Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Scudder Trail to Mount Ingalls

After dealing with heat, storms and power outages for the past couple of days I decided to go for a short hike today and then get back home to do some work around the house. I did learn a lesson, never assume a short hike will be quick and easy.

 Reaching for the can of Off

 Overgrown trail

 More trailbreaking

While this hike was not a difficult climb the first mile proved to be interesting and intense. This first part of the trail is an overgrown logging road that gets very little use. I was soaked to the bone from the waist down from breaking a trail through wet brush and lots of mud. The first order of business when I get home is to waterproof my hiking boots...after they dry out.

 Welcome sight - a clear trail

 Mount Cabot (the other one) trail junction

There were lots of wildflowers in this overgrown brush along with an abundance of mosquitoes and black flies. The Off went on before I started my hike. This kept them at bay for a little while but I would be dousing myself two more times on this hike.

It was a slow slog until I reached the Mount Cabot trail junction. The trail in the woods from here was a relief after the soaking wet trail I just broke through. Past this junction there are some ledges that offer the first views toward the Androscoggin valley and the northern Presidentials beyond.

Moving along this trail I was glad to see well-marked blazes. The trails in this area are not heavily used and they are not beaten down paths. Many times I looked for a blaze to let me know I was still on the trail.

 Drying out my feet

There were a couple of times that I thought I might have reached the summit having come into a clearing on ledges only to see a blaze or small cairn leading back into the woods. After turning into the woods from some ledges a third time there was a summit sign posted on a pine tree. There was no scenic vista from this summit. I took a picture and followed the trail down to a small pond.

Summit without a view

As I approached this pond there was a sign with the name "RAYS POND". This was a very small pond with a couple of frogs croaking but no Ray. I took a couple of photos and started my return trip.

It took me two hours to reach the pond and the descent was one and one-half hours. I knew what lay ahead of me and sure enough the hike along the last mile soaked me again. There was a pair of dry socks waiting for me at the end of the trail.

This was a very solitary hike today. Except for one walker with her dog when I started my hike there was nobody else on this trail and I had the whole mountain to myself.

 Well blazed

There has been a lot of work on the trails around Shelburne, NH. The Shelburne Trails Club (STC) has done an outstanding job of resurrecting and maintaining trails that had become obsolete. These trails now have nice new signs and are clearly marked with blazes. For those looking for a different area to visit with interesting trails, scenic vistas, remote ponds, waterfalls and no crowds the Shelburne Trails may be just the place to plan your next hike.

Wildflowers and other growing things seen on the trail today.

View from Scudder Trail on Mount Ingalls

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

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