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Old 10-18-2020, 09:57 PM   #41
wkies
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Like to revive this thread and learn more about locating Petty Cutoff. Iím planning a trip in the coming weeks which would start at Newcomb Lake and head into Cold River via Moose Pond/Ermine Brook. Iíve done this trip before and Northern Lean To is one of my favorites for sure!

It would make for a shorter loop if I can locate Petty Cutoff and jump from CR Horse Trail to NPT. Iíd be grateful for any additional insight

Also, I have never been to Moose Pond Stream lean to. Are they in good shape as Iím sure they donít get much traffic.
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:02 AM   #42
Cold River Bob
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Its been a few years since I been on that horse trail because it is almost gone in places. But I think the trail you are talking about Look at your map an if you can find it ,it makes a sharp right turn , go straight an there used to be a old road that crossed the Cold an led to the Npt. If you can't find it head North to the npt. I've done both in the past
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Old 10-19-2020, 08:55 AM   #43
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Thanks Bob.

Looking closer at DSettahr's photo, I think I may know where it on the Horse Trail. I need to dig through some old photos to see if it is the same location.

If my memory serves me well, as you hike north on the Horse Trail you are a ways form the river for most of the time as you come from Moose Pond trail jct. Is Petty Cutoff the spot where you come back to the river - just south of Northern Lean To?
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:01 AM   #44
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Here is a link to another thread that tells more

https://www.adkforum.com/showthread....122#post244122
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Old 10-19-2020, 03:49 PM   #45
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I hiked from Shattuck Clearing (after hiking the pine Point Trail) to Newcomb two years ago. Moose Pond Stream lean-tos are still in relatively good shape, and not too much blowdown (then) as far as the junction of the Cold River Horse Trail and the Moose Pond Horse Trail. Then, hundreds of trees down across a trail that is badly overgrown for the next two miles to Callahan Brook. Still, many trees down for the next three miles to Moose Pond, but overall much easier going. Getting to Northern Lean-tos may be a challenge, so going all the way to Shattuck and taking the N-P Trail from there may be a better option.
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Old 10-20-2020, 10:24 AM   #46
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Yeah, generally speaking- the horse trails are in rough shape and you need to be prepared accordingly. Blowdown, dense growth, etc. For the most part they follow old logging roads so the tread is obvious (even if the going is thick and slow) but there's a few spots where they deviate away from the old logging roads, enter marshy/swampy sections, etc., and the trails do become very indistinct and challenging to navigate for some stretches.

Some of the horse trails did get new markers (but only a few and far between) last year, and some arrow signs were also recently posted in some of the more confusing junctions where spur logging roads branch off of the main route. However, you need to expect that the trail will still pose a navigational challenge in spite of these recent improvements.

The Petty Cutoff is in even worse shape (as it's been even longer since it last received any meaningful maintenance). The west end is easier to find- as you're hiking north from Rondeau's, there's a fairly obvious Y-junction where the NPT takes the left (west) branch. The right (east) branch is clearly an old (albeit overgrown) road, and hikers are discouraged from continuing down it by one or two yellow arrow signs nailed to trees pointing hikers down the other trail corridors.

The east end of the Petty Cutoff isn't as obvious. About maybe 0.25-0.5 miles south of the Northern Lean-tos, the trail passes through an old clearing. If you're going southbound on the horse trail, the trail makes a sharp left here. There's no "official" signage indicating this turn but there is a couple of yellow trail markers with faded sharpie arrows drawn on them (so faded at this point it's difficult to pick the arrows out). If you poke around on the west end of the clearing, you'll pick up another old logging road that heads to the west- the tenth of a mile or so of this road down to the old ford on the Cold River is horrendously overgrown, with the old road corridor thickly choked in with spruces and firs. After fording the river, the continuation of the road is also less than clear for a fair bit, as it passes through swampy meadows and marshland before reaching dry ground. Further west of this point the old road bed is generally pretty obvious all the way to the NPT, but again it's overgrown and has some significant blowdown in spots.

I would say that as a shortcut, the Petty Cutoff does save some time vs. continuing all the way up to the Ward Brook Truck Trail and cutting back over and down from there... but maybe not all that much effort after you factor in the added navigational challenge as well as the thickly grown-in nature of the trail (plus the blowdown).

In general terms, the horse trails aren't anywhere nearly as visually interesting as other trails in the area. The NPT is far more scenic than the Cold River Horse Trail- the horse trail stays well away from the river for the most part. The trail connecting Moose Pond Stream with Newcomb Lake is a bit more appealing- Moose Pond is beautiful and feels remote, and Newcomb Lake has some really nice lean-tos and campsites- but this trail is also a physical and navigational challenge due to the lack of maintenance.

In terms of upkeep, the Moose Pond Stream Lean-tos are both in excellent shape. The Northern Lean-tos are starting to show their age- both are kind of leaky (I believe L2R was in there recently to evaluate them for repairs but I haven't heard anything about any definite planned work).

If you're looking for solitude you'll find it on the horse trails. Both of the Northern Lean-tos got new log books a few years ago, and to date they've only seen a page or two worth of entries total. It's pretty obvious that weeks and even sometimes months will pass between visitors to that spot.

There is also a lot of history in the area if you're a bushwhacker. Lots of remnants of old logging camps, logging equipment, etc. While bushwhacking Couchsachraga from the Cold River earlier this summer, I came across the remnants of an old lumber camp partway up the mountain. The old cooking wood stove was rusting away in the woods, and there was an abandoned make-shift road grader also left behind.

Last edited by DSettahr; 10-20-2020 at 11:13 AM..
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Old 10-20-2020, 10:37 AM   #47
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All super helpful - thanks everyone!
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