Winter Hiking/Snowshoeing Clinic
Hiking/Walk DATE: 03/18/2017 - 03/18/2017
Trip/Event Location: Waterville Valley, NH
Trip Leader(s): Gandalf
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate
This workshop session is intended for individuals with limited experience in the New England outdoors who would like to start winter activities safely! Our focus is on below treeline travel...above... Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:
Take I-93 and use Exit 28. At the end of the ramp take right onto Rte 49 East for 3.5 miles and take a left on Burbank Hill Road.
During this 3.5 miles, you'll pass a traffic light where there is a dam on your right, then pass a White Mountain National Forest campground and then see a restaurant for sale on your left. About a mile after the restaurant, you'll see Burbank Hill Road on the left (Goose Hollow Campground sign). If you cross the Mad River on the bridge, you just missed the left turn.
Take a left onto steep Burbank Hill Road and you’ll quickly reach the top of the hill where you take your first right onto Upper Mad River Road (Hiking Sign). The road will soon turn into gravel, you'll pass two apartments on your right and then a house. My property begins right after this house and after about 200 yards you’ll see a mailbox with "676" which is our house. The house is not very visible from the road. Our address is 676 Upper Mad River Road, Thornton, NH 03285.
PARK AT THE TOP OF THE DRIVEWAY. DO NOT DRIVE DOWN TO THE HOUSE.
If you cannot find the house, call us at 603-726-7558.
Jon and I had a great time hosting wonderful guys at the house for our winter snowshoeing clinic, then breaking trail at Atwood Pond followed by a great grilled chicken dinner with pasta cooked up by Jon!
The clinic started indoors discussing how to plan for a winter hike and then moved on reviewing what to take. We ended the indoor portion with watching a few short YouTube videos reinforcing what he had discussed. Jon cooked up some potato nachos to snack on as we watched the videos. We were now prepared winter hikers and lookin’ good!
We then geared up, grabbed our snowshoes, and drove to the nearby Smarts Brook Trailhead. It was a beautiful day with blue skies, plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the 30’s. We began on Smart's Brook Trail for a short distance and then snowshoed on the Tri-Town Trail for about .5 mile at an easy grade upwards until we reached a clearing that is the junction of Atwood Pond Trail. This is an abandoned trail so there is not any signage to identify it.
At this point there are two trails that diverge to the right. We take the left-handed branch of Atwood Pond Trail. We recently had 18 inches of snow so we took turns breaking trail. The clinic paid off as remained prepared and were still lookin’ good!
The trail meanders over easy terrain. After about .05 mile Luis was unable to continue so he waited for us on a sunny log as we continued on our journey. There were lots of deer tracks in the snow so they must be bedding nearby. About .05 mile after we left Luis we reached remote Atwood Pond to enjoy the warm sunshine below this huge ledge and the view.
There was a beaver lodge so we got closer to check it out. We then headed back, picked up Luis and snowshoed back to the truck. Luis stayed at the truck, while the rest of us checked out the ice flows on the Smart’s River Gorge. We all agreed, today we were not only prepared winter hikers, but more importantly, we were lookin’ good doing it!
Back at the house we enjoyed snacks followed a great grilled lemon chicken dinner with pasta, broccoli and salad!
Trip Report: Mike
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danf291 Mar 19, 2017 at 11:56 AM
Thanks for another great weekend, guys.