Cardigan Highlanders Volunteer Trail Crew

3rd Saturday of the Month

To aid your planning, we will schedule a work day on the 3rd Saturday of each month during the trailwork season. If we must cancel that day due to foul weather or other unforeseeable factors, we will use the next day, Sunday as our backup day. We will schedule other work days as jobs and/or available crews pop up, but you can count on there being a work day on the 3rd Saturday of the month.

Projects, Work Days, and Volunteer Opportunities

,Most current project on the top.

Work Into October

As of a week ago, the monsoon season seems to be about over.. almanac since monsoon began June 9 says 19.36" rain till now. Mud season along with more herd paths and erosion lasted well into August. Our trails suffered less damage than some because we perform the fundamentals of trail tending. In the words of the late Hal Graham, that is "drainage, drainage, and drainage."

Well, that means we still have several items on our must-do list, and several more on our like-to-do list. With less than two months of season remaining, we have little choice but to focus on that first list. As for opportunities:

- Mt Sunapee summit chair runs next two weekends then shuts down till ski season. That is Sat-Sun 9/30-10/1, and Sat-Sun 10/7-8. Job is build rock steps in a gully on Solitude Trail, rocks quarried and flagged. Meet ski area parking 0900, ride chairlift at 1000.
NOTE: if enough crew turn out, one team drives to Andrew Brook Trailhead on Mtn Rd, and hikes a mile uphill to set rocks and improve drains at 3rd brook crossing.
Other approach is ride chair up, hike 2 miles down, descend to Mtn Rd to our cars spotted there.
Each team needs at least 3 people, including 2 experienced in rockwork. Even more means more teams.

- Our regular 3rd Saturday this October is on West Ridge Trail, Mt Cardigan State Park, meet Oct 21 0900. Hike 0.8 miles up, descend from there. Set rocks,
dig drains, and any other work for which we have turnout. Work for all abilities.

- Other work is smaller crews, whenever we can meet by appointment. Besides the days above, we have 10 more items on Winslow Trail, brushing on Rim Trail, Skyland
Trail, and Mowglis Trail. We are invited to Enfield to build new bridges on their trails, teaming up with their new Volunteer Trail Crew.

Usual details of tartans, gear for forecast, food and drink, gloves, tools, round of drinks after work, big thanks to crew... oh wait, them ain't details. they're essential. If interested, please email [email protected] or use the contact form at the bottom of this page. Thank you.

Craig Sanborn, CHVTC Trailmaster

9/16 3rd Sat: Mount Sunapee, Andrew Brook Trail

Next regular 3rd Sat workday is Andrew Brook Trail on Mountain Road in Newbury NH @ 0900. We'll have a team building better drains and rock steps just uphill of the 3rd crossing of the brook, and another team on other issues of erosion control downhill of the second crossing of the brook. Higher team hikes 1 mile up to site, lower one 1/2 mile.

Usual SOP: wear your crew tartan if you have one, long pants, leather boots. BYO food, 2qt water + electrolytes. BYO work gloves, or we issue a pair. Tools supplied, or BYO.

A round of cold drinks after work. Please email [email protected] or use the contact form at the bottom of this page  to sign up, and to ask questions. Thank you muchly.

Yours, Craig          Meet Spot / Andrew Brook Trailhead on Google Maps            Sunapee Hiking Trail Map PDF

Saturday 8/19: Mount Kearsarge,Build Rock Steps & Waterbars on Winslow Trail.

We return to Winslow Trail to add/repair fixtures from parking lot on uphill. BYO gloves or we issue you a pair. BYO food, 2 qt water + electrolytes, gear for the forecast (70s, dry. Raincoat). Wear leather boots, long pants. Tools supplied. Work 0900 - 1500.

Meet at 0900 Winslow State Park (map link below). If interested, please email [email protected] or use the contact form at the bottom of this page to sign up and ask any questions you have. Cold drinks afterwards.

Thank you, Craig          Winslow State Park meet spot on Google Maps          PDF Mount Kearsarge Trail Map from NH State Parks

August 2023 Update

Hello Trail Crew,

We have lost count of rain days and rainfall these two months past. Trails in July are muddy like in mud season in May, plus the horde of hikers (this is a public website). We have patrolled all our trails save Mowglis and Skyland. We cleaned ~240 drains and ditches, and cut 17+ blowdowns. Last month's update is at "news" HERE.

We have scouted some away jobs, but they are optional and our own trails are not. Crew ie, your demand indicates whether to pursue them, or not.

  • Revet with rock under tread of 5 Finger Point Trail on Squam Lake, car camp nearby. Work Sat, hike or paddle Sun.
  • Old Bridle Path, Franconia Notch. The work on the state park section does not yet need our skillset, that may change.

I built a rock waterbar on Marlboro Trail for Monadnock Trails Week, photos and report HERE.

In August, 3rd Saturday is the 19th. We'll post on DNCR site plus Nature Groupie (I had no vote on choosing the name, trust me). At 0900 we are on Winslow Trail. Other jobs may be by a few of us on weekdays, or several on weekends. Brushing and blazing not listed here since they can be done by as few as two people, though the more the better.. Here they are:

  • Andrew Brook Trail: Build better drains and steps near the 3rd crossing of the brook 1 mile up from trailhead. Three from Mtn Rd to 2nd brook crossing.
  • Solitude Trail: Add a few waterbars, plus steps in gullies and pavers where we cannot drain the mud. Chairlift Thu-Sun only, we ride for free.
  • Newbury-west + Rim Trails: Brush down to cars in NE bowl.
  • Rollins Trail: Steps, ditches, treadway. Many smallish rocks to work with. A few crew on a full day. 0.2 miles from parking.
  • South Ridge Trail: A few rock steps, brushing, barricade(1).
  • West Ridge Trail: The odd step here and there, revetting to separate treadway from ditch, r&r wood waterbars (3). Below Cliff's Bridge, a few rock steps down to the flat. Crew of several, full day.

Please email [email protected] or use the contact form below to indicate when you may be available and what job you may prefer. Can't guarantee a job, but crew interest matters.

Yours ay, Craig Sanborn, CHVTC Trailmaster

3rd Sat 7/22: Mount Cardigan West Ridge Trail

Our 3rd Sat workday is on the West Ridge Trail. The job is build rock waterbar(s). Work uphill from road; barricade, steps, drains. Meet Mt. Cardigan State Park 0900. This trail is very wet from the rains, it needs this attention very much. Please reply here to sign up. Wear long pants, sturdy boots, BYO gloves or we issue you a pair. Hardhat lent. Bring 2 qt. water + electrolytes, food, raingear. Tools supplied.

Thank you, everyone. If interested, please email [email protected] or use the contact form below to sign up and ask questions.

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

Sat 7/15: Mount Monadnock, Marlboro Trail

Meet Marlboro trailhead on Shaker Rd. N. of Rte. 124 0900. Wear long pants, sturdy boots (I suggest wellies), BYO gloves or we issue you a pair. Hardhat lent. Bring 2 qt. water + electrolytes, food, raingear. Tools supplied. Job is build rock waterbar(s). Cold drinks after work. If interested, please email [email protected] or use the contact form below to sign up and ask questions.

Marlboro trailhead on Google Maps          Monadnock State Park Hiking Map

Midweek Trailwork: Wed Jul 5, Thu Jul 6.

Wed and Thu forecast the driest days this week, here are two jobs. Both are near parking, or near brook. Summer canopy overhead, 10 deg. cooler there than in sun.

  • Wed., Jul 5, @1300. Afternoon meet at Andrew Brook trailhead on Mtn. Rd., Newbury NH. Patrol uphill, rake 30 drains between 2nd and 3rd brook crossings. ~3 hr. Cold drinks.
  • Thu., Jul 6, @0900. West Ridge Trail, Mt. Cardigan. More barricade, r&r wood fixtures, set a few more steps. 0900-quitting time, ~1500. Cold drinks in Canaan.

Forecast thereafter is highs 70s, scattered thunderstorms but no lengthy downpours. Hey this is summer in a temperate zone rainforest. Shade, water, electrolytes. Safety first, take care of ourselves, look out for each other. If interested, please email [email protected] or use the contact form below to sign up and ask questions.

Wed. Meeting Spot on Google Maps            Sunapee Hiking Trail Map PDF

Thurs. Meet Spot on Google Maps                PDF of Mount Cardigan Trail Map via NH State Parks

Yours, Craig

Sat 6/24: Andrew Brook Trail, clean drains and trim brush

We finish the Spring patrols on Mt. Sunapee this Sat June 24 at 0900. Meet at trailhead on Mountain Road in Newbury. One team to hike uphill to work the second to the third brook crossing, the other to work trailhead - second crossing. Total distance is a mile, one team could do this job if turnouts are few.

For this, our usual SOP: daypack w/ food, 2 qt H2O+electroytes, BYO gloves or we issue a pair, BYO tools or we have plenty, broad-brim hat, we lend bugnets for the day. Cool under the leaf canopy, slight chance thunderstorms later in the afternoon. If interested, please email [email protected] or use the contact form below to sign up and ask questions.

After this we turn to other hills and the more interesting work of building things.

Meeting Spot on Google Maps            Sunapee Hiking Trail Map PDF

Craig Sanborn, CHVTC Trailmaster

3rd Sat., 6/17: Mt Sunapee - summit chairlift, patrol down our trails. Sign up before Fri 6/16 08:00.

Our 3rd Saturday workdays begin at Mt Sunapee ski area. Meet 09:00 @ ski area parking lot (see map link below). We'll spot cars at trailheads around the mountain, return to sign waivers, divide into patrol teams, take tools and safety gear, and ride up the chairlift when it opens at 1000. After break at White Ledges, two teams will patrol, one down Andrew Brook Trail to Mountain Road, and one down Newbury Trail to Rim Trail, descending it to NE Bowl.

Sign up before Fri 6/16 08:00 so as to have free tickets on chairlift.

Usual gear for dayhike, incl. 2 qt. water + electrolytes, food, raingear, long pants/sleeves (ticks, mosquitos, fewer black flies), broad-brim hat (bugnets lent), BYO gloves or we issue a pair, hand tools to cut brush and rake drains lent (or BYO).

Work day over by ~ 1600, and we are all back at parking, for award of tartans, cold drinks, chilling generally.

If interested, please email [email protected] or use the contact form below to sign up and ask questions. See you on the trail.      Meeting Spot on Google Maps                      Sunapee Hiking Trail Map PDF

Craig, CHVTC Trailmaster                                 Meeting Spot on Google Maps                      Sunapee Hiking Trail Map PDF

Wee Break for Black Flies

May 11, 2023. The black flies are swarming at Winslow SP, and so crowded that their squadrons each had to take a number. We have done what we could in the time between snowmelt and their aerial offensive, i.e. Cole Pond, Rim, Newbury, Rollins all patrolled with hand tools. Trails on Sunapee are patrolled much easier when the chairlift opens for the Summer around Father's Day. And as of this writing, the gates are still closed at Cardigan SP and Rollins SP.

So, I wish you a happy Spring, enjoy windy days, and see you again in about a month. It's our season to celebrate the New Hampshire State Bird Emoji.

All the Best, Craig


2023 Spring Patrols are Underway

Now that spring seems to have well and truly set in, we are starting to walk our trails to see how well they made it through the winter and open them up for hikers. Due to the many variables involved, it is difficult to schedule these trips very far in advance. As trails melt out, roads dry up, and gates get unlocked, we will gather crews together to walk the trails we maintain on Mount Cardigan, Mount Sunapee, and Mount Kearsarge. But they may have to be done on very short notice. We have assembled an email list of regular (and slightly irregular) trail crew members who we will be contacting as patrol opportunities present themselves. So if you would like to join us for one (or more), please contact Craig, our Trailmaster, and he will add you to our contact list. You can reach him at [email protected] or simply fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Once the conditions settle down, we will be posting worktrips here with our usual timeliness.

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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