After dealing with insurance companies, adjusters and a car rental,we felt the need to do some unfinished business by hiking Middle and North Moat mountains. We had hiked South Moat in the winter of 2010 and liked the views so much that we wanted to make a return trip to these nearby peaks. Since we were staying at the Lodge at Jackson Village this would be a convenient escape back to the woods. After the moose incident we didn?t want to be driving the dark roads at night any time soon.
Arriving at the trailhead near Diana?s Bath off West Side Road we began the mostly level wide trail past the fall and onto the Red Ridge Trail. Several blow downs were still strewn across the somewhat moist path.
We were confused by the many unmarked trails branching off the Moat Mountain Trail east of intersection with the Red River Trail. I think more blazes and signs are needed along this section to direct the hiker to the proper route. As a matter of fact blazes along the trail were nonexistent. We had the same problem in the winter of 2010 down at the southern end.
We reached the junction with the Red Ridge Link Trail at 9:50 am and continued on through damp conditions see lots of mushrooms, some with unusual colors; like this purple one.
Crossing a small brook without any difficulty we began to climb and soon reached an open ledge; our first view of the day.
Just past the view the trail continues ascending to a neat set of rocks which require the hiker to ascend through a narrow clef with good footing.
Throughout the hike we would play out different scenarios as to how the situation with our van would play out. Just above the aforementioned rocks our cell phone rang and it was the body shop manager at Arnold?s in Lincoln, letting us know that the vehicle was not totaled after all and that it may take about 2 weeks to be repaired.
Taking a short break, we continued on to another viewpoint where we could see Whitehorse Ledge and Cranmore.
Around 12:30 we reached the part of the trail that opens up onto rocky ledges. Care must be taken so as not to lose the trail.
We reached the junction with the Moat Mountain Trail just before 1 pm and had another break to ?refuel?. We shared a delicious crumb cake which we bought at Big Dave?s Bagels the day before. I don?t know if it was the sugar or just the fact we were hiking again, but Michael got to urge to do some ?planking?.
The trail going along the ridge need work and some was evident as a crew must have cleared a section by chopping a tree in half.
We reached the Middle Moat summit at 1:40 where we enjoyed cold pizza and the views.
Now back to the junction with the Red Ridge Trail and onto North Moat. The same trail conditions persisted toward our next goal with blow downs and untrimmed vegetation. Blazes were few and far between.
There were several interesting sections along this portion of the Moat Mountain Trail with steep pitches and large walls of granite. At 3:45 we reached the summit of North Moat where we were treated to magnificent views in every direction. Sunbeams radiated through the clouds in one direction and encroaching bad weather from the other direction.
Now it was time for the long descent over open ledges, rocks and sections of soft moist earth. We even saw a ?fairy ring? and I believe bear scat.
We finally reached the junction with the Attitash Trail at 5:30 where we had a snack and sat down after the long descent. Only 2.4 miles to go. The trail now parallels Lucy Brook and along the way are some nice waterfalls.
We made excellent time along this section and in no time we were back at Diana?s Bath at 6:15.Except for the small portion of the Moat Mountain Trail between South and Middle Moat we now have completed all the summits in the Moat Range.
Hopefully, we will be back the end of next week to pick up our restored van and maybe include a hike or two.
Here?s the link to our slide show:
Mike and Donna