Monday, September 8, 2014

The Weeks (NH) and Goose Eye (Maine) NEHH Sept 7&8 2014


Sunday, Sept 7, 2014: The three Weeks. North (3901’) and South Weeks (3885’) are on the NEHH list . Middle Weeks (3684’) is not. (12.1 miles, 3918’ El gain, 7:59 Book time, my time: 8:40) .
I can’t imagine doing this in and back hike for any reason other than to check peaks off a list. This is a fairly long and boring hike with absolutely no mountain views. Occasionally you get a few open spots with sunlight from above but mostly it’s closed in forest with many ferns changing over the trail “car wash”and slippery moss covered rocks. Not even any good scrambles to the peaks to make it interesting. Strangely there were many switchbacks that seemed unneeded so that there was never any real steepness. Maybe the trail designer was trying to make it easier for his family. None of the peaks have any signs or cairns so that without a GPS I probably wouldn’t even know exactly where the “peaks”were. To break the monotony on the way back up to North Weeks, I did a short bushwhack straight up the fall line to cut off one really long unneeded switch back. Some practice for my upcoming NEHH peaks without full trails that require a bushwack. The hike starts on York Pond trail which shares the same trailhead inside the Berlin fish hatchery as Brunnell Notch trail which goes to Mt Cabot. It then picks up Kilkenney Ridge trail (left to the Weeks, right to Cabot). Kilkenney Ridge trail goes right over the peaks of the 3 Weeks then continues south to Mt Waumbek. I almost picked up S. Weeks when I did Waumbek (winter of 2012?), but the snow got too deep and soft on the partially broken in trail.
I finished this hike fairly early (for me) so I headed over to Gorham for diner at Mr. Pizza. Planned to do another hike in this area the next day and had considered several possibilities of places to sleep, including some camp grounds and hostels ,but in the end I opted to sleep at the trailhead of my next hike to Goose Eye Mt.

Monday, Sept 8, 2014 Goose Eye Mt (Maine 3870’). (7.5 miles, 2778’ El gain, 5:12 Book time, My time: 7:00) Though in Maine, the trailhead is actually in New Hampshire not very far from Berlin NH a bit North of Gorham. This turned out to be my favorite hike of the last four I had done. To get to the trailhead requires a 7-8 mile drive down a bumpy dirt road (Success Pond Rd). The road isn’t so bad that you need 4-wheel drive or particularly high clearance, but it will shake you up and probably could loosen up some bolted connections. I didn’t discover it until half back down this road, but it’s better to take it faster (15-20 mph) than too slow. The Goose Eye trail head is just off an old logging road off of Success Pond Rd. I parked off the road and spent the night sleeping in my back cab. I woke later than I wanted to but had a fairly good rest in between these hikes. While making breakfast (coffee and oatmeal) beside of my truck I noticed a set of moose prints just in front of my truck (see pics). I know they were from the night before because they were on top of the tire tracks from my truck. I wish I had been awake to see him. I was planning on doing an in and out to Goose Eye but ended up doing a loop that included Mt. Carlo (not on any of my lists) and part of the AT (Appalachian Trail) then down Carlo trail. The last 200-300 ft up to Goose Eye is steep and a fairly difficult scramble. Steep enough to persuade me to do the loop rather than the shorter hike back down. I like a good scramble going up but coming down is far more dangerous. The 360 degree views from the clear top of Goose were great on this clear (almost fall) day. The AT on to Mt Carlo is interesting with the longest log ladder I’ve seen so far, some staple ladder rungs into some of the steeper boulders, and even some chiseled out foot steps into some of the boulders - the AMC volunteers takes care of their AT hikers. This was a great loop hike and I would recommend it to anyone that visits this area (assuming you like some scrambling).

PICTURES: (I will weed out later)
Start of Hike

Lots of wet ferns

sponge like moss on a stump

Guess this is N.Weeks - no markers but lat/lon are right


lots of recent trail work

 South Weeks, agian no distict peak or markers

lots of signs of moose but as always no sightings.

broke for lunch back at N. Weeks

1 easy strea crossing near trailhead

 cement dam I think this is weerre the water is controlled for the Berlin fish hatchery
Back at trailhead ~ 3:30 pm

The gate to the fish hatchery is normally only open 8am -4pm. If you come early or plane to leave late you have to call them and make arrangements (or know the trick ;) )

Hint of the trick ;)


Goose Eye Sept 8 2014:


Drove to Berlin Walmart for some supplies then dinner at Mr Pizza in Gorham then drove to the trailhead for Goose Eye Mt for my next days hike ~8 mile dirt road drive ( Success Pond Rd)
trail head sign is partially hidden

I parked just off success pond rd on the side road to the trailhead this is the next morning.

Profile of Goose Eye The bulge is the last steep scramble up.

Steps actually chiseled into a not so steep section of the AT


My faviorite Chile at ??? diner on exit 20 of 93 (25% off for Vets)

No comments:

Post a Comment