April 16, 2016.
Time for one more hike before calling it a day. Just down Route 16 is a short hike up to Winniweta Falls.
Leaving the backpack behind as it is only 0.9 miles up to the falls I head across a rock strewn dry stream bed. At the end is the Ellis River and scanning the crossing looking for some rock hops I see none. So I make the quick return to my vehicle and retrieve my newest secret weapon for stream crossings.
I had read about some waterproof waders that were light weight somewhere on 1HappyHiker's blog site a while ago and thought that was a great idea. Never taking the time to check it out back then I knew I would love a pair of them for some upcoming hikes. A lot of what I have left are going to involve stream and river crossings and I don't want to get turned back while trying to complete my redlining. I tried to find that report again but had no luck so did a search and came up with these that are available from a company called Wiggy's. Armed (or is it legged?) with my new gear and hiking poles I took my first step into the Ellis River. Slowly I took step by step being careful that I wouldn't slip on the smooth rocks. With each step the depth and current of the water increased and I was dry inside. I made it to the middle of the river and the water came up to my knees (doesn't look that deep from the shore picture) and then to the other side. WOW! Is all I can say. These waders are fantastic and easy to put on. Better yet they compact into a small stuff sack and weigh less than a pound. No longer do I ever have to stress over a river crossing or get turned back. Permanent addition to the pack! Removing them and back to business as I head up the trail. This is another of those combination trails that doubles as a cross country ski trail in the winter.
Passing by an odd steel structure in an open field that I think might have been a trail groomer at one time. A couple of junctions with ski trails and soon the trail begins climbing up and Miles Brook can be heard off to the left.
Keeping an out on the left for an opening that leads down to the brook as I can hear the noise of the brook grow louder I see nothing. Continuing up and having felt I've gone to far (seems to be a common mistake from what I have been reading) I turn around and head back down. Near the noise I just jump into the woods looking for the falls and don't find it on the first attempt. A little bit further down and I spy a sign on a tree almost hidden in the woods. Not seeing any discernible path I just head into the woods reaching the brook at the base of the lower falls.
I've seen pictures and there is another waterfall in here somewhere just a matter of where. I scoot out on the downed log that is across the stream and look downstream seeing nothing notable. I make my way back to head up beside the brook and find a forest boundary marker and a distinct path heading upstream. Feeling game I follow it and find what I was looking for.
Just downstream is a converging brook that looks interesting but I have no time to go exploring but make a mental note for the future. It is a slabby brookbed with boulders lining one side. Back down the trail and at the river crossing I redon my new waders. But first a shot of the moon that has already risen.
Back across in the same slow and cautious manner to ensure I make it safely to the other side. This day is done and I filled in some holes on my redlining. Time to head into Gorham for a bite to eat and then find a place to get some rest and shut eye before another hike in the morning.
Final numbers: 2.2 miles, 1 hours and 55 minutes.
Redline Miles: 0.9, Total to Date: 1079.5