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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Well if you are asking about shelters and campsites this late in the game this implies you may be in over your head. One of the 10 essentials that all hikers should carry is a map and now how to use it. Sure AT hikers now claim an ap is good enough and I will let them debate that with NH fish and game. You need a map with enough scale to show the blue blazed side trails in case you need a bail out. My guess is Gorham Hardware (which sells hiking supplies) will have the AMC North Country Mahoosuc map or since you are driving up from the south if you are on RT 16 you drive right by the AMC Pinkham Notch facility that has a store and a couple nice displays of Mt Washington. Its worth a stop and they definitely have maps. If you are coming up I93 then RT3 to RT 115 and then RT 2 to Gorham (past Slo-goem's and my house) its a 20 minute drive south on RT 16 to Pinkham Notch. If you go that way, just after the Wildcat ski area take the curve and look up and to the right up at Mt Washington (there is green historical marker on the other side of the road) and you will be able to the see the still large snowfields in Tuckerman's Ravine. Note my slightly dated AMC map stops right at Baldpate Shelter so it doesn't cover all the way to East B Hill road.
    Do you guys know anyone who wants to make a paid run to Grafton and shuttle me back to Gorham? I'll call the hostel tonight or trailangels, but if you're in Gorham (or close), that seems like a better deal all the way round. It looks like coming from Andover to Grafton then to to Gorham is further out of the way than going from East B Hill Road to Gorham.

    Officially there is no camping on this section except at designated shelters and tentsites. The official sites are Trident col tentsite, Gentian Pond Shelter and tentsites, Carlo Col Shelter (a short way down Carlo Col trail. Full Goose Shelter, an unnamed tent site encountered just after Mahoosuc Notch which is mentioned as a site in most trail guides, Speck Pond Shelter, and Baldpate Shelter and finally Frye Notch lean to. Note shelters and leantos are interchangeable words for the same thing. There is a water source that needs to be treated and a privy. Once you head up Mt Success past Gentian Pond the odds of finding a good place to camp other than shelters is real tough as you are on on the ridgeline surrounded by dense Spruce fir woods. Some folks camp up on the open rock ledges but if you insist stay on the rock rather than the surrounding alpine vegetation that takes decade to recover form a footprint. You will need to haul water up and if a thunderstorm comes in overnight it (happens frequently in the summer you will wish you hadnt.)
    We intend to camp in the shelters for several reasons, and now the most important is the privy! I didn't know they had them. That will be key. I don't personally have any desire to overnight 'in the open'.

    Note the Mahoosuc trail that isnt part of the AT is blazed in blue.
    Good to know, thanks.

  2. #22
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    No guarantees on the privies or the quality of them. AMC maintains the trails and shelters in this area and treat them as low priority (thus the comments about trail blazing and maintenance although they did spend bundle at Speck Pond on new shelter). MATC picks up at Grafton Notch.

  3. #23

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    You can try Bruce "Golden Waldo" Feige for a shuttle -- 504-615-9497 cell, goldenwaldo@yahoo.com -- Really nice guy. He has always proved reliable for me. He charges for gas, and you pay what you want in a tip for the shuttle ride.

  4. #24
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    That sounds like a promising lead! Do you know where he's out of, just out of curiosity?

  5. #25

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    I think he spends the summer staying someplace just south of the White Mountains, but is all over the place doing shuttles. I used him so I could do a car spot in the Gorham area a few years back.

  6. #26
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    Cool, thanks. I emailed him.

  7. #27
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    When we did the Mahoosucs several years back we used "Trail Angels" shuttle service. Not sure if he is still actively doing this but if you go to the WB homepage there's a listing of shuttle providers in the upper left page corner.

  8. #28
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    I think Bruce used to be based out of the White Birches Campground in Shelburne. Not sure where he is these days.

  9. #29

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    An AMC shuttle driver moonlights after hours doing private shuttles. At least he was last year. Bill at mtnmediav@gmail.com
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  10. #30
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    Thanks, gang. Bruce has been booked for us. All good!

  11. #31
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    Also, huge thanks again for the intel. We have adjusted the itinerary to Gorham to Grafton instead of East B Hill Road. Given the uncertainty of the weather and not having been in this section before, we thought it much more prudent to just cruise the 5 miles a day and not stretch it.

    Thanks!

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by dontezuma View Post
    Also, huge thanks again for the intel. We have adjusted the itinerary to Gorham to Grafton instead of East B Hill Road. Given the uncertainty of the weather and not having been in this section before, we thought it much more prudent to just cruise the 5 miles a day and not stretch it.
    Glad to hear the plan all came together for you. It is a wonderful section of trail. If the weather is any good, be sure to go over to the Old Speck summit, climb up the fire tower, an look back to the west to take in the view of the Mahoosuc Range. You and your family will feel a real sense of accomplishment.

    If you move faster than planned, you can always finish with a non-AT day hike in the area - lots of good stuff.

    Let us know how it goes.

  13. #33
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    I have a copy of the Maine Forest Service Map from 1921 that was drawn for the fire tower on Mt Speck. Its based on the 1921 USGS map but all the wiring is circular around the center of the map. On the edge is a hand drawn profile of the 360 degrees around the map showing all the mountains and ridges visible to the horizon. Each prominent point is labeled and there are symbols for other fire towers. Due to Mt Speck's location there are Canadian fire towers, Maine fire towers and NH fire towers. Using the "Osbourne Fire Finder" mounted on the sighting table, tower operators could aim at a possible fire and the forest service could triangulate the location of the fire. Someday I need to get it scanned but its too big for my scanner.

    Looks like the OP has a good travel day and a good day Thursday and Friday, given where they are coming from the humidity shouldn't be an issue. I do wonder where they plan to camp the first night as the addition of the non AT portion of the Mahoosuc trail and their low mileage knocks them out of synch, my guess is Trident Col tentsite. That gives them a short day to Gentian the next day or a long day for Carlo Col. Hopefully the bought a map so can see spots where the terrain many be tent friendly. I would probably push past Trident Col the first day to that nice site on the shore of Dream Lake or the woods just past it on the side trail and then head to Carlo the next night. The next day skip Full Goose Shelter and go through the notch in the afternoon then camp at the big campsite at the base of Mahoosuc Arm. That gets them out at Grafton Notch the next day. If they made the call from Speck they could probably arrange for pickup at the notch that night and stay in a hostel in Andover and then do a longer 9 mile slackpack back to the van in the notch on the last day. Too bad Frye Brook (the old AT) is no longer blazed as it would make a shorter day and they get to see the Cataracts.

  14. #34

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    I never noticed a campsite at Dream Lake, but then I never looked for one. All I remember is dense woods and no easy way to get a good view of the pond. Maybe a little ways down the Peabody Creek trail along the south side of the lake. Not a legal site though and may not be big enough for a family of 4. I bet it's pretty boggy and buggy right now too.

    Technically, the site north of the notch is also not legal, but is heavily used. In fact, I've used it myself several times.

    Friday might be okay, Saturday their calling for afternoon thunderstorms and then there is a good chance of rain all of next week, mostly in the afternoon.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  15. #35
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    Thee Dream Lake spot is right on the pond with great view up the lake its just short walk from the junction with Dryad Col trail . Definitely nothing the NPS or AMC would build these days as its right off the Dryad Falls trail. There is only room from two small tents. There are some spots in the woods heading south on Dryad Falls trail but no view of the lake. There are also potential spots back on Peabody Brook Trail on the other end of the lake near the new Bald Cap trail junction. One caveat is the mosquitos would be nasty as its quite wet in that generally area.

    The site north of the notch is not official but like you said its used quite heavily, its an old logging camp site. Just down the slope is even larger area near the brook.

  16. #36

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    Well, I got curious and hiked up to Dream Lake via the Peabody Creek trail. Starts off easy enough but turns into a goat path when it hits the steep part. I brought my brushing tools and cleaned up a couple of spots which were just ridiculous. But the Hobble bush has taken over whole sections of the trail and that stuff takes a long time to cut back. Just had to push through those places.

    Bugs on the whole weren't too bad, but the mosquitos chewed me up pretty good down low. Black flies were minimal, so maybe we're past their peak. On only inhaled 2 bugs today.

    Anyway, found the far campsite on the Peabody brook trail. It's a good quarter mile plus from the Dyad trail junction and a few minute walk past the Bald Cap trail junction, most of the way on bog bridges. The campsite is straight ahead, just before the trail takes a sharp right and starts steeply down hill next to the brook. Big enough for 2 tents and has a fire ring which I would recommend not using without a lot of prep.
    SAM_4706.JPG

    Below is the site on the lake. Tight squeeze for two tents and if it rains there would be a river running down the embankment into your tent. I obscured the fire scar someone made. There could be loons nesting in the lake so be careful not to disturb them. Be quiet and don't trash around if you camp there. It looks like this site gets minimal use. Finding a good place to poop near-by could be a problem, always an issue next to a lake, which does supply water to homes down hill.
    SAM_4709.JPG
    Finally, here's the view from the lake
    SAM_4710.JPG
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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