Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew

Trailwork COVID-19 Practices

The NH Department of Natural and Cultural Resources has rescinded all COVID-19 guidance for volunteer groups operating in state parks, forests, and historic sites. Compliance with the Governor's Universal Best Practices COVID-19 guidance is encouraged, but it is not required. Local and Town ordinances concerning COVID-19 must still be adhered to, but that is not relevant to any of our usual work areas. So unless otherwise stated in the worktrip notice, the wearing of face masks on CHVTC work outings will not be required and will be a matter of personal preference. Social distancing will be encouraged where possible. Getting vaccinated is highly encouraged, but not required. HOWEVER, we will take the temperature of all arrivals for a workday, and we request those running a high temperature, or showing any of the usual symptoms of Covid illness, to stay home until they are fully recovered. Thank you for understanding.

Projects, Work Days, and Volunteer Opportunities

Most current project on the top.

The Curtain Has Closed on the 2022 Trailwork Season

As noted in the NEWS section, our volunteers have spent the past few weeks raking out drains and putting the trails to bed for the winter. With our last chore complete, the trailwork season is now concluded. A very big thank you to everyone who came out with us this year and we hope to see you again in 2023. As you can see by the list below, it's been a busy season. But now is the time for cleaning our tools and storing them away for the winter. Check back here in late April (or thereabouts) when we start up our spring patrols. A complete summary of the season's work will be published in the news section soon, so check back for that.

Sat. 10/22: Mowglis Trail, Orange Cove - Firescrew, trim brush.

This Saturday's trip is to summit of Firescrew from Orange Cove on Mowglis Trail. ~ 1.6 mi. one-way, 800' ascent. Sunday forecast showers, Saturday is the better of the weekend.

Meet Canaan NH 0900 @ jct Rte 4 & Rte 118 (map link below). Usual SOP: please wear your tartans; gear and clothes for that day's forecast, which is dry and 60s. BYO gloves or we issue you a pair. Tools supplied, or BYO. BYO food + 2 qt. water.

Stick season is here, but the view from Firescrew is a connoisseur's delight. Please take photos! Also, check out Crag Camp that we repaired in 2013. If interested, please email cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com or use the contact form below to sign up and ask questions.

Thank you muchly, and I wish all a safe and fun day.

Craig Sanborn,, CHVTC Trailmaster                Meet Spot on Google Maps        PDF of Mount Cardigan Trail Map via NH State Parks

Sat. 10/15: Mowglis Trail, Orange Cove - Firescrew, cut brush.

This Saturday's trip is to summit of Firescrew from Orange Cove on Mowglis Trail. ~ 1.6 mi. one-way, 800' ascent. Your leader is Steve Darrow
( I am at Alpine Stewards' Gathering of Waterman Fund at Craftsbury VT).

Meet Canaan NH 0900 @ jct Rte 4 & Rte 118 (map link below). Usual SOP: please wear your tartans; gear and clothes for that day's forecast, which is dry and 50s. BYO gloves or we issue you a pair. Tools supplied, or BYO. BYO food + 2 qt. water.

Foliage a little past peak, but the view from Firescrew is a connoisseur's delight. Please take photos! Also, check out Crag Camp that we repaired in 2013.

If interested, please email cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com or use the contact form below to sign up and ask questions.Thank you muchly, and I wish all a safe and fun day.

Craig Sanborn, CHVTC Trailmaster          Meet Spot on Google Maps        PDF of Mount Cardigan Trail Map via NH State Parks

Sat 10/8: Mt Sunapee Ski Area

FREE chairlift to summit, work Lake Solitude Trail, new steps drains barricade brushing....

This weekend Oct 8-10, is the last weekend the Summit chairlift runs this season. Therefore, we'll have a crew day there and then. This trail does need more fixtures, and it has several herd paths to barricade. Forecast is dry, temps ~50 degrees.

Meet time is 09:00 @ ski area parking lot (map link below). Usual SOP: please wear your tartans, BYO lunch + 2 qt water, gear for forecast. BYO gloves, or we issue you a pair. Tools supplied, or BYO. Free chairlift ride both up and down the mtn. ???, If interested, please email cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com or use the contact form below to sign up and ask questions.              Meeting Spot on Google Maps               Sunapee Hiking Trail Map PDF

BTW, it is my pleasure to report that last Friday afternoon 9/30, two of us finished the job of re-digging drains on the West Ridge Trail, in 3 hrs. We also built a 4-rock waterbar at an old drainage dip just uphill of Fire Pond Brook. Trench holding 50-lb rocks fitted together, backfilled on the uphill or ditch side to make a berm...

Good company, perfect weather, needed creative work, stunning views. What's not to like. See ya soon, I hope.

All the Best, Craig

Oct 2022 trailwork options

Foliage season approacheth, and it is a wonderful fine time to get out on the trails. Looking back on this season, we have made good progress on the worklist we had back in April. There is still about six weeks left before we have to clean and sharpen the tools for the winter.

Weekdays, I will be working on our adopted trails. You are invited to contact me and we will time the work to your schedule, and mine. Fri PM 9/30, Cardigan on West Ridge Trail.Later in Oct, Rollins Trail up from Warner on the south side of Mt. Kearsarge. Later still, after stick season arrives, rake leaves from drains. 260 if we do them all. : )

Weekends, we vote by emailing cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com, or use the contact form at the bottom of this page, as to which day we prefer. Signups are emailed the results not later than Fri early morning.

The next two weekends are the last times this season to ride the chairlift up Mt Sunapee FREE so as to resolve some herd path and erosion issues on Lake Solitude Trail. That involves we meet at the ski area parking lot 0900 for our ride up when the lift opens at 1000. Last chair downhill at 1630, thus about 5 hrs to work our way back from Lake Solitude.

Foliage is not at peak brilliance here yet. When it is, we'll enjoy patrolling Mowglis Trail from Orange Cove to Crag Camp (we fixed in 2013) to the summit of Firescrew, with stupendous views guaranteed.

Weekend of Oct 15-16, I am attending the biannual Alpine Stewards Gathering in northern VT. It is hosted by the Waterman Fund, and I will write a report on its proceedings for you. The crew can get out on one of our trails anyway, led by one of our team leaders. I don't have to be there for us to work safe and have fun.

Still several weeks of trail time ahead. I hope to see you soon.

Yours, Craig

Sat 9/24 OR Sun 9/25: Mt Sunapee

FREE chairlift to summit, work Lake Solitude Trail new steps, drains, barricade, brushing...

This trail does need more fixtures, and it has several herd paths to barricade. Forecast is dry, temps 60s both days. Usual SOP: please wear your tartans, BYO lunch + 2 qt water, gear for forecast. BYO gloves, or we issue you a pair. Tools supplied, or BYO.. Free chairlift ride both up and down the mtn. ???

Meet time is 09:00 @ ski area parking uphill from the traffic circle. If interested, please email cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com or use the contact form below to sign up and ask questions.              Meeting Spot on Google Maps               Sunapee Hiking Trail Map PDF

Good company, perfect weather, needed creative work, stunning views. What's not to like. See ya soon, I hope.

Yours, Craig

Sat 9/10: Winslow Trail Redux

We return to Winslow Trail, lug our tools 0.4 mi up to our last job up there, and work our way downhill, adding rock steps etc. until quitting time about 3 PM/1500.

Please wear your tartans, tools supplied, gloves issued.  Bring your food and water, drinks afterwards.

Meet at 0900 by the toll house on road to Winslow State Park. If interested,  email cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com or use the contact form at the bottom of this page to sign up, and ask any questions you have.

Thank you, Craig          Meeting spot on Google Maps  /  Mount Kearsarge Trail Map from NH State Parks

Sat 8/27: Back to Winslow Trail on Mt. Kearsarge

More building work on Winslow Trail. Pretty much the same as the previous Sun. 8/14 work-trip. See that write up below for more details.

If interested, please email cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com or use the contact form at the bottom of this page to sign up, state which day you prefer, and ask any questions you have. Meet at 0900 by the toll house on road to Winslow State Park.

Thank you, Craig          Meeting spot on Google Maps  /  Mount Kearsarge Trail Map from NH State Parks

Sat 8/20: West Side Mt. Cardigan, R&R old woodwork & dig new sidehill trail

Because the drains are cleaned, the brush trimmed, and the trails blazed (see "news" on website), we can move on to level 2 building tasks.

One job is to remove and replace old woodwork that is worn or broken on West Ridge Trail . We got a good start with two different crews from YMCA camps on 7/15 and 8/3. Between them they replaced 7 fixtures with 60' of fir logs harvested from blowdowns by one of our sawyers. We can continue that downhill of where they left off, using hand tools if we have no sawyer. The trees can be fairly small in diameter but will still work for about 12 years. There are several old fixtures needing renewal near the junction West Ridge and South Ridge trails.

A second job in this neighborhood is to end new erosion on a steep part of South Ridge Trail by digging a sidehill trail as a zigzag or switchback between two existing waterbars. We will lay out the route on gentle grades, choose where it will turn, then rake the duff downhill and pull mineral soil to be a treadway ~1' W. Waterbars and side ditches will be dug as needed. Total L = ~ 60 yd., and we will not open it to hikers until it is finished. This is an exercise in new trail construction, we'll work from the guidelines in the A T Fieldbook, and we'll consult with each other. I do not pretend to know everything, but together we'll build something that will stand the test of time.

Our usual SOP: Wear your crew tartan bandanna. Leather boots, long pants Daypack with gear for the forecast, plenty of food and 2 qt water. BYO gloves or we issue a pair. Tools supplied, or BYO.

Meet time 0900 at Canaan NH, jct. Rte. 4 & Rte 118. If interested, please email cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com or use the contact form at the bottom of this page to sign up, and ask any questions you have. I keenly look forward to seeing you again. Cold drinks at Papa Z's after work.

Next weekend, we are likely to return to Mt. Kearsarge before we take Labor Day weekend off. Here's to cool mountain weather!

Yours, Craig Sanborn, CHVTC Trailmaster                Meet Spot on Google Maps        PDF of Mount Cardigan Trail Map via NH State Parks

Sun 8/14: Winslow Trail on Mt. Kearsarge

The weather having cooled, and the forecast holding steady there through the weekend, I offer Sunday on the Winslow Trail up the north side of Mt Kearsarge.  Below please find the details:

This trail bit is 0.5 miles, we have worked it since 2010, and it needs more. More stone steps/revetting, all drains cleaned, and brushed out to spec. Work for everyone, both tending and building.

We'll rake drains and trim brush from the bottom up, but lug other tools up to the flight of 10 rock stairs we built last year and work from the top down.

Meet at 0900 by the toll house on road to Winslow State Park (map link below). If interested, please email cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com or use the contact form at the bottom of this page to sign up and ask any questions you have. Thank you for your patience through these days, and I keenly look forward to seeing you again. Cold drinks at Blackwater after work.

Our usual SOP: Please wear your crew tartan bandanna if you have one. Leather boots, long pants, daypack with gear for the forecast, plenty of food and 2 qt water. BYO gloves or we issue a pair. Tools supplied, or BYO.

Craig Sanborn, CHVTC Trailmaster         Meeting spot on Google Maps  /  Mount Kearsarge Trail Map from NH State Parks

Sun., July 10: Mount Kearsarge Rollins Trail is still a go

,Meet up time is 09:00 @ McDonald's in Warner, NH (map link below), convoy up to trailhead from there. Usual gear: daypack with clothes for the forecast weather, long pants, leather boots, food and water. BYO gloves or we issue you a pair. Tools supplied, but feel free to BYO.

Meeting spot on Google Maps  /  Mount Kearsarge Trail Map from NH State Parks

Saturday, 7/9: Winslow Trail on Mt Kearsarge - rocks, drains, & brushing.

This trail bit is 0.5 miles, we have worked it since 2010, and it needs more. More stone steps/revetting, all drains cleaned, and brushed out to spec. Work for everyone, both tending and building. We'll rake drains from the bottom up, but lug tools up to the flight of 10 rock stairs we built last year and work from the top down.

Our usual SOP: Please wear your crew tartan bandanna if you have one. Leather boots, long pants, daypack with gear for the forecast, plenty of food and 2 qt water. BYO gloves or we issue a pair. Tools supplied, or BYO.

Meet at 0900 by the toll house on road to Winslow State Park (map link below). If interested, please email cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com or use the contact form at the bottom of this page to sign up and ask any questions you have. Cold drinks at Blackwater after work.

P.S.  There is a very good chance we will return to Rollins Trail on the south side of the mountain the next day, Sunday July 10.  We  have 10 yards of trail that needs a ditch and revetted treadway in a congested gully, and we decided to save it for its own team as we ended our last workday there on June 25. There is also a team hiking the 0.5 mile to the summit, adding two blaze boards, plus a few other chores around there. Please reply here to sender about that one. It is not yet announced, and I need to consult with the team leaders on it before then.

All the Best, Craig Sanborn,  CHVTC Trailmaster                   Link to Meeting Spot on Google Maps               Mount Kearsarge Trail Map PDF from NH State Parks

Sat., 6/25: Mount Kearsarge Rollins Trail, revet & dig ditches.

We'll meet at McDonald's on Rte. 103 in Warner at 0900, then drive several miles up to Rollins trailhead at about 2600' and a half mile below the summit of Mt Kearsarge, Likely forecast is ten degrees cooler than for the valley below. We'll hike up to a view, then work back downhill digging ditches and building retaining walls & revetting the treadway. This is needed because the original carriage road the trail uses is eroded down an average of four feet. There are waterbars to drain water away downhill, but little to collect water and drain it to them. We will also be opening up any old ditches uphill of the trail that can help collect water before it reaches the trail. Picks, shovels, loppers, saws, bars... the full range of our tools will be needed by each team of us.

Meet up time is 09:00 @ McDonald's in Warner, NH (map link below). Usual gear: daypack with clothes for the forecast weather, long pants, leather boots, food and water. BYO gloves or we issue you a pair. Tools supplied, but feel free to BYO. This is a short length of trail that needs a bit of defining. BTW, a leisurely lunch means we may take it on the summit.

If interested, please email cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com or use the contact form below to sign up and ask questions you have. Ideas or suggestions are welcome too. This is different from patrols, we just want to finish each fixture before we move on. Our name is on these trails.

I look forward to seeing everyone again. Craig Sanborn, CHVTC Trailmaster     Meeting spot on Google Maps  /  Mount Kearsarge Trail Map from NH State Parks

Saturday, 6/18: Mt Sunapee, chairlift to summit & work downhill

The NH State Bird aka black fly having mostly gone home for the year, we begin our active building season on Mt Sunapee. We'll ride the Summit Chair at 10:00 and work downhill to our cars. We'll patrol these trails for blowdowns, dig or add drains as needed, note what more fixtures are needed, and gather for refreshments after work.

Bring usual gear for dayhike, BYO gloves or we'll issue a pair, tools supplied or BYO, long pants, leather boots (ticks!!), bug nets for hats lent for the day on request. BYO food and lots of water. If there be enough of us, we'll patrol more than one trail.

Meet time is 09:00 @ ski area parking uphill from the traffic circle. If interested, please email cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com or use the contact form below to sign up and ask questions.              Meeting Spot on Google Maps               Sunapee Hiking Trail Map PDF

Thanks for your interest, Craig Sanborn, CHVTC Trailmaster

Fri. 5/13: Cole Pond Trail, Enfield NH

We have a job 0.8 miles up the trail. I patrolled it last 4/11, and this time we'll lug a pre-cut kit of PT lumber and build another bog bridge to extend those we built in 2017.

As we descend we can finish the patrol, dig out a few waterbars, add a bit more barricade, etc. Total time about four hours, then refreshments at Proctor's General Store.

For this short workday, bring usual gear for a dayhike in warm sunny dry weather, especially water and snack. BYO gloves or we'll issue you a pair. Wear broad-brim hat or baseball cap: NH State Bird is flying in squadrons, so our bug nets will be lent for the day. Cold drinks at Proctor's Store after work. If interested, please email cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com or use the contact form below to sign up and ask questions. Meet time is 09:00 @ Cole Pond Trailhead (Henry Laramie WMA) on Bog Rd. in Enfield.

All the Best, Craig Sanborn, CHVTC Trailmaster          Cole Pond Trailhead on Google Maps          PDF trail map from NH Fish & Game

Saturday 5/7/2022: Spring patrol Cardigan trails

Happy Spring, trail crew. We'll assume the gate on the road to Cardigan is open. DOT will ring me when it is. If it isn't, this workday will change to Cole Pond Trail on Bog Road in Enfield.

There we'll lug 2 2x4x8' PT + 15 5/4x6x16" PT 0.8 mi. up to the bog bridges we built in Sep 2017; that site needs one more. Then we visit the pond, patrol back downhill,
Cold drinks in Enfield Center after work.

But if we can drive to Cardigan, we'll hike as much of our trail mileage up there as we can,, chop blowdowns, rake drains etc. Level 1 chores, but we do them year after year at the right times. Our name is on these trails.

Usual gear for day hike, gloves issued on request, tools supplied or BYO, patrol in teams of at least 2 crew, and several is better. Stretch the legs and enjoy the view, w/ refreshments after work.

Meet 0900 @ Canaan Green, jct of NH Rtes. 4 + 118. Re-acquaint with each other after 6 months off. It's Spring! Please email cardiganhighlanders@gmail.com or use the contact form below to sign up and ask questions.

Yours ay, Craig Sanborn, CHVTC Trailmaster

Trail Map from NH State Parks              Canaan Green meet spot on Google Maps

Due to variable weather and to accommodate our volunteers and clients, we usually invite volunteers by email several days before the workday. 
We work weekdays and the first and third Saturdays May - October, but weather has forced changes several times this season. 
The best way to sign up is to email us so we can add you to the email invitation list.
Please email us if you have any questions.  
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