greatnorthwoods.org - COHOS TREKKER April 18, 1999 Update
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TO: Cohos Trail Board Members and Supporters
FROM: Kim Nilsen
RE: Trail Marking, Service Day, Meeting
1. TRAIL MARKING
The three sections of The Cohos Trail, which will see the majority of
the work on the In-Service Day on May 7th, have been thoroughly flagged
now. There should be no trouble finding the areas to work in and
following them through. All of the sections may be accessed from one
central starting point -- the parking lot at Christine Lake (up the
Christine Lake Road from Percy hamlet about two miles east of Stark
village on the Northside Road).
The three sections are as follows:
OLD PERCY SUMMER CLUB TRAIL
By walking uphill on good trail towards a swale between Victor Head and
Bald Mt., the different parts of the work project can be accessed. In
2/5ths of a mile, a good skimobile trail exits left a mile to the Jimmy
Cole Road. Directly across the woods road and the junction of trail,
there is a CT sign and red surveyors tape marking the Old Percy Summer
Club Trail. This trail heads north uphill on good trail. In 1/4 mile the
trail becomes overgrown but it is now well marked. There is a small
Cohos Trail sign in a tree, as well. (If you turned right uphill, you
could walk 1/4 mile uphill to the top of Victor Head and the sheer
cliffs on the south side of the little peak.
The Old Percy Summer Club trail follows an old old logging road
until it ends. Then the trail strikes off to the right through a glacier
erratic field, crosses the Jimmy Cole Brook and rises for a half a mile
up into the saddle between South and North Percy Peaks. At the top of
the old trail, there is a long exposed granite rib. The trail climbs up
the rib and follows it right into the saddle. The trail on top of the
rib is already finished. There are some restricted views from it.
The Old Percy Summer Club Trail needs lots of brushing out on the
old logging road and in some tight spruce sections up higher. But quite
a bit of the trail runs through open hardwood forest. Most of the trail
is dry underfoot.
BALD MT. WEST TRAIL
Both the Bald Mt. West Trail and the all new Rowell Brook Link Trail can
be accessed from the same point. While one crew will turn left to the
Old Percy Summer Club Trail, other crews will walk straight ahead. They
will reach Rowell Brook shortly where there is an old camp across a
rotted bridge. There is a fork here. Turn right uphill at the fork (sign
and flags) and walk uphill. In a minute you cross into Nash Stream
Forest and continue walking up a ridge paralleling Rowell Brook. There
is no need to clean out the ice damage here, as this is NOT part of the
In half a mile or so from the old camp the trail levels out in an
old logging yard that is fast filling in with clumps of trees. This is
the staging area for both the Bald Mt. West Trail and the new Rowell
Brook Link Trail. The trails are very well marked here.
The Bald Mt. West Trail is ahead and to the right and climbs very
gradually uphill. The other trail drops downhill hard to the left. The
Bald Mt. West Trail follows an old logging road a bit, then crosses 100
feet of forest to yet another logging road that takes you to the notch
between Bald Mt. and Long Mt. In the lower sections there is a lot of
ditching work that needs to be done. Water can be easily channeled off
the trail in most places, but there is a lot of it to be done with
shovels and perhaps a hoe or two.
In the higher areas, there is considerable ice damage. Most of the
limbs and tops can be carried off the trail without use of tools. The
rest of the work can be done with loppers and bows saws. On this entire
trail there are no trees down larger than 5 inches in diameter. So hand
tools probably can get the vast majority of the work done. Trees that
can’t or shouldn’t be tackled should wait for the hired chainsaw crew to
In the very worst wet area or two, a corduroy road could be built
(laying 3 to 4-foot logs side by side) which will work until a more
permanent solution can be worked out.
ROWELL BROOK LINK TRAIL
This all new trail is now very well marked with red surveyor tape. I
also did some very preliminary branch snipping to ease the way through.
It is accessed from the old log yard area where the Bald Mt. West Trail
crew starts from, as well. The trail is at the very beginning of the
clearing and drops down (left) to yet another old old logging road the
follows the brook downhill. Walk downhill until there is a flagged
crossing. Here there will need to be a log bridge built, either now or
in the near future. The crossing here would make a logical spot for a
bridge, I think.
This trail crosses Rowell Brook, and descends downhill a short
distance on a very obscure woods road, then turns obliquely right and
enters the woods, climbing over a low ridge. The trail levels out and
runs westward towards Victor Head (which can’t be seen at all) on a
wavey straight line. Eventually it dips down to the west branch of
Rowell Brook, crosses it (another bridge may be needed here), and runs
downhill again to an old log yard. At the downhill end of the old yard,
the trail again turns obliquely west and crosses a perfectly flat
plateau for 2/5ths of a mile. Then the woods begin to “lighten” with
light reflected off the valley and waters where Christine Lake lies.
Suddenly the trail pops out of the flat onto an old logging road (which
actually descends half a mile to the old camp you saw on the way in).
But turn 90-degrees right onto the old way and walk north on level to
slightly rising ground out to the Jimmy Cole Road.
To returned to the Christine Lake Parking Lot, you can do one of
two things. You can retrace your steps to where you came from, or you
can turn downhill on the Jimmy Cole Road and walk a long half mile to
the start of the Old Percy Summer Club Trail where one of the other
crews is working. At the 4-way junction, turn hard left downhill and
walk out a mile to the original trail you walked in on. Then turn right
and walk out to Christine Lake.
In-Service Day Folks -- let me know when you would like to meet me at
Christine Lake parking lot. I’ll be there with some hand tools --
several bow saws, several loppers and clippers, one ax (for me) and two
shovels. Cohos Trail Volunteers are also welcome to put in a day’s work,
as well. David Dernbach and his crews are expert trail builders, so
we’ll take our ques from them.
Do you need soft drinks? Chips? What?
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
We will hold a board of directors meeting on Saturday evening at 7:30 in
Lancaster, either at the old Court House on Main Street or at the Col.
Town Hall. I will let you know in a week just where it will be. Board
Member John Lane is getting the facility for us to use.
Someone put up a sign in Bald Mt. Notch which says “Steve’s Tree 1992.”
It’s a new sign. I don’t have a clue who put it up on the fir tree
Stonyfield Yogurt turned down a sponsorship offer.
Mead Paper will renew the land use agreement for 1999.
We will know in about two or three days if we got a $10,000 Connecticut
River Joint Commission Grant. I’ve been told there is a good chance we
will receive it.
That's it for now. I'll sign off and dry my wet feet.
Copyright 1999 by Ed Sanders.