Posts filed under ‘Mountain Club (CMC)’
CMC Annual Trail Clearing – Come One, Come All!
Now that it is April and it’s finally stopped snowing….we are welcoming in spring and the beginning (for many of us) of the hiking season. It is time to get out onto the CMC trails, which we ‘adopt’ for the White Mountain National Forest. We will be preparing the trails for the increased summer traffic in ways which encourage maintenance of the forest’s natural beauty and health. (Controlling erosion is good for the hiker as well as the land.) This means clearing away blow downs, cleaning out waterbars, and clipping.
Trail Clearing is always the second Saturday in May, and this year it is May 11th. We will meet in Wheeler’s field by 8:30 to greet each other and assign trails. We accommodate a range of ages and levels of experience since there is work to be done around the lake and on Conservation Land as well as on Paugus and Chocorua. There will be a social time and dinner followed by the annual meeting at the Balch Big House beginning around 5:00.
The CMC will be in need of officers next year as Ken and Howard, after serving for 3 and 33 years respectively, are both stepping down. We thank them for their dedication as President and Treasurer! If you or anyone you know would like to know more about this opportunity, please let Ken Smith, Howard Mathews or Kate Lanou know.
For trail work, dress for the projected weather, including bugs, rain and cold; and bring water, snacks, lunch, clippers/loppers or trail tool of choice. Stay for whatever amount of time you can, but it is helpful to come in the morning rather than finding a group later on.
For dinner, there are usually green beans, potatoes, bread and ham; people often bring a side dish, salad or dessert. It’s byob pretty much, too.
It’s a great way to reconnect with fellow outdoor enthusiasts, see how the mountain fared over the winter and have fun doing something good. Feel free to invite any willing workers, and hope to see you on May 11th!!
Meet in the Wheeler field (coming from the Narrows Bridge the driveway is on Chocorua Lake road just past Loring Road on the right) between 8 and 8:30 to assess teams, assign trails and work details, and hand out tools and first aid kits. The current conditions are VERY hot and EXTREMELY dry so bring lots of water, as well as your own clippers, hand saws, etc. Please show up rain or shine, if the rain is very heavy we may elect to hike on Sunday the 13th, but the meeting will be held on the evening of the 12th.
All ages and skill levels are welcome. First priority will be clearing trails on Mt. Chocorua and Paugus (a full-day hiking and trail clearing/maintenance). For those who might want a less rigorous hike we also have work to be done on the trails on the CLCF Conservation land (lighter hiking, perhaps 2-3 hours). And for those who would like to do just a little light raking lakeside, The Grove and The Island will have a work crew too (no hiking, perhaps 1-2 hours).
Everyone is welcome at the social hour and dinner (salads/desserts are potluck and BYOB) followed by the CMC Annual Meeting at the Balch Big House (0n Loring Road). Festivities begin after crews come down off the mountain or around 5:30 pm. The CMC Annual Meeting will start around 7:30pm, all are welcome to join us, and this year will include a presentation by the White Mountain National Forest Service. We hope to see many faces, young and old, at Trail Clearing this year!
Come one, come all to Trail Clearing on Saturday, May 7th. Meet in the Wheeler field (coming from the Narrows Bridge the driveway is on Chocorua Lake road just past Loring Road on the right) between 8 and 8:30 to assess teams, assign trails and work details, and hand out tools and first aid kits. The day is adaptable for all ages and skill levels. Please bring your own water and food, and loppers/gloves if you have them. Dress in layers and be prepared to meet snow at higher altitudes. If some folks could bring a 1/2 inch and a 9/16 inch socket and socket wrench to loosen the bolts holding the signs to the trees, it would be great to have one on each crew.
There are three work options so every level of skill and/or enthusiasm are encouraged to join us. First priority will be clearing trails on Mt. Chocorua and Paugus (a full-day hiking and working). For those who might want a less rigorous hike we also have work to be done on the trails for hikers and cross country skiers in CLCF Conservation land (lighter hiking, perhaps 2-3 hours). And for those who would like to do just a little light raking or culvert clearing lakeside, The Grove and The Island will have a work crew too (no hiking, perhaps 2-3 hours).
Everyone is welcome at the social hour and dinner (salads/desserts are potluck and BYOB) followed by the CMC Annual Meeting at the Balch Big House (0n Loring Road). Festivities begin after crews come down off the mountain or around 5:00 pm. CMC Annual Meeting will start around 7pm.
We hope to see many faces, young and old, at Trail Clearing this year!
As we see leaves beginning to turn and the nip of autumn in the air, we wanted to look back and post on some August events that merit a fond look back.
On Family Day on August 14, the CMC led a hike up Black Cap Mountain just north of North Conway. Blackcap is east of Cranmore, and south of Hurricane Mountain. It’s a nice 45 min. easy hike for all ages, with open ledges on the top with spectacular views.
While the turnout for the hike was small, it was dedicated – Michael Robbins, Ken Smith and Anne Marie Biernacki-Smith bypassed traffic via Westside Road to Rt. 16, to Blackcap along Westside Road from Conway, and enjoyed the hike, a small snack, and terrific views with a dramatic sky in the backdrop. We made it back in time for the cookout at the Wheeler Field followed by Jim Bowditch’s RockNRoll Tour of cellar holes and stone wall features.
Blackcap is a terrific, family friendly hike – easy, great for kids and with 360 degree views that reward the intrepid or the casual visitor equally.
On Saturday, July 17th a trail crew from the Chocorua Mountain Club used hand tools, sweat, and lots of heart to clear the Old Paugus Trail and Beeline Trail on Mt. Paugus. Several large blowdowns on the lower portions of both trails, as well as many mid-sized ones across the ridgeline led to a long day of work with old fashioned bow saws, two-man cross cut saws, and a new ‘jack knife’ folding saw introduced to the CMC by the Forest Service. The team started out at 8:30 am from the Balch Barn and returned about 5:30 pm a little tired but with spirits high.
A marvelous dinner of hearty beef stew, bread, salad and pie was prepared for all crew members and their families by Lydia Smith and Nancy Mathews. Of course after a few cold libations on the Smith’s porch.
The following week, National Forest Service certified chainsaw sawyers Ken Smith and Howard Mathews tackled the remaining work on the Brook Trail. And in August a CMC Crew cleared 22 blowdowns with hand tools on the Whitten Brook trail on Paugus.
Many thanks to all for thier participation and support. We hope to see many more CMC members and new members next May 2011 for our annual CMC Trail Crew day, as well as July 2011 for NH Trails Day when CMC will lead another special project up Mt. Chocorua.
Join us for the 2010 CMC Classic Trail Crew on NH Trails Day, July 17th, 2010.
The CMC is hosting a Classic Trail Crew to clear the way on Mt. Paugus. We’ll be clipping, clearing water bars, and cutting away blowdowns the old-fashioned way - no power tools.
Volunteers of all ages and ability are welcome, even if all you want to do is hike because collecting information on trail condition – as well as carrying lunch and water for workers - are also critical so please join us and enjoy the unspoiled Wilderness on Paugus. Kids are also encouraged to participate (parental supervision is required for anyone under the age of 18 and safety will require that not all ages can use certain tools) as there will be light work, blazing, recording work crew activity on iPhones/digital cameras for posting on this web site, and all kids under the age of 18 will get their own free copy of the CMC Trail map.
So pack a big lunch, sharpen up your bow saws, loppers, clippers, steel rakes, and axes – CMC tools will also be available for anyone who needs them - but please leave the chainsaws, leaf blowers, and power hedge trimmers behind. There may be a stream crossing so bring extra socks and maybe an old pair of sneakers that you don’t mind getting wet.
Your reward for the day of hard work will be a Classic Trail Crew dinner /cookout at the Smith’s (615 Chocorua Lake Road) where dinner will include the same (or similar) food that was served 100 years ago at CMC Trail Day. ‘Classic’ dinner attire is encouraged but not required. Croquet and bocci will be played on the terrace, or bring your own games for kids of all ages to play. Donations to the dessert table will be gladly received. Family of crew members are also welcome to join us - set up will start about 5pm and helpers are always welcome. Parking is slightly limited so please carpool if you can, and bring a flashlight too.
If you are interested in participating please email CMC President Ken Smith at khsconsulting at comcast dot net – it’s important that we know numbers for dinner. Crew members please meet at the Balch Barn (same driveway as the Wheeler Field) ready to go by 8:30 am. Dinner will be served about 6:30 pm.
CMC clears the way!
On May 8, 2010 the Chocorua Mountain Club held its annual meeting following Trails Day during which much work was accomplished. A summary of the trail reports follows:
Mt. Chocorua & Mt. Paugus: ALL trails are passable with most fully cleared of blowdowns.
- Chocorua Beeline: 30 blowdowns cleared by hand, the trail is clear and open, new relocation is fair well.
- Brook Trail: Several blow downs remain and will be cleared later in the year but the train is passable, much clearing of water bars, many trillium and hobblebush in full bloom
- Hammond: Tree work and lots of clipping, trail is clear and open. Possible relocation needed on upper ledges
- Weetamoo: Trail is in good shape, clear and passable.
- Paugus Beeline: Water bars cleared, some small cutting, trail is clear and open.
- Whitten Brook: No report at this time
- Lawrence Trail (WODC): Much improved by our friends at WODC
- Big Rock Cave: Trail needs a new sign
- Beeline Cutoff: No report at this time
- Old Paugust Trail: Water bars cleared and trail clipped, trail is clear and passable
Conservation Lands: CMC Members also pitched in to clear trail on CLCF Conservation Lands:
- Bickford Heights: Much clearing of blowdowns, trail is clear and passable
- Old Mail Road: Much clearing of blowdowns, trail is clear and passable, some water barring needed
- Middle Trail: Clear and open
- Watkins Way: No report at this time, believed to be clear and open
- Hunters Trail: No report at this time, beleived to be clear and open
- Heron Pond Loop: No report at this time, beleived to be clear and open
- Highland Trail: No report at this time, beleived to be clear and open
Chocorua Lake Beach & Shoreline: CMC Members also volunteers to clear the berms and swales between Chocorua Lake & Rt. 16.
- Several large logs requiring a chainsaw remain
Fun was had by all.
Dear CMC friends,
Trails should be unfrozen and ready for work by Trail Clearing on Saturday, May 8th. As usual, we will be meeting in the Wheeler Field by 8:30am for trail assignments. Please bring your clippers and drainage cleaning tools- like a rake or grub hoe, if you have them. Each crew will need a socket wrench and socket, 7/16″ and 9/16″ to loosen the bolts on our signs- so if you have one of those, bring it. We have other drainage cleaning tools, clippers, first aid kits, and blazing paint.
All ages of workers are welcome and encouraged!
Dinner followed by the annual meeting will be at the Balch Big House. Ham, potatoes, and beans are served by CMC; BYOB cocktails, and potluck appetizer, salad or dessert. Drinks around 5, dinner around 6, followed by the meeting around 7:15pm. The schedule is fairly fluid, so come when you’re ready.
Last year we let folks know that we had found the original constitution for the CMC, and we worked to revise and update it, handing out draft copies at the meeting. This year at the meeting we want to discuss and vote to accept the new constitution. Copies of the original and revised bylaws can be emailed to you. If you have any comments, please feel free to email them to any of the officers (Anne and Townsend Zwart firstname.lastname@example.org, Howard Mathews email@example.com, Kate Lanou firstname.lastname@example.org) or bring them to the meeting.
We are also ready to elect a new president of the CMC (or perhaps co-presidents as we have now). If you know of someone, or would like to be considered, please let any of us know.
The trails need our Spring Clean-up! See you out there – Anne, Townsend, Howard, and Kate
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Mount Chocorua bears the name of Sokosis Chief Chocorua who lived in the early 1700’s. While all of the stories agree that he met his tragic death on the mountain, they differ as to how. Some have him falling from a high rock, while others have him being shot by white men after he uttered a curse on the valley below him.
The Champney Falls Trail is named for Benjamin Champney, pioneer White Mountain Artist (1817-1907). The Falls, though fantastic to view in the spring of the year, are meager in the dry seasons.
The Bee Line Trail was an old logging road which the locals continued to use as a means to get from the Bolles Trail to the summit after the loggers left the area. The Bolles Trail was a road that ran between Tamworth and the Albany Intervale, through the valley between Chocorua and Mt. Paugus. Tradition says that the first white person who ever passed through these mountains was Mother Head, who upon learning of sickness and distress in the Intervale, put on her Native American snow shoes and all alone made her way through the forest to offer her help. The road was destroyed by a hurricane and later re-blazed as a trail by Frank Bolles. Since the hurricane, the Bolles Trail is sometimes referred to as the Lost Trail.
The Chocorua Mountain Road (now the Liberty Trail) was the shortest and most popular road to the summit of Mt. Chocorua and the Peak House. In 1892, David Knowles and Newell Forrest bought the road/path and rights to the Halfway House, a former logging camp, from Jim (Dutch) Liberty, who had improved the path from the southwest in 1887 and incorporated it with the state of New Hampshire in 1889. They replaced Liberty’s Peak House—two tents surrounded by a stone wall—with a three story structure which served as a hotel, obtained a new charter from the state, and spent $400 to improve the route.
At the Halfway House pedestrians had to pay a toll of $.25 each (about $30 by today’s standards). Some evidence of the Halfway House may still be found. The views from the Peak House explain why it was so popular and why people were willing to pay $13.00 per week for lodging ($1300 at today’s dollar value). In 1915, the Peak House was blown off the mountain. A cabin was constructed on the Peak House site in 1924 by the Chocorua Mountain Club.
That cabin lasted until 1932 when winds blew the roof off. The Forest Service replaced it in 1934 with an enclosed cabin (Jim Liberty Cabin) with six bunk beds and large chains to hold the roof in place.
The Hammond Trail is perhaps the oldest trail on the mountain. It is said Native Americans used this trail prior to the coming of the white men. The trail takes its name from the Hammond Farm situated at the base of the trail.
Mt. Chocorua has a vast history with many more tribal names, legends, and lore. Writings such as “Albany’s Recollections” by A. Bernard Perry, “Passaconaway in the White Mountains” by Charles Edward Beals, Jr., and “Mount Chocorua, A Guide and History” by Steven D. Smith will sweep you into the past.