Project Leader: Alice Webber
Project Dates: May 23, 2011 - August 17, 2011
Email: AWebber@thesca.org 
Final Report 
Download our Final Report here!
Weeks Act Celebration
On July 29, 2011 the White Mountain TrACS team participated in the centennial celebration of the Weeks Act. The team helped set up and take down portions of the festival and explored the numerous activities that took place during the day. The Weeks Act gave birth to all of the eastern national forests including the White Mountain National Forest in 1911, and 2011 marked the 100th anniversary of the act. The celebration took place in a large open field at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road.
To commemorate this important anniversary numerous organizations/groups joined forces to celebrate the Weeks Act Centennial. A few of the organizations that had booths were as follows: The SCA, Appalachian Mountain Club, NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, Weeks State Park Association, and the White Mountain National Forest. In addition, there were numerous museums and historical societies, conservation and environmental organizations, various businesses, schools, camps, youth groups and community clubs, as well as artists and artist groups that were present at the festival as well. The festival had lots of activities that took place. Over the duration of the day there were ongoing interpretive, educational events and field trips being put on by the Rangers. There were trail construction/woodwork demos being put on by the AMC and UNH, and there were Q/A sessions with historians, conservationists, travel agencies and others who have helped to shape the history and culture of the White Mountain region.
A brief history of this important day began with the act being signed into law by President William Taft. The Weeks Act, named after Massachusetts Congressman John Weeks, would allow the federal government to purchase private land in order to protect the headwaters of rivers/ watersheds in the eastern United States. The Weeks Act appropriated $9 million to purchase 6 million acres of land in the eastern United States. The Weeks Act has been one of the most successful pieces of conservation legislation in U.S. history. To this day there are around 20 million acres of forestland that have been protected by the Weeks Act. This protected land provides pristine habitats for hundreds of plants and animals, recreation space for millions of visitors each year, and economic opportunities for numerous local communities around the area. This law has allowed the eastern forests to return to the United States after almost being wiped off the face of the planet in the early 1900’s!
Hitch 6 Report
Androscoggin Ranger District
8/8/2011 – 8/16/2011
Miles Surveyed: 9
Service Hours: 80
Prepared by Carson Gorecki
Monday August 8: Great Gulf Trail
To kick of the final hitch of the season, the TrACS Team tackled Great Gulf with the goal of finishing the remaining 1.9 miles. The forecast showed rain, but this did not deter anyone as they motored up the Mt. Washington Auto Road. The Team strategically chose the Chandler Brook Trail as the quickest and most direct route to the starting point. They, along with USFS Ranger Jake Lubera from the Androscoggin, quickly discovered that direct was an accurate description, as were slippery, treacherous, and rocky. After surviving that brief misadventure, they began to explain the TrACing methods and philosophy with Jake, the reason he tagged along. The trip in had taken long enough where Jake was unfortunately unable to witness any TrACing in action, but he left with a better understanding than he began with, as did the team. From there they commenced surveying. The trail itself is beautiful and surely a fun hike, but the surveying was difficult at times. As ususal, this only hardened the Team’s determination to finish the trail strongly. And that they did, heroically climbing through the water and over the boulders out of the Gulf. From there they made the short hike to the summit of Mt. Washington where they secured a ride back to the truck courtesy of the good people at the Mt. Washington Auto Road. All in all it was a long day and a difficult section of trail to survey, yet the Team persevered and conquered.
Tuesday August 9: Osgood Trail
After drying out a bit, the Team regrouped and started the 3.8 mile Osgood Trail. This trail began at a junction with the Great Gulf Trail (before it gets steep) and ends at the Madison hut, traversing the Madison summit en route. Much of the trail coincides with the Appalachian Trail. As an added bit of excitement, a friend from Bartlett decided to join us and see what TrACing is all about. Janet Gorman who spent the summer volunteering for the Forest Service, had some free time and luckily chose to spend it with the Team. They were more than glad to have her. Despite the occasional drizzle, the Team was productive and finished 2.4 miles of trail, finishing just above treeline and in sight of the summit. It was a very solid day.
Wednesday August 10: Osgood Trail
Today was day number two on Osgood Trail. Matt was feeling under the weather, but Janet was able to join the Team for a second day of surveying. Having her along again made the day immensely easier and enjoyable. She handled the measuring wheel like a seasoned professional. The Team surveyed the remaining 1.4 miles of the trail, appreciating the brief pocket of sun on the summit of Madison. They also appreciated some brownies and coffee inside the Madison Hut before the hike down. The round trip hike was one of the longer ones of the season at 11.2, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the smiling faces after finishing. Another trail is in the books for the TrACS squad.
Thursday August 11: Saco Data and SCA Appreciation Pizza Party.
After completing the Osgood Trail, the Team received a bit of a physical respite while they compiled all of the data collected on the Saco District Trails. It was a fun experience to relive moments on the trails and see just how much was actually collected. It was an impressive amount. In the afternoon the squad traveled to the Ranger Station to partake in a Thank You Pizza Party held by the Forest Service. Other SCA Crews were there, as well as many friends from the Forest Service. It was a very enjoyable occasion and the pizza wasn’t bad either. After the feast, the Team delivered their stack of paper to Bailey for eventually entry into the Forest Service database. We wished her luck and said our goodbyes and thank yous to all of our friends and contacts at the Saco agency.
Friday August 12: Bunnell Notch
This was the very last day of surveying for the Team this summer. Bunnell Notch, a trail located in the Kilkenny Range, was added by Jake earlier in the week and listed as a priority. The Team tackled the 3.3 mile trail with gusto. Before they knew it, it was all over. The trail itself was very well maintained and the Team made quick work of it, their accrued experience in full force. Just like that, the Team had finished their last trail and a season’s worth of work. Afterward, there wasn’t much left to do, but reminisce a job well done.
Monday August 13: Cleaning and Inventory
After having a couple days off to complete anything on their “White Mountains Bucket List”, the Team reconvened to take care of the task of cleaning and counting all of the gear. It is at these times that one truly realizes how much stuff we have. Due to unexpected personal circumstances, Alice was not able to make it to work today, and the day’s work was undoubtedly trusted in the hands of team champions, Carson and Matt. The Team made efficient work of all that had to be done and even gave Bartlett a thorough scouring. It was the least the Team could do as a way to thank Chris Costello and the Forest Service for having us.
Tuesday August 14: Andro Data and Administrative Odds and Ends
Today was the Team’s last day of work for the season! It all went by so quickly that before any of the Team knew it we were going to be on our respective ways. The morning was taken up by the finishing up of the Data collected on the Androscoggin Trails. They then delivered the completed and neatly organized collection to the Ranger Station. With that taken care of, the Team celebrated by having their last dinner out on the town, enjoying some delicious pizza. The day was then wrapped up by taking care of the last of the Americorps and SCA exit paperwork. It was a bit of an anticlimactic way to end the last hitch and the season, but it had to be done.
Wednesday August 15: Travel Day
Today the Team said all of their goodbyes. It was a sad occasion, but also exciting as all of the members were heading off on new adventures. It was a very solid summer. One in which a lot was learned and experienced. I think I speak for everyone in the Team when I say that we all grew as people and hiked hundreds of miles. All in all it was a very productive and unforgettable summer.
Hitch 5 Report
Saco and Androscoggin Ranger Districts
7/25/2011 – 8/2/2011
Miles Surveyed: 17.6
Service Hours: 80
Prepared by Carson Gorecki
The SCA TrACS team’s fifth hitch in the White Mountains was highlighted by the completion of Davis Path (longest trail of the season) during a backcountry expedition, the battle against winds on Boott Spur Trail, the enjoyment of a centennial celebration, and a two-man excursion into the Great Gulf Wilderness. All in all, it was an epic nine days and a lot was accomplished.
Monday July 25, 2011: Davis Path
The TrACS squad started the hitch of with a bang as they headed into the Presidential Dry River Wilderness to complete the 14.4 mile Davis Path. With 9 miles remaining to be surveyed and 3 TrACing days to do it, they had their work cut out for them. Today was taken up by the summiting of Mt. Washington (by automobile) and the 4 mile hike down Davis path to our campsite at the junction with Isolation Trail (East). We set up base camp and rested up for what would prove to be three intense days of TrACing.
Tuesday July 26, 2011: Davis Path
Waking up early and taking the day by the horns, the TrACS team began their survey of Davis Path. To do so, they first had to hike the 5 miles south to the point where they had left off more than a month earlier, when they had started surveying the trail. From there it was a magnificent display of TrACing skills as the crew set their season record for miles surveyed at 4.3. A highlight was the completion of Spur C, a quick trail up to the summit of Mt. Davis. At the top they were given a taste of what we had accomplished so far and it was inspiring to be sure.
Wednesday July 27, 2011: Davis Path
The terrific progress of the previous day was not to be matched on this day. The weather turned against the Team and just as they began surveying the rain started to fall. They, however, soldiered on, summiting Mt. Isolation (Spur D). This time there was no view at the top. In fact there was no view anywhere as the clouds and fog severely limited visibility. After battling with the rain all morning, the Team decided to take a break to see if the weather would change in their favor. The afternoon provided slightly better prospects and the surveying continued, despite some grappling with soggy paper and cold unresponsive hands. All in all it was a very productive day. The team TrACed 2.9 miles from where they had left off Monday all the way up to the junction with Glen Boulder Trail above tree line. In the evening they had only to focus on staying warm and dry.
Thursday July 28, 2011: Davis Path
The team woke up bright and early on Thursday so that they could pack up base camp and make the hike back to Mt. Washington, TrACing the final 1.8 miles along the way. On the way up the team ran into a familiar face. Jarrod Ball, SCA Corps Trails Program Director from the Boise office, came out to see for himself what this TrACS business was all about. He joined us for the triumphant completion of Davis Path, even driving the wheel for a bit. The TrACS squad finished the day off by summiting Mt. Washington via Crawford Path. The weather was gorgeous and by all estimations a great end to a successful last backcountry trip and it was great to have Jarrod along for the experience. A strenuous backcountry adventure as such could only be celebrating in one measure: pizza.
Friday July 29, 2011: Weeks Act Centennial Celebration
Friday provided a unique experience for the TrACers. The Forest Service and myriad partners put on a party to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Weeks Act, the piece of legislation that created the White Mountain National Forest and many others. It was a festive occasion that showcased all-things forest. Everything from wood skills exhibitions to wildlife biology was represented under the tents at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. The TrACS squad volunteered to help out with the rigging demonstration put on by Jed Talbot and his trail company Off The Beaten Path, as well as setting up and taking down after the celebration. It was a great learning experience for the Team as there were interesting and knowledgeable people everywhere willing to share. There were not any miles surveyed on this Friday, but there were plenty learned and new friends made.
Saturday July 30, 2011: Boott Spur Trail
Saturday meant back to TrACing and back to the trails for the squad. The trail for this day was Boott Spur, a steep alternative to the popular Tuckerman Ravine Trail. It was great to get back out there and the team felt reenergized enough to take the entire 2.9 mile trail on in one day. Once above tree line the wind became fierce and attempted (unsuccessfully) to halt the Team’s progress. It was a great accomplishment and fitting way to start off the second half of the hitch.
Sunday July 31, 2011: Great Gulf Trail
With Boott Spur finished in one day, the team turned to some administrative tasks in the morning before beginning work on the 7.5 Great Gulf Trail. Despite starting in the early afternoon, the TrACers still managed to survey 1.3 miles, a sizeable section of trail.
Monday August 1, 2011: Great Gulf Trail
The next two days presented a special opportunity for Matt and Carson to work a two-man TrACS crew on the Great Gulf Trail as Alice was away to take care of some administrative tasks. On Monday, Matt and Carson continued where the Team left off and set off to a fast start. The two-man crew worked well and the boys surveyed 3.2 miles more of Great Gulf. With that, the nicest parts of the trail were completed and the grade began to increase noticeably as the trail continued to follow the river up the ravine. It was a long, but gratifying day.
Tuesday August 2, 2011: Great Gulf Trail
Last day of hitch #5. Today was day number 2 of Matt and Carson on the Great Gulf Trail. They picked up where they left off, hiking in the 4.5 miles just to start. From there they scaled slick slabs of smooth rock and scampered across tricky river crossings, surveying 1.1 miles. It was at that point that the weather turned against them making TrACing extremely difficult. They pushed through the rain to the junction with Sphinx Trail before turning around to make the long, wet trek out. It was an 11 mile day, hiking-wise. Since the day was shortened a bit, the boys worked on cleaning up the Davis Path data when they returned to Bartlett.
Everyone on the Team will agree that it was a challenging, yet truly successful nine days. They ended up completing the longest trail of the summer, and totaled an impressive 17.6 miles surveyed in 7.5 days of true TrACing.
Welcome to the SCA White Mountain TrACS Team Website!
What is TrACS, you say?
TrACS stands for Trails Assessment & Condition Surveys, and we're doing exactly that! This summer, the TrACS Team is hiking and collecting data on sections of the 1,200 mile hiking trail system throughout the White Mountain National Forest, NH.
The White Mountain NF is comprised of three districts: the Saco, Androscoggin, and Pemigewasset District, which span over 800,000 acres in New Hampshire and Western Maine. The Forest is home to many unique and distinct features, including 6 Congressionally designated Wildernesses totalling almost 149,500 acres, 8 square miles of Alpine Environment, and Mount Washington, the highest peak in the NorthEast at 6288' with the reputation of the world's most erractic weather and highest recorded wind speed of 231 mph.
The SCA TrACS Team is a 12 week internship to learn and apply the TrACS system in the White Mountain National Forest. The team is small in numbers but big on enthusiasm; team leader is Alice Webber, and her two trusty interns are Matthew Drahnak and Carson Gorecki. Together, these three will be hiking and backpacking the Saco and Androscoggin Districts, surveying the current conditions of specific trails and prescribing possible solutions to create "Pie in the Sky" hiking environments.
Hope to see you all on the trails soon!
Hiya! My name is Alice and I am the Project Leader of the SCA White Mountain TrACS team.
I originate from the great state of New Jersey where I developed a deep appreciation for pizza, bagels, and urban landscapes. I got my start with the SCA as a member of the Desert Restoration Corps Wildcorps Team. After being absorbed by a love for trail work, I went on to lead trail teams in New Jersey and California, and participate on teams in New Mexico, Kentucky, and on the PCT in Southern California.
This is my first season leading a TrACS team and I cannot imagine a more beautiful place to do it!
When I'm not hiking for SCA, you can probably find me hiking on my own.
Matthew Drahnak 
Hey everyone! I'm Matt with the White Mountain SCA TrACS team. This is my second year with SCA. Last year I worked at Yellowstone National Park with the Youth Conservation Corps on various work projects and brought the youth on trips during the weekends. Currently, I am in college at the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire studying Geography and I plan on graduating in the fall of 2012.
Additionally, I love to play guitar, listen to music, eat a lot of good food, snowboard, and golf. Traveling is also a lare hobby of mine as well. I have traveled all over the country with friends and family during long breaks from college. One of my favorite destinations is the southern Utah red rock country!
Carson Gorecki 
My name is Carson and I am TrAC'ing this summer in the White Mountain National Forest. You probably knew this already though, didnt you? Anyway, I have been loving my experience so far. Coming with little camping/hiking/conservation experience, I have been learning something new and exciting every day.
I hail from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and have been living for the past year, in Washington DC. I graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN where I studied Geography and Statistics. Both have proven useful for me this summer. I love playing soccer, hockey and hiking (recently discovered). I enjoy reading about American Presidents. I am currently on Andrew Jackson.
Hitch 4 Report
Saco Ranger District & Androscoggin Ranger District
7/18/2011 – 7/21/2011
Miles Surveyed: 8.5
Service Hours: 40
Prepared by Matt Drahnak
July 18, 2011: Today was the first day of Hitch 4! The team began the workday bright and early at 7AM by driving from Bartlett NH to the Pine Brook Bend trailhead. This drive took 45 minutes one way. After 20 minutes of stretching and pushups, the team began the 2.2 mile hike up the pine Brook Bend Trail to where Carson and Alice had left off the previous hitch. From that point the team began to survey the rest of Pine Brook Bend which was a strenuous 2.3 miles to the summit of North Tripyramid and down the back slope of the mountain. Once we finished surveying for the day we hiked 0.3 miles up to the summit of Middle Tripyramid. Once summiting we decided to head on back down Pine Brook bend to the car to finish up the work day. We drove back to Bartlett to organize our data for the day, finishing up at 5PM.
July 19th, 2011: The second day of hitch 4, the team drove from Bartlett, NH to the Cabin Trail trailhead in Wonalancet, NH. The team continued their routine of stretching and pushups, then set off 2.7 miles up the Cabin Trail in order to meet up with the Lawrence trail. Upon meeting up with the Lawrence trail junction, the team then began the climb 1.5 miles up the west slope of Mt. Paugus to the summit in which the Lawrence Trail trailhead was located. The entire hike to the trailhead took 2 hours and 30 minutes. After reaching the Mt. Paugus summit and a quick bite to eat, the team began to survey Lawrence trail. The trail was scenic, but steep in certain areas with numerous switchbacks and eroding back slopes. The Lawrence trail total mileage was 2.3 miles and the team finished surveying the entire length. Upon finishing the team hiked the 3.3 miles back down to the vehicle and then drove back to Bartlett to finish the day with data reviewing, organizing and entry.
July 20, 2011: The third day off Hitch 4 was different than most other hitch days. The day began at 6am for Alice and Carson in order to drop off Carson for his opportunity to volunteer with a trail team from the SCA NH Conservation Corps and work on water bar maintenance and tree blow down training. Alice drove Carson to the White Ledge Campground to meet with the SCA crew. Matt stayed back at Bartlett to begin organizing data for the Lawrence Trail and preparing the data sheets for the start of Attitash Trail. Alice then drove back to pick up Matt and the two began surveying the Attitash Trail just over 2 miles west of Bartlett. Matt and Alice began surveying the trail and the 1.9 mile climb up the summit of Table Mtn. which offered good views. However, the views were obscured because the weather that day was very hot and smoky due to forest fires in Quebec. After a 20 minute lunch, the 2-person team continued down the steep, highly eroded Attitash trail for another 2.1 miles. This portion took 3.5 hours with numerous steep climbs up vertical rock walls. After marking the end point for the day at 3 total miles surveyed, the two began the hike back out Attitash Trail to the trailhead. Once back at the car, Matt and Alice drove to the White Ledge campground to pick up Carson and the team celebrated their reunion with delicious homemade pizza.
July 21, 2011: Today the team started the day with a drive to the Androscoggin Ranger district headquarters to begin the transition from the Saco ranger district to the Androscoggin. At 7AM the team met with recreation rangers, Jeff Lane and Jake Lubera, to discuss trails and what their expectations were of the team. As the meeting came to an end, the team drove south to the Lost Pond trailhead to begin surveying the 0.9 mile long trail. Upon finishing the team hiked back to the vehicle and enjoyed the views of the pond and its plethora of beaver dams. Since the weather was 92 degrees and humid that day the team decided to drive to North Conway for ice cream at Molly B’s and celebrate a long and successful hitch. After ice cream, the team drove back to Bartlett and organized paperwork for Lost Pond and made finishing touches on the Saco Ranger district trails so that they could be given to the rangers as finished products. The team finished the day at 4:30PM and thus ending Hitch 4!
Hitch 3 Report
Saco Ranger District
7/5/2011 – 7/12/2011
Miles Surveyed: 14.8
Service Hours: 80
Prepared by Alice Webber
The SCA TrACS team’s third hitch in the White Mountains National Forest was a diverse adventure of backcountry triumphs, visitors & volunteers, and a few mountain-top cookies.
Tuesday, July 5: Basin Trail:
The team returned to the Basin Trail on their first day back to finish what they started many weeks ago. It was approached from the Basin Trail Campground Parking lot, and ascended a steep 2 miles up to reach the spur of Blue Brook Connector Trail, where the team had previously ended. With wheel in hand, a total of 1.5 miles were surveyed, including .2 miles of Spur A, the Blue Brook Connector Trail.
Wednesday, July 6: Basin Trail:
After braving the drive on Hurricane Mountain Road, the team reached the trail for the final ascent. The day began surveying Spur B, the Hermit Falls Loop Trail, and ended with the completion of Basin Trail. With a total of 1.5 miles TrACed for the day, the team sat for a bite to eat where they could absorb the beautiful views of the Basin.
Thursday, July 7: Dry River Trail:
Today was the first day TrACing the 9.6 miles of Dry River Trail, beginning at rt.302 and ending at the AMC Lakes of The Clouds. In order to use time most efficiently, the team spent the day surveying and gaining enough distance so that they can set up a backcountry base camp over the next few days. At the end of the day trip, the team surveyed a total of 3.8 miles of Dry River Trail, ending at their designated campsite for the following three nights.
Friday, July 8: Dry River Trail:
The team prepped and packed and headed back to the Dry River Trail, prepared to match yesterday’s successes. At the trailhead, the team met SCA Trail Corps’ Program Manager, Chris Sparks, along with SCA National Director for Conservation Teams, Leslie Rimmer. With base camp set up, the team was eager to spend time on the trail with welcomed guests and friends to share knowledge and experience of the inner workings of the TrACS programs, as well as a few stories and tales from the field. Thanks to the help of new insight, another 1.8 miles were surveyed.
Saturday, July 9: Dry River Trail:
A full night’s rest under the stars, the Dry River singing us to sleep, was enough to refuel the team for another day to tackle the trail. 5.2 miles of Dry River Trail already under their belt, the team powered on through the toughest terrain and conditions they’ve experienced this summer. Overcoming a few dubious river crossings, swampy tread and steep terrain, the team totaled 1.9 miles. Chris Sparks, armed with chocolate gifts, joined the team for a hearty dinner of cheesy quinoa and another night in the Dry River Wilderness.
Sunday, July 10: Dry River Trail:
Being acutely aware of the potentially arduous hike ahead of them, the team and Chris Sparks prepared themselves by filling their bellies with oatmeal and coffee, strapping their packs down, and tying their boots tightly. Again manning the rivers and the swamps, the troops reached the base of their final 2.1 mile climb to the end of Dry River Trail. Chris Sparks jumped in head first to the learning and understanding of TrACS and brought the team new perspective and energy for the process. Leaving the team with a fresh outlook and a wave, Chris Sparks bid goodbye and the three TrACers were on their own to brave the alpine zone, the rocks, and the final mile. At the end of their 6 mile hike up, Dry River Trail came to a close at the AMC Lakes of the Clouds Hut. The team celebrated the close with fresh chocolate chip cookies, lemonade, and a jaunt up Mt. Monroe before their lengthy descent.
Monday, July 11: Dry River Trail:
Creaking joints filled the air as the team packed up camp and headed out of the Dry River Wilderness and back towards civilization. Back at their Bartlett Headquarters, 6 knees were happy to have a few weightless moments as the team reviewed, organized and uploaded the week’s data.
Tuesday, July 12: Pine Bend Brook Trail & A Day with GIS:
The final day of the hitch brought an exciting change to the White Mountain TrACS routine. Matt was presented with the opportunity to spend a day volunteering with the WMNF GIS Specialist, Norma Sorgman, which left Carson and Alice to test out a 2-person TrACS team on Pine Bend Brook Trail. After they were able to complete surveying 2.2 miles of the trail in one day, the team was glad to realize that the greatest obstacle to a 2-person TrACing team was only too few hands to swat the bugs away.
Hitch 2 Report
Saco Ranger District
6/27/2011 – 6/30/2011
Miles Surveyed: 8.5
Service Hours: 40
Prepared by Alice Webber
After a well earned and much needed break, the White Mountain TrACS team returned to the field early Monday morning bright-eyed and eager to hit the trails.
Monday, June 27: Basin Trail:
The team met with Jana Johnson at the Saco Ranger District to discuss the previous hitch and efforts needed to move forward. From there followed a long drive North, winding along rt. 113 between Maine and New Hampshire to reach our day’s destination of Wild River Campground. The Basin Trail begins at the parking lot and heads into the Wild River Wilderness. The team surveyed 2 miles to the Blue Brook JCT. After the hike and drive home, preparations for the upcoming backcountry trip commenced.
Tuesday, June 28: Rocky Branch Trail:
Today marked the start of the first TrACS backcountry adventure. After packing, prepping and driving to the JCT Jericho Rd, a 2 mile hike up Rocky Branch brought the team to Rocky Branch Shelter #2, home-base for the remainder of the hitch. Beginning at the Shelter JCT and ending at JCT Jericho Rd, the team surveyed the final 2 miles of Rocky Branch to make the most of the dwindling daylight.
Wednesday, June 29: Rocky Branch Trail:
The potential advantage of backcountry TrACS-ing on longer trails is that more service hours may be spent surveying, and fewer time spent traveling to beginning and end points. The team was able to spend 8.5 out of 10 hours surveying Rocky Branch, and completed the remaining 4.35 miles. These final miles took the team through overgrown, swampy areas and across 6 dangerous river crossings. The river claimed three victims that day: a watch, a blackberry, and a pair of pants.
Thursday, June 30: Rocky Branch Trail:
Accompanied by a cool breeze and speckled sunlight, the team broke down camp and headed back home to Bartlett. The documents and records of Rocky Branch Trail were corrected, organized and compiled. Also, a new excel sheet what created for extra sign inventory to better streamline information of unrecorded signs on trails.
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.