This was a point-to-point hike, in at Brandon Gap and out on the New Boston Trail and Forest Road 99. We drove down and spotted a couple of cars on FR 99, a bit beyond Mountain Top Resort, and then went back to the trailhead at Brandon Gap. As we neared the gap, there was light rain, but then it stopped, not to resume until we were in the cars at the end of the day. So, while the day was mostly cloudy, it was certainly better than it could have been.
The Long Trail in this area has a pretty gentle grade, and does not go over each highpoints – it usually goes around. So, the hike was relatively easy, and the group moved along at over 2 miles per hour. We hiked south to the New Boston Trail, and headed down that trail to FR 99, and out to the cars. We then drove back to the start to get the shuttle cars, and then back home.
A word of warning – there is a heavily signed Mountain Top XC ski trail called ‘New Boston’ that branches off FR 99 before you get to the New Boston hiking trail, if you are using the New Boston trail to go in to the LT – the direction opposite to what we did. Do not take this XC trail – continue on FR 99 to the New Boston hiking trail. The XC trail does not go to the LT. (Sheri and I made this mistake a week previous on a different hike, and had to do an epic bushwhack.)
Participants – Carmen Trombley, Daniel Scheidt, David Hathway, Bob Lang, Vanessa Lang, Kristin Dearborn, Frank Wells, Barry Peterson, Phil Hazen, Sheri Larsen, Richard Larsen