Today was a day of dog management and hard trail work. Leesa and I were watching my son's dog Lulu for the weekend. Lulu is a young Pitbull mix who has not been through any training yet, and is not ready to be off leash.
We decided to do some trail work on the Hoffman Notch Trail. I clipped Lulu to my carpenters belt and we headed north from Loch Muller on the trail. The goal for the day was to add trail markers where needed and replace old faded markers. Leesa had loppers and I had a folding Sven saw to cut any small limbs out of the trail.
Unfortunately, my remaining supply of yellow trail markers was not enough to complete the job. I ran out just south of Big Marsh. The northern half of the trail has already been done, but I'll have to get more discs to finish the southern half.
We were kept busy however clearing limbs from the trail. I used my Sven saw quite a few times. I found that while it's easy to add trail markers with a dog clipped to my waist, it's a bit harder to clear limbs. Leesa did a little work with the loppers, but we need to coordinate a volunteer work day because there is a lot of sidecutting that needs to be done throughout most of the trail. Lots of hands would make the job more manageable and more fun as well.
Since we were almost to Big Marsh, we continued on to take a look. Leesa had not seen it before in summer. The last time she was there, it was 20 degrees below zero!
|Big Marsh really does have water in it.|
It was warm and muggy and we got quite hot. We both had long sleeve pants and shirts to protect against bugs. Leesa wore a head net as well. The bugs seem to enjoy her more than me.
|Do you see a trail?|
One nice thing about this hike is that the trail parallels the North Branch Trout Brook for the southern half of the hike and the Hoffman Notch Brook for the northern half, so you are never far from water. The dogs appreciated that, especially Lulu. Water is a magnet for her, while Rev only wades into water if she is thirsty.
|Rev getting a drink in the North Branch Trout Brook|
|Beavers have been working south of Big Marsh|
|The lonely North Branch Trout Brook along the Hoffman Notch Trail|
We continued to clear downed limbs and branches until we were hot and thirsty and have exhausted our supply of liquid refreshments, then we made a beeline to the car. Trail work is never done...
Hike Distance: 7.8 miles
Hike Time: 5.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 600'
|The route (click image to enlarge)|
|The route on the National Geographic map|