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Old 01-24-2021, 10:12 PM   #1
ADackR
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Flowed lands via upper works.

Hi all.

I just logged in for the first time since 2012 which is crazy. Anyway, my kids are now old enough to do miles on the trial in the winter and I also have time this winter. I read somewhere that some bridges were out on the trail and Iím wondering what conditions might be like currently. Iím looking to do this trip on skis in the coming weeks.

Thanks for any info.
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:11 AM   #2
DSettahr
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There used to be 3 main bridges on this route, where the trail crisscrossed back and forth along Calamity Brook. At some point within the past 10 years (might've been Irene but this is purely a guess on my part), the 2 lower bridges washed out, and rather than replace them only to have them wash out again in the future, the DEC decided to re-route the Calamity Brook trail so that it only crossed the brook at that third crossing.

The new route is definitely nicer than the old- it avoids some of the PUDs that the old route traversed, and it passes through some nice open country with pretty views along the brook. You probably won't notice the turnoff to the first bridge- it's grown in with surprising rapidity in the past few years- but if you do happen to see it you can continue down to the river and check out the remnants of the old bridge. It was an impressive metal suspension bridge, and it's all still there- albeit in the creek bed.

You'll definitely see the abutments for the second bridge, on your right not far beyond the junction with the Calamity Cutoff Trail. This was a wood bridge and there seems to be nothing of it left apart from the abutments. It was pretty clearly a decent height above the creek, but apparently also not high enough to escape flooding. There is a designated tent site across the creek here- said site was once adjacent to the main trail but with the re-routing of the trail the only way to get to the site now is to ford the creek (usually rock hopable most of the summer).

The third (and still existing) bridge crosses the stream above a deeper canyon of sorts, and thus far seems to be well suited to avoid even the most raging tumults of spring runoff. This is the bridge that is furthest up on the creek- about a mile or so shy of Calamity Pond. It also is an impressive suspension bridge, although not nearly as big as the former first bridge. Note that the main trail fords the creek here, and to get to the bridge demands a short side trek up and over a hill to the bridge, which is a few hundred feet upstream of the ford. You'll probably notice the side trail but in any case if you miss it, just backtrack up the main trail a little bit and look for the junction (not marked with a wooden sign at present but rather the classic flipped over trail marker with "high water bridge" written in sharpie). If there's a decent base of ice built up on the creek you may be able to just ski across at the ford.

There is one additional smaller bridge that is in rough shape at present (as of this past autumn). Immediately after the junction with the Calamity Cutoff Trail, the trail crosses a small inlet in a marshy stretch on a wooden bridge across 2 stringers. One of the stringers is pretty rotten and has cracked, and as a result the bridge is cockeyed at a good slant to the side. It's a spot where you and especially kids will probably want to take their skis off to cross. (The DEC is aware of it and I believe is planning repairs if they haven't fixed it already.)

There was also (again as of this past fall) one bigger blowdown across the trail further up that demanded a stoop over to get by (too big for going around to be the easier option). But again the DEC is/was aware of it, and if there was a fall chainsaw season it very well may have been cut out by now.

I'm not in the area right now so I can't comment on the current specific snow conditions, but I hope the rest of the above is helpful.
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Old 01-26-2021, 01:04 AM   #3
ADackR
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Thanks for the info. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the trail. It’s a bummer the trail was rerouted but it makes sense. The first time I hit the trail was before hurricane Floyd and it was all forest from trail head to flowed lands. After that a ton of logging took place and cleared up the area which changed the trail look and feel. I’ve been on that trail in all season but love the winter and skiing that trail. My buddies and I used to winter camp and ski in with 60 lbs. packs for three days of skiing the lakes and grabbing a couple peaks each winter. Looking forward to hitting the trail in a couple weeks.
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Old 01-26-2021, 07:45 AM   #4
DSettahr
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The new route honestly is nicer than the old. Like I said, it has more views of the brook itself.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:07 AM   #5
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The slanted bridge has not been fixed. I was over it earlier this month.
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