Conservancy volunteers fanned out across town the morning after Irene left the area, to check on trail, bridge, and forest conditions. Here’s the latest information, for your safety.
Mink Brook Nature Preserve: The bridge made it through the storm, although we have requested an inspection of the cables that bear some of the load, as they appear to be somewhat loose. We believe the bridge to remain safe for crossing, but advise that one person use it at a time. The new log crossing of Trout Brook is intact. Two trees that had jammed above the bridge have been sent on their way to the Connecticut, thanks to our friends at Chippers. A fallen tree south of the bridge has been moved aside, thanks to the Upper Valley Trails Alliance, and will become part of an Eagle Scout project to replace an unauthorized bridge on the red trail.
Balch Hill: The summit maple is untouched by the storm. There is a large birch across the Piane Trail that can be stepped over. A hemlock took a lightning strike, with pieces flung far. Branches from another birch lie across the Maple Trail not far from the stone wall. There is one 7″ diameter tree across the Hunter East Trail. If you haven’t visited the grandfather oak on the Hemlock Trail in the last few months, you’ll find that it finally dropped its large limb (earlier this summer).
Greensboro Ridge: There are a few fully downed small trees across the trail, but no trees that pose a danger for hikers. One is near the trail entrance, another just above the rocky steps, and another near the AT junction.
Slade Brook: Hikers should use caution on this trail, as there are several partially fallen trees over the path. These will be addressed within the week.