Cool Walk on a Warm Day

Trails: Great Gulf Trail to Clam Rock to Madison Gulf Trail (1 mile up) to Osgood Cut Off to Osgood Trail back to Great Gulf TrailMileage: ~8.2 miles round trip

The sun sparkling on a mossy brook.

Last weekend we decided to take a stroll in the afternoon.  We hiked into the Great Gulf Wilderness avoiding the larger hiking crowds heading up the big mountains.  The trail from the Great Gulf Parking Area is a gentle slope hiking along the Peabody River.

In the winter, we ski this trail and in fact, Lindsay had never been on the trail without snow on the ground.  Just before the Wilderness Boundry, we both had memories of skiing up hill with the wind howling down the river corridor.  The ride on skis back down we usually shoot down as fast as possible, sheltering our heads with hats and hoods from the wind and cold.  But this time the air was thick with humdity, replacing our winter memories with summer heat.

We found a spot along the Peabody River to wade in the water and sit in the sun for a while.

This garter snake found a nice sunny and mossy spot.

We continued hiking up to The Bluff and surrounding campsites.  We passed several hiking and camping groups as we hiked on toward Clam Rock.  Guess you can’t avoid everyone on a sunny summer weekend.  Neither of us had ever been to Clam Rock and were intrigued by the name on our map.  We crossed a suspension bridge and hiked quickly up to the infamous rock and surrounding campsites that backed up to a steep mossy balsam fir slope.  Looks like a fun place to camp.

View from The Bluff.

Campsite near Clam Rock.

Mossy balsam fir slope near Clam Rock.

On the way back we detoured about a mile up the Madison Gulf Trail.  The beginning of the trail is on a really interesting ridge, but the light was going down and we turned around.  We took the Osgood Cut Off Trail to more campsites and the Osgood Trail back to the Great Gulf Trail.  The setting sun seemed too early for a hot summer day.  We were back at the parking lot before long.  Perfect walk along the river.

Peabody River