Project Leader: Alice Webber
Project Dates: May 23, 2011 - August 17, 2011
Hitch 1 Report
Saco Ranger District
6/14/2011 – 6/21/2011
Miles Surveyed: 15
Service Hours: 80
Prepared by Alice Webber
This hitch marked the SCA TrACS Team’s start to their field work in the White Mountain National Forest, NH. After a week of USFS TrACS Training in Mt. Tabor VT, the team met with agency contacts Jana Johnson and Cristin Bailey of the Saco Ranger District to organize a schedule, review safety protocols, and become better acquainted with the Forest and our Forest Service Partners. The team will be spending their first seven weeks of service in the Saco District of the WMNF.
Tuesday, June 14: Bald Land Trail:
The first day of TrACS field work began on the Bald Land Trail, accompanied by guest TrACers Jana and Bailey. The team surveyed the entire length of Bald Land Trail, 2.1 miles, beginning at Black Mountain Rd. and ending at East Branch Rd. The Trail-Class 3 trail was a gradual grade through numerous wet sections, and provided plenty of opportunities for the team to begin exploring the TrACS data dictionary and applying possible solutions.
Wednesday, June 15: Davis Path:
The second day of TrACS was the first day of surveying Davis Path; a 14 mile TC2 trail to Mt. Washington beginning at JCT rte.302 Bartlett, and ending at the JCT with Crawford Path. Bailey joined the team on the trail to assist in recognizing trail structures, problems and solutions that are common place in the WMNF trail system. The team surveyed 1.4 miles of Davis Path, then returned to the office to set up a database for TrACS photos and to create a spreadsheet to potentially streamline TrACS data entry.
Thursday, June 16: Davis Path & Davis Path Spur A:
Day two on Davis Path began at 1.4 miles and ended at 3.7 miles, the JCT of Mt. Parker Trail and Resolution Shelter, and included the .2 miles of Spur A up to Mt. Crawford; a total of 2.5 miles. The team was glad to find out that the new excel sheet they created was successful at organizing the data and saving time throughout the day. Also, the beautiful weather and views atop Mt. Crawford made for quite the memorable lunch break.
Friday, June 17: All Employees Meeting:
Thanks to the invitation extended from the Forest Service, the TrACS team had the opportunity to attend the WMNF All Employee Meeting at the Russell-Colbath Homestead Site. The day was spent partaking in lectures, outreach, eating delicious food, and celebrating those who have gained recognition for their work and efforts in the WMNF Forest Service. It was a wonderful chance for the team to meet people from all sects of the FS and be amongst a mass of peoples all working towards the similar goal of Service.
Saturday, June 18: Davis Path & Davis Path Spur B:
Accompanied by a bit of weather, the team began their third day 3.7 miles in and surveyed another 2.3 miles north on Davis Path. Also, they completed TrACing the .2 miles of Spur B up to the summit of Stairs Mountain. This is the last day-trip on Davis Path, and the team will continue surveying Davis Path on future hitches relocating their starting point to a backcountry campsite.
Sunday, June 19: East Branch Trail:
The team began surveying the East Branch Trail at the cul de sac of FS Rd. 38, and completed the north 4.1 miles; the southern 3.5 miles are being decommissioned. It was a gradual grade with very damp areas and the team began exploring practical solutions with the consideration of what materials are at hand. The trail end was at the JCT of Wild River Trail.
Monday, June 20: Rocky Branch Trail:
The rt. 16 trailhead marked the starting point to the ascent up Rocky Branch Trail. The first 2 miles of TC3 rated trail consisted of a gradual climb and in generally good condition. When the trail enters the Dry River Wilderness, however, it becomes a TC2 trail and majority of the climb is up and down a running streambed. The team surveyed a total of 3.5 miles of Rocky Branch, ending .25 miles from Rocky Branch Shelter #2. The remainder of the trail will be surveyed with a backcountry site as our home base in future hitches.
Tuesday, June 21: Old Paugus Trail:
The final day of the hitch took the TrACS team south to the Sandwich Range Wilderness to survey Old Paugus Trail. Beginning at the JCT of Bolles Trail, the team completed the 2.8 mile survey up to the southern slope of Mt. Paugus, ending at the JCT of Lawrence Trail. The Old Paugus trail, though a steep ascent for the first 1.5 miles, was in solid condition with minimal drainage issues. After a scramble up a section of a ravine, the trail begins to wind through a 200-400’ section with hazardous hang-ups and sloughing trail; the team suggested the site to be a section of high severity. After the descent, the team headed back to camp to upload and organize data, clean gear, and complete the various end of hitch duties.