Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Friday, June 30, 2017

Mount Cabot From Mill Brook

This morning I woke up to the sound of rain falling outside my window. I checked the weather radar and saw that the rain was moving out but there was another small colored blob of rain that would be arriving within a couple of hours. I planned on hiking to Mount Cabot (4,170') from Mill Brook. My route would take me up the Unknown Pond Trail to Unknown Pond onto the Kilkenny Ridge Trail past the Horn and up over the Bulge continuing on to the summit of Mount Cabot then return on the same trails.

This is a short drive to the trailhead for me, only takes about 15 minutes. It's a long drive down a dirt road to get to the Unknown Pond trailhead. There were no other vehicles around when I got to the trailhead. The sky was threatening rain and I was expecting it. I noticed that Mill Brook was running high and fast but there were no water crossings that I would have to deal with.

As I got started up the trail the sky was getting very dark and the forest was even darker. I heard a large crashing sound down below me along the brook and it sounded like a moose, I just kept going and never saw it. There was lots of moose poop along the entire trail. The trail was very wet and muddy from the rain last night. About a mile into the hike it started to rain. I stopped to put on my pack cover and my poncho. I continued on in the rain and the trail got very slippery. The rain stopped after another mile but the trees continued to drip making it feel like it was still raining.

I arrived at Unknown Pond with a low cloud cover. On a clear day the Horn can be seen but that was not the case on my way up today. I didn't stop long as the mosquitoes were starting to come out after the rain. I kept the poncho on as it was very wet from the dripping trees. When I got to the spur trail that leads to the summit of the Horn I decided to keep going on to Cabot as the clouds and mist were right down on the trail and I knew there would be no views.

Half way up the Bulge I took off the poncho and changed my soaking wet socks and shirt. That felt better but I knew that wouldn't last long and I would soon be wet again. I passed over the summit of the Bulge stopping only briefly for a quick pic then kept going. I arrived at my destination on the top of Mount Cabot. There was a mist blowing through the viewless summit as I walked around getting a video of the surroundings. I didn't stay long and was soon on my way back down the trail toward Unknown Pond.

It was back up over the Bulge and on to the Horn. This time when I got to the Horn it looked like it might be clearing so I started up the spur path to the summit. There are good views on the Horn when it's clear but I soon found there would be no views for me today. I turned around before reaching the summit. By the time I got back to the Kilkenny Ridge Trail I was soaked to the bone from going through the wet brush. I stripped naked from the waist down and put on my river shorts and my third pair of dry socks. Wouldn't you know it, as I was getting my shoes back on two hikers were approaching, the only two hikers that I would see during my entire hike.

I got back down to Unknown Pond and the mosquitoes were worse than before. I could now see the Horn as the clouds were lifting. I saw no reason to linger and continued on for the last 2.2 miles back to the trailhead and my car. As long as I kept moving the mosquitoes and black flies were tolerable. The sky was brightening and the temperature was warm and humid. I got back to the trailhead and the sun was shining. This seemed to bring out the white admiral butterflies, they were everywhere!

This had to be the wettest hike that I have ever been on. I was soaked from head to toe but because of the warm temps I never got cold. This was my seventh hike to Mount Cabot but first time hiking in from Mill Brook. I really enjoyed this approach and it was a nice change from my normal route of York Pond and Bunnell Notch trails. This will make a nice Fall hike!

No views today but got lots of trailside photos. Enjoy!

Mill Brook

Moose country

Unknown Pond

Wild rhododendron

A convenient bog bridge

New bog bridge


No views so I passed by the Horn

A tricky spot on the Kilkenny Trail

Not an easy under or easy over

Stopped on the way up the Bulge to change into dry socks and shirt

Blue-bead lily

On the Bulge

LOTS of moose poop along the trail

Mossy log

On the summit of Mount Cabot


Spider web just about face level

Slug enjoying the wet conditions

Water dripping off a ledge

Stripping down on the trail to change from wet to dry clothes

Returning to Unknown Pond

Clouds lifting off the Horn

Mushroom tree

Large mushroom

A nice stretch of trail

One last section of mud to cross

White admiral butterflies were everywhere

Now where did that butterfly go?

Back at the trailhead

Having Fun in the Great Outdoors!

No comments:

Post a Comment