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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Snowshoeing at Upper Paugussett

It's been awhile since but I finally got back into the forest
to enjoy this wonderful, New England Winter!

I came in at Pond Brook and took the blue trail to the Mulikin.  Pretty, well defined snowshoe track on the blue trail that you could ride on a fatbike.  Most of the Mulikin was largely untouched.  Further up, there was a track that must have come in off the Blue Trail from further down.  I followed this a bit but then took a cut off route to the Poly Brody that I ride from time to time but is all messed up from various blow downs.

I was happy to see that I would be the first to be snowshoeing on the Gussy!

Well, first for this snow.  You can see where the snow is compressed and with the new snow that someone has been riding the Gussy.  After another snowshoe on the Gussy it will be rideable, at least with a fatbike.

Looks like a herd of deer used the Hurricane Sandy Reroute to overnight during one of the snows.  There were big holes in the snow where it was dug out for them to sleep in.

I came across another sent of tracks that just stopped turned around.  Clearly this person was coming off the Echo Valley lot.  I stopped at the Brew Crew Roller for some hydration replenishment and that it was funny that the track I was following did the roller, too.  Must have been a mountain biker on snowshoes. I followed the track for awhile and then split off down the Reach Around because it was untouched, even from mountain bikers.

I seldom take the Yellow/Blue trail on the bike for obvious reasons but if you must know, it's absolute crap!  No flow and tons of hike-a-bike.  

It's cool, however, to stroll through a section known as the Valley of Trolls with high, rock walls on both sides.

At the edge of the Forest I saw this no trespassing sign belonging to the neighbor who lives across the street from me.  I have seen him twice and only spoke to him once as I was riding by his driveway.  I think he lives in Long Island, is really old and not sure if the guy is even still alive at this point.  The guy that lives next door to him told me once that the care taker of the property thought he was going to get in his will.   There are 30 acres back there that I imagine is going to become another subdivision at some point.

MacQuillan is still visible on the sign.  There is another one just like this, only more readable on the southern section of the Valley of the Trolls.

While I couldn't recognize any houses, the ridge on the other side of the valley looked like the one behind my house so I started snowshoeing into the start of this valley/swale so I could get a GPS Track of it to see where I actually I am on the map.

From this point, I was basically above Bramble Trail.  The property lines up here are kind of sketchy.  When I look at Google Maps, there is a section that is land locked that I thought was town open space along with the property that separates the Bramble Trail Subdivision from the homes to the north.  I had heard there might be some trails through there made by some kid on a ATV but then again, are those really trails worth looking for?

From here I tried to the follow the Horse Trail (yellow) but found that I wan't to explore the terrain a bit more and found some really interesting contours.  Eventually, I picked up the Horse Trail again, that I thought was also the white trail which is some other bootleg trail some hiker (I think) started putting blazes up but stupidly goes no where.  Looks like the Equestriennes have co-opted that trail and made parts of it there own.

I have been through here before a few times.  When I first started using the forest I used to follow these old tapes that used this section, then went hike-a-bike on the blue, then split off again and eventually became the Upper Gussy Trail.  Turns it they were from my friend Tom who lives nearby and rides his horse in here.

However, it appears that the White Trail was recently changed and by the looks of it got some use this winter.  Hard to tell what that use was but it might be worth coming back and trying it out with snowshoes.

Here is a map of the route I took.

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