Click for Mount Washington, New Hampshire Forecast

Mt. Washington Temp.
Click pic for forecast.

...More Topics...

 

 

Get Firefox!

Backcountry ski and snowboard gear, camping

Donate towards my web hosting bill!

Made with CSS

Validated by W3C

       
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:13 pm



Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
 College Woods - Durham 
Author Message
Hiking Forums Are My Crack
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 7137
Location: Exeter, NH
Reply with quote
 College Woods - Durham
Image

Since the weather looked so nice while stuck at work all morning I made the short trip over to College Woods in Durham for a little walk/hike this afternoon. I haven't been there since I went to UNH back in the late 90's but it's on my list of local spots to visit whenever I have a few free hours and I decided today would be a good day to go check it out again before heading to Adams Point to see if any bald eagles were hanging around.

My roughly 3 mile route
Image

I started at the Mill Pond Road access point just as a little squall blew through and cooled things off a bit. The trails were about 75% hard packed snow and ice, which was much different then the 99% ice free trail just a few miles away at Adams Point this past weekend.

Partially iced trails made me put on traction
Image

Fortunately I had a new pair of Hillsounds to break in and they were perfect for the conditions. The trails were pretty slick and tractions or extreme care is a requirement at the moment for most of the way. I saw Yaktrax and stabilicer tracks and even one jogger shuffling along slowly in sneakers but he was having a slippery go of it for sure. The trail grades gently downhill until you get to the banks of the Oyster River

Image

After about 1/4 mile you come to the dam on the Oyster River that makes a small resevoir for the towns water supply. There's a bridge you can cross or you can follow a trail along the riverbank to another bridge farther up. I crossed at the dam on the way out and the other on the way back and did my route counter clockwise.

Bridge at the dam
Image

Once across the river I followed a path along the riverbank for another 1/4 mile or so through a nice stand of red pine (I think) until it rejoined the main trail. The path is shown on the map, but it was a pretty good mess of blowdowns and brush, which made it tough to see and follow at times. Certainly not impossible and as long as you keep going you come to the unmistakable main trail eventually.

Red Pines?
Image

At the trail junction I went right, up a slight incline and into the land of the big trees. There are some really big pine and hemlock trees up that trail. Big as in they probably would have been mast pines a few hundred years ago. Most of them are tall and straight and reach right up for the sky. The once sort of famous Paul Bunyan Pine's remains are up there too in a grove of more huge trees, but now it's just a barkless 100 foot shaft with the rest green and mossy lying on the ground. That area still has the biggest trees in the woods, biggest I've seen in any woods actually except strangely enough the Big Pines Natural Area in Tamworth. If you haven't heard me say it before I'm a big fan of big trees and this was a really cool spot that I took my time strolling through and being wowed by all the huge trees.

Image

From there I walked along the 100% snow/ice covered trails until I came to the chanel 11 satelite dishes, where the trail briefly pops out in a parking lot before re-entering the woods. The next section of woods had a lot of old stone walls and trees weren't nearly as big, obviously fields and pastures at one time. The trail from there to the next junction doesn't even show on most maps I've seen of the area but my plan was to follow the perimeter of the trail network back to the river, so I just went right whenever a trail junction came up and sure enough I wound up back at the river.

Oyster River and second bridge
Image

After following the riverbank for a little bit I came to another nice bridge to cross on. Once across the trail continued to follow the river only higher up on a sometimes steep embankment that sloped right down to the river. It was fairly icy and was definitely a spot I was happy to have the spikes for.

Second bridge crossing
Image

Icy path following the river
Image

After about half a mile the trail came back to the dam. I followed the same route back to the car, passing the cool rotted remains of a huge hemlock tree. I thought it was pretty neat to see the branches that hadn't rotted still sticking out of and into the tree. I guess I never thought about it before but I didn't realize they actually grow from a good ways into the trunk of the tree and not just from the side of the tree, but this skeleton made that all pretty clear.

Hemlock skeleton
Image

Once back at the car I headed over to Adams Point to see if any Bald Eagles were out for dinner. They weren't, but I caught a nice sunset and then headed home for dinner myself.

Image

All in all I was impressed with the area. Lot's of huge trees, distinctive red and white pine groves, hemlock groves and a scenic little river, even though it was mostly frozen. I only saw two people in 2 hours and went about 3 miles according to Google Earth. I was impressed with the Hillsounds, which now have a velcro strap across the top to help keep them from falling off, a failing of the older model I believe. The trails and embankments I scrambled up and down for pictures gave me a good feel for them.

The one bad thing I have to say is that the map at the entry point is pretty bad. Some trails/paths seem out of place and some aren't on there at all. Of course they may be newer then than board, or unofficial herd paths but I really had to pay attention to trail junctions and try and keep a good idea of my location at all times, and I had two other maps to look at also. Nothing was marked or blazed with the exception of an occasional piece of surveyors tape. After a good snowfall this could be a surprisingly tough area to go unless you either stay on the main loop or already know your way around. Not that you'd never find your way out, it's only 250 acres, but you might wind up on the wrong side of town. Other than that it was a very enjoyable walk in the woods. There's still plenty of trails on the map I haven't walked yet so I'm sure I'll go back eventually.

There's a few more pictures here if you want to see more
https://picasaweb.google.com/107457015580599787070/CollegeWoods#

And if you want to read any more about the place there's some info here. Maps too if you're interested.
http://colsa.unh.edu/woodlands/properties/collegeWoods


Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:45 pm
Profile
Hiking Forums Are My Crack
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 7137
Location: Exeter, NH
Reply with quote
 
Its annoying me that ever since I got a new computer my pictures come up obnoxiously oversized. You'd think id know how to resize them but I don't. If anyone knows how to feel free to let me know, or until I figure it out ill have to keep putting up posters. :oops:


Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:23 am
Profile
Mountain Maestro
Mountain Maestro

Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:22 pm
Posts: 485
Reply with quote
 
I think the sizing is pretty much perfect for my screen res but if you don't like it then the righthand sidebar in Picasa Web Albums lets you link to a number of sizes for photos. Like I can do this:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-dAEd ... CT0998.JPG
or
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-dAEd ... CT0998.JPG
for a single uploaded pic.


Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:20 am
Profile
Sovereign Woodsman

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:23 pm
Posts: 2264
Location: Lakes Region, NH
Reply with quote
 
Wow, a place on the seacoast you haven't been too? I am surprised there is any snow at all down there! Great pics, love the colors in the sunset hitting the trees! Too bad they don't have a better map. I'd be that person wandering around hopelessly lost at sunset, I just know it! Great report! Have you ever been to Bellamy Woods GG? I want to hit that place up this spring. My husbands sister lives in dover in a condo that abuts the park. I'm thinking of a visit to her and there would be fun!

Keep these gems coming! I remember yrs ago I bought a book of on seacoast hiking for my sister-n-law (that I doubt she ever used) that probably has all these hikes in there. Maybe I'll look into getting it.


Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:14 am
Profile
I Spend All My Time on This Forum
I Spend All My Time on This Forum

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:04 pm
Posts: 3734
Location: Newmarket, NH
Reply with quote
 
Thanks for the report, another local spot I'm sure I'll be visiting this year.

_________________
"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes" -Steven Winterburn


Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:25 am
Profile
Peak Bagger
Peak Bagger

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:04 pm
Posts: 181
Location: Maine
Reply with quote
 
Wow, great report and pics. I just wish the trail was blazed and easier to follow. I'd love to go check it out, will have to take your report with me.
Thanks!


Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:17 am
Profile
Hiking Forums Are My Crack
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 7137
Location: Exeter, NH
Reply with quote
 
Walrus wrote:
I think the sizing is pretty much perfect for my screen res but if you don't like it then the righthand sidebar in Picasa Web Albums lets you link to a number of sizes for photos. Like I can do this:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-dAEd ... CT0998.JPG
or
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-dAEd ... CT0998.JPG
for a single uploaded pic.


Thanks for that Walrus. Boy do I feel stupid. I've used Picasa for years and never knew that. :oops: Then when I got the new computer with a huge monitor the pictures showed up giant sized when I copy the url. They look good there but blow up the page on my phone. Good to know if I want to resize them its that easy!

Hiking Lady I have not been to the Bellamy Woods yet. I was planning a 2-fer last fall there along with the Wagon Hill trails nearby but it was during hunting season and I found out that's a big spot for hunters to go so I put it on the back burner. Looks like it'd make a nice snowshoe trip and I'm psyched for this good old fashion storm were supposed to get. Maybe ill check it out after that, its right in the 24+ inch bullseye at the moment.

And pgwido I wish it was blazed too. I was pretty surprised it was not, with all the trails it has some color coding or numbering or something would be a big help. Its really not that hard if you have a good internal gps (which fortunately I do, I think) and keep an eye on the map but I must have walked right by some of the side trails and never even saw them. Of course with snow and no tracks that's a little tougher to see anyhow. The two maps they have on that site work well with eachother. The one with the stonewalls is probably the biggest help. The walls are obvious and again if you keep an eye on your position every once in a while you'll be fine I'm sure. If you could somehow overlay the two then you'd have a pretty good map I think.


Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:43 pm
Profile
Leg Burner
Leg Burner
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 5:41 pm
Posts: 74
Location: Massachusetts
Reply with quote
 
Great trip report and the pictures look awesome as well. Man that last picture is beautiful !


Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:40 pm
Profile
Adept Ascender
Adept Ascender
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:44 am
Posts: 700
Location: Boston's North Shore
Reply with quote
 
I agree. the last pic is enticing enough to go there on its own.

Nice report. I really appreciate the off-beat ideas.

_________________
My Outdoorsy Blog: www.outdoorsbycracky.com
My daily journal: https://www.facebook.com/outdoorsbycracky


Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:39 am
Profile
Sovereign Woodsman
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:38 pm
Posts: 1123
Location: Nashua
Reply with quote
 
Great pics and nice report. All the photos you've been posting lately remind me how I need to stop being lazy and bring my DSLR out with me. The phone camera takes some decent ones, but the color and detail in the SLR's is far superior.


Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:35 am
Profile
Sovereign Woodsman
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:11 am
Posts: 2232
Location: candia nh
Reply with quote
 
Granite Guy wrote:
Thanks for that Walrus. Boy do I feel stupid.


Don't feel stupid, or at least, not alone :)

Actually I had a hard time figuring it out even with the hint - I never use the link widget , being a luddite sans all the latest gadgets I dont care about screen size much - as long as it fits my 1920X1080 monitor ;)


Excellent pics, as always.
Interesting to me to recognize a couple spots in College Woods ... it's bneen a while since I was last out there - a long while; I dont believe there was a bridge, and I'm certain there were no signs :)

_________________
"Prism means never having to feel like no one ever listens to you" - Anonymous


Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:26 pm
Profile
Hiking Forums Are My Crack
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 7137
Location: Exeter, NH
Reply with quote
 
scooter wrote:
Granite Guy wrote:
Thanks for that Walrus. Boy do I feel stupid.


Don't feel stupid, or at least, not alone :)

Actually I had a hard time figuring it out even with the hint - I never use the link widget , being a luddite sans all the latest gadgets I dont care about screen size much - as long as it fits my 1920X1080 monitor ;)




At least I'm in good company!

Add to it that mine's also a 1920 x 1080 27" monitor and I won't worry about it too much anymore. They are oversized on the phone but look good on it, to me at least, when I post them.

Kris as you obviously know there is no substitute for the dslr if control and top notch quality matter much, but I am impressed that those pictures you posted are from an iphone. The dslr is clunky and doesn't talk to you either, so they both have their pros and cons! :D But I do enjoy the photo hobby as much as the hiking hobby so it's worth the trouble to me to drag it along. Both those hobbies seem to be a natural fir for a lot of people for some reason.


Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:59 pm
Profile
Sovereign Woodsman
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:38 pm
Posts: 1123
Location: Nashua
Reply with quote
 
I know what you mean, I really enjoy both hobbies as well. It's just so convenient to stick your "camera" in your pocket and it's easy to grab. I brought my Canon on my first few 4k hikes, but could never find a good, safe way to carry it. I suppose now that I'm set with 99% of the other gear I should go back to figuring this out.

Anyway, you've been posting lots of great pics lately, I really enjoy them.


Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:58 pm
Profile
Adept Ascender
Adept Ascender
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:44 am
Posts: 700
Location: Boston's North Shore
Reply with quote
 
http://www.emsexploration.com/wordpress ... is-winter/

Allison writes about carrying a camera in the winter...

_________________
My Outdoorsy Blog: www.outdoorsbycracky.com
My daily journal: https://www.facebook.com/outdoorsbycracky


Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:34 pm
Profile
Hiking Forums Are My Crack
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 7137
Location: Exeter, NH
Reply with quote
 
I didn't know she wrote for EMS. That's pretty cool. Seems like just the other day I started following her hikes of the 48 on her blog.

As for the camera staying warm I've never had a problem. Overnights in sub zero temps, lots of winter day trips, snow, rain, fog/humidity and never once had an issue. I almost always hike with the camera just hanging around my neck or in my hand and have just gotten used to it. I do carry a spare battery occasionally but have never needed it. The camera seems to handle everything very well. I tend to not worry much about it being "safe". Only when I have to do I toss it in the pack. It has yet to get damaged but has taken a few good bumps and drops. The uv filters have gotten scratched and needed replacing occasionally but other than that everything seems to take a licking and keep on clicking! :D. Canon makes sturdy stuff I guess.


Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:43 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 15 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Hike-NH.com based on STSoftware.