|Goose Eye and Carlo from Success Pond Road - June 7, 2009
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|Author:||bikehikeskifish [ Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:07 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Goose Eye and Carlo from Success Pond Road - June 7, 2009|
Success Pond Road is in good, but not great condition. I felt comfortable in my Honda Accord at 25 MPH or less. After 8.1 miles of this, I arrived at the shared Goose Eye / Carlo trail head. There is room for 4-5 cars here, but I had the place to myself all day (apparently.) If you're not paying attention to the mileage, keep an eye out for a few vehicles on the left, including a shot-up pickup and a tanker perched on a berm. The TH is a bit further up on the right. You can see "through" Mahoosuc Notch from this location. The up-side of the clear-cut logging in this area is a large number of logging roads and a lot of nice views from them through the trees that are slowly regrowing. Goose Eye has a neat profile and it kind of reminds me of Camel's Hump (VT).
The first 1.5 miles or so are relatively flat, first through an area where the trail could stand to be brushed out, and later over a logging road for a bit, and finally to a "real trail". Clearly the maintainers have been around because the water bars are spotless, and there is fresh blue paint blazes, including some drops on the hobble bush leaves. There was not one single blowdown on the loop, which I did clockwise - up Goose Eye, across Mahoosuc, and down Carlo Col.
On the subject of wildflowers - the purple trillium are gone, some painted trillium remain up high. I saw no trout lilies but the bluebeads are in early blossom, along with the bunchberry. Starflowers are in abundance everywhere. I saw a single (white) Lady's Slipper. Up top, the Labrador Tea has buds, and the first Lapland Rosebay flowers are in bloom.
While the first half is easy going, the second half climbs, steeply at times, until the rocky summit cone comes into sight. Until this point, the trail is less rocky than I am used to. A few spots required the use of my hands, but nothing too obnoxious. Shortly, the trees are pretty much gone, or too short to notice, and the remaining 5 minutes are climbed over open slabs and ever-increasing views. Speaking of views, Goose Eye has views to spare, including this panorama from Success Pond at the far left, across the Mahoosuc Range to Old Speck, and to the east peak of Goose Eye.
Looking west, you can see most of the logging roads in the valley, and the cliff behind the city of Berlin. Looking south, Washington and Jefferson dominate the view, and Moriah and the Carters are easily identified. I couldn't see Carrigain and for some reason I found that disconcerting. Looking east, you see the east peak of Goose Eye and Sunday River Ski Area. At the summit of Goose Eye, I met 10 college-aged people from a camp out on a leadership training backpack. Otherwise I did not see another person. They did provide color for this distance shot of the ladder descending off of Goose Eye, and while I took my time over to Carlo, they never caught up with me.
On the fully-exposed, southern-facing ledges on Carlo, the Lapland Rosebay is just blooming, and the Labrador Tea buds are getting ready to open. Not far past Carlo, I turned right down the Carlo Col trail. It's more of a stream than a trail and caution is advised on the moss-covered rocks. Nobody was home at the shelter, so I didn't stay. As the trail levels out, it crosses a stream and the suddenly it enters a huge clear cut. There are tons of young maple trees taking hold, maybe 15-25 feet tall, but there are stump fields everywhere, and huge piles of sun-bleached slash. As with pretty much every other part of today's hike, there were moose prints and poop in abundance here.
Watch carefully for an angled blaze on a flat rock because the trail abruptly returns to the woods (and a lot of water and mud) for a half mile or so before once again dumping onto the logging road for the final 8/10ths of a mile back to the car.
Total distance was around 8 miles, and about 3000 feet. If I did this again, I would try and include Mount Success in the loop, and either walk the 2.7 miles back along the road, stash a MTB, or if going with another group, spot a car.
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