Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Start: Percy Rd Lodge & Campground
End: stealth site near Starr King summit
Elevation gain/loss: 8448’/5587′
Mountains Climbed: Rodger’s Ledge, The bulge, Cabot, Terrace, Weeks, Middle Weeks, South Weeks, Waumbek, Starr King
After getting to bed around 8:45pm last night, I was awake at 5:45 and on trail by 6:15am. I made good time on the road walk and then ducked into the woods for a quick but damp mile to get over to the South Pond access road. Once I made it to the recreation area, it took me using two different maps to find where the trailhead was – it was not obvious and I had to walk along the beach to find it. And then I set off along the Kilkenny Ridge trail, where my friend recently completed the Kilkenny Ridge Trail 50 Miler. It made me feel like a part of something, as I hiked along; it was also nice, because it meant that areas that wouldn’t normally have seen foot traffic were lightly beaten down.
Up on Rodger’s Ledge, I sat down for a snack and enjoyed the light warmth of the cloudy sun, promising of clear skies to come. As I ate, I could hear moose grumbling and calling to each other below the ledge. Eventually I passed by Unknown Pond and climbed up past the Horn and then over the Bulge, and then arrived at Cabot. Around the summit of Cabot, I encountered half a dozen people; I quickly pushed on to the cabin, where I stopped for another snack. The cabin was recently upgraded, but the inside smelled very strongly of oil-based paints so I sat outside.
My original plan placed me at the cabin for the night, but it was only 12:30pm and I wanted to keep going. So I continued onward, over Terrace Mountain and then North, Middle, and South Weeks. The blowdowns between Middle and South Weeks and Waumbek were nicely cleaned up and I only had to climb over a few, though the trailbed was pretty uneven and the trail really needed brushing between South Weeks and Waumbek – I ended up with pine needles down my shirt and in my pockets.
Water wasn’t too bad, provided I was mindful. I found it really helpful to use Guthook/Atlas Guides, since they have all water sources noted whereas the Cohos Trail map almost never notes water. From South Pond trailhead onward, most of the Cohos Trail is covered by Guthook.
I kept hiking until 6:45pm, at least 15 minutes after sundown and would have stopped earlier, but there was nowhere to camp after North Weeks until around Starr King. I quickly set up my tent, leaving both vestibules tied up to allow for max air flow. I left my wet clothes outside the tent, but still ended up with a mild layer of condensation inside the tent the next morning. I cooked dinner while I did other camp chores and was in bed and asleep by 8:30pm.