Monday, October 8, 2012

Hiking the Black & White Trail in Rumford

We headed out to Black Mountain today to find the new Black/White trail cut by the Maine Conservation Corps that connects Black Mountain to Whitecap. My plan was to find B/W, poke around a bit looking for a view of Whitecap, and then head home. That didn't happen.
Remember, click on photos to enlarge. 

We hiked BMOM's Woods Trail up onto the old Expert Trail to the top of the new chairlift. Just beyond the chair on the right, there's a small swamp with an orange ribbon in the distance. This marks the trail head that connects BMOM to the Black-White.

This section of the trail winds up to one of the towers that can be seen from the base of the mountain. Just beyond the tower, white hash marks and an orange ribbon mark B/W's trail head.

The first half mile of B/W winds around the top of Black Mountain to the left and then dips toward the valley. The woods changes from a pine forrest to an old hardwood stand. The trail is gentle, well marked, and switches back and forth down to the valley's floor with a few glimpses of Whitecap in the distance. It took about 80 minutes to hike from Black Mountain's parking lot to the valley floor between the two mountains. There, I found a dirt road and a helicopter landing zone (yup). Clearly marked, the B/W Whitecap trail crosses a small stream and then gradually climbs toward the left.
Small swamp at the top of the chair where the trail begins. 

I read in a recent Rumford Times article by Cherri Holland Crockett that B/W connects on the front side of Whitecap, a trail I've seen earlier in the year. About 20 minutes up the back side of Whitecap, we started traversing to the left. We went another 20 minutes of gentle hiking around the belly of Whitecap. Looking at the time of day, I decided to turn around. It took about 3:30 for us to do that loop. It's only a guess, but I think the full loop--BMOM parking lot to top of Whitecap and back--may take 5.5 hours of steady hiking. Again, that's a guess.

November hiking will offer more views of Whitecap from the back side of Black Mountain. And one thing is for sure, after years of looking from the top of Whitecap over toward Black Mountain and wondering if you can get there from here... well, you can... thanks to the Conservation Corps' work in cutting the Black-White Trail.
TV/Radio Tower at top of BMOM 
Black-White trail head at top of Black Mountain
B/W winds around the top of Black Mountain. 

Old hardwood stand back side of BM. 

View of Whitecap from the back side of Black Mountain


Staircase on the first section of B/W Whitecap
Bailey hears a crow that sounds not unlike a dog barking. 

I'm calling these mushrooms "Ladder 'shrooms."
Top of Black Mountain on the Black-White Trail.

Heading down BMOM

1 comment:

  1. Just hiked White Cap today and saw the sign for Black Mtn. I can't wait to try the Black Mtn trail. Nice pictures.