Protected Artifacts – Woodstock & Thornton Gore Railroad (1909-1914)
Picking Up Trash, White Mountains – During this covid pandemic, many hikers have been picking up trash along the trail system here in the White Mountains. And there also has been an increase in hiker organized clean-up days, which is awesome. The easiest way for hikers to “give back” is to pick up trash along the trails.
However, it’s not widely known that the trail system is a portal to the White Mountains' fascinating past. Many trails utilize old railroad beds, pass through abandoned farm settlements and logging camps, and are links to important historical sites. And because of this, historical artifacts are scattered along many of the trails.
Franconia Brook Trail (old railroad bed) – Pemi Wilderness, New Hampshire
Trails of the Pemigewasset Wilderness – At 45,000-acres, the Pemigewasset Wilderness (the Pemi) is one of six designated wilderness areas in the White Mountain National Forest. Wilderness areas are governed under the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Wilderness Act of 1964. And they are managed much differently than other parts of the National Forest.
Permanent improvements are not allowed, trail work is minimal, and there are strict guidelines when it comes to man-made structures in designated wilderness areas. Bridges are a convenience in wilderness areas, not mandatory. And bicycles are not allowed in these areas, and trail work can only be done with non-motorized hand tools. Preserving the natural character of a wilderness area is the objective.
Flagging on birch tree along Mt Tecumseh Trail
Legitimate Flagging (survey tape) – On a recent trail inspection with a Forest Service assistant district ranger, one topic of discussion was flagging tape on trees along the trail system of the White Mountains. I want to point out that some of the survey flagging tape you see along trails in the White Mountains marks trees that are being used for research. Much of this flagging has no identifying marks on it, and there is no way to determine its purpose. Once the research is finished, proper parties hike up the trail and remove the flagging.