoid most of the time and we didn't use microspikes. Brutus Bushwack was 98% snow and ice-free. Owls Path above the slide is covered in snow - the depth quickly increases to two or three feet deep all the way to the summit. In warm temps, if you are not wearing snowshoes you will posthole past your knees (tons of postholes up there showing snow depth). There is a monorail which was mostly firm for us today, so we never used our snowshoes. On a warmer day, or later in the afternoon (we left that area at 1:15pm), we would have needed to use them.

Saw just one other person on the Owls Head hike (a trail runner who passed us on Brutus). Saw just two people on Lincoln Woods Trail all day (both while we were hiking out).  
Name: TrishAlexSage 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-04-12 
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.

Copyright 2009-2019, All Rights Reserved