September 17, 2016.
One more day in the Mahoosucs. This time to finish up the NH part of the Mahoosuc Trail first heading up Success Trail then over Mt Success continuing on to the junction with Austin Brook Trail where I was yesterday.
Not having to drive three hours is nice when staying up here but the downside is I end up sleeping in. I head up Success Pond Road again this time to the trailhead for Success Trail. The parking is up the side road a bit so I walk back down to Success Pond Road to the beginning of the trail. It's 9:30 as I turn around and head back up, told you I slept in! The trail coincides with the logging road for a short ways past where I parked. A break in the trees and I see the first destination for the day, The Outlook.
The logging road leads up to a small clearing where the trail enters the woods on one of the better trails I have been on. The footing is nice and the grade mild as I head up through the sun filled forest. In less than an hour and I am at the junction for the Outlook Loop which takes off to the right.
It only takes about five minutes for the loop trail to break out onto the open ledges of The Outlook. It is an impressive little spot where the winds are really blowing up here today. Across the valley is North Bald Cap with its cliffy face. There are no trails leading to it but it does get visitors on occasion who bushwhack to it. I know Mike has spied it from here and has not been there yet so who knows maybe one day I can talk him into doing it or more likely he'll talk me into it.
My next destination is right in front of me, Mt Success. Following the Outlook Loop the trail brings me close to the edge where I take my time with the forceful winds before the trail enters back into the woods. Back at the Success Trail I turn left and head down for the missing section between the two ends of the loop. Kind of silly as to why I did this since I have to come back this way but it is a habit just in case I don't. Oddly there is no alternative to getting back to my car so it was completely unnecessary.
Back on track and the trail reaches a high spot before dipping down to where a logging camp site use to be. Not sure where exactly the camp was as there is no brushy clearing like other camps plus the woods are pretty thick in here. But someone has been kind enough to leave some of the found remnants hanging on a tree next to the trail.
Beyond are a series of bog bridges that are almost not needed due to the dry summer. I have read that this is a notoriously wet spot but today a non issue.
Once past the boggy section it is a short climb up to the intersection with the Mahoosuc Trail and the same spot I reached two days ago when I did Goose Eye and Carlo. This is where I turned around that day. A right turn on the Mahoosuc Trail and I am heading south on the AT retracing Peaches and Cream's steps from two years ago. As rough as the Mahoosucs are I am really liking the area more for their remoteness more than anything else.
The deceptiveness of the Mahoosucs is it lures you in with nice stretches of trail and then unexpectedly throws a rough up or down at you. At a break in the trees the target, Mt Success, is just ahead. Right after the opening is a classic drop down on a steep exposed ledge section.
Coming up out of the small col and I see the first people for the day. A woman who is parked down at the same spot as me and a couple of north bound thru hikers. I pass by them as I reach the spot where I break out of the trees and just ahead is the summit of Mt Success. It is a small outcropping with breathtaking views.
Behind me to the north are Goose Eye, East Goose Eye and Carlo where I was two days ago. I plop myself down below the outcropping to have some morning snacks and enjoy the view looking south along the AT. On the horizon are Washington, Clay and Adams with a wisp of a cloud beginning to envelop Old George.
The woman passes by as I just sit there lost in my thoughts commenting that she is off to find the site of a 1954 airplane crash. A good twenty minute break and sadly it is time to leave this great spot and finish up the section of AT between here and the Austin Brook Trail junction. Across the bog bridges enjoying the views along this exposed ridge walk as I make my way south. A look back to where I was just relaxing with the three peaks from two days ago still visible. Through some stunted trees and then more bog bridges just before the southern summit of Mt Success.
Reaching the ledges of the south side I see where I was hiking yesterday. Off behind me to the right is The Outlook where I was just a bit earlier this morning.
A few minutes later and I am back into the woods descending steeply all the while reminding myself that I need to ascend this on the way back...ugh! I make it to a rocky col where a small stream crosses the trail making a note of it for a refill on the way back.
The trail meanders through the woods on varied terrain up and over minor bumps as I push to the junction. One tree still has an old metal AT sign and I wonder how old it is. It is unique in that someone has punched out the symbol on the diamond shaped sign.
More great woods along the Mahoosuc Trail!
A bit under two hours from leaving the summit of Success and I am at the junction for Austin Brook Trail for the second time in two days. A fifteen minute break before the up and down trip back to Success as I sit down alone in the Mahoosuc Range.
Refueled I pack up and start the 2.5 mile trek back to the summit. It takes two hours to return as the legs start to feel the varied terrain of the Mahoosucs. Up near the summit I see a trodden path off to my right and wonder if this is the path that leads down to the crash site. Turning on to it it is squishy wet so I turn around especially since I am not sure if this is the correct way. It's almost four in the afternoon and I would rather come back to this area to fully enjoy the day armed with more info as to the exact location. Up and back over Success then a left turn at the junction with the Success Trail leading me back down to the parking spot. What a fantastic time I have had these last few days exploring the Mahoosucs. Made more special with the lack of people up here. Ninety percent of the hikers I came across were north and south bound thru hikers.
Final numbers: 11.4 miles, 7 hours and 55 minutes.
Redline Miles: 6.1, Total to Date: 1206.9