A patch of snow alongside the Arond the Lake Trail
The snow pack is dwindling fast. Recent warm temperatures and plentiful sunshine have hastened the melting. We had several days of high water last week but the stream crossings are lower and safer now in the vicinity of Crawford Notch and the AMC's Highland Center. Trails around the Highland Center are free of snow and the woods are snow free except for patches of snow in well shaded areas.There is still a good amount of snow above 3,000 feet in elevation though, so be prepared!
We took down our sap buckets at the Highland Center today as the sap is no longer running clear and sweet, but has the cloudy appearance of trees awakening and ready to swell their buds. The spring conditions this year allowed for an excellent and extended sap collecting season! Along with the slowly swelling buds, more birds are arriving day by day. Winter Wrens have been singing their long, tinkling melody in the forests as the snow has receded over the past week. The first flute like strains of the Hermit Thrush's song were heard on the Around the Lake Trail today (4/26). Moose tracks have been spotted on the Around the Lake Trail and Avalon Trails for the first time this spring, as they start there seasonal wanderings. Bears are being seen in the valleys and with the snow pack gone in the notch, it won't be long until we spot a bear or two in Crawford Notch. Spring is here!
If you are planning of doing some hiking in the area soon, bear in mind that snowshoes are still highly recommended for travel above 3000 feet because of the combination of snow on the trails and afternoon post hole conditions as the snow warms up. Hikers wandering off trail will sink up to their thighs in spots. Traction in the form of microspikes can be very helpful for travel above treeline and steep, icy sections of trail such as the Webster Jackson Trail near Bugle Cliffs. Enjoy the spring and keep an eye on the weather. Winter conditions can still pop up this time of year, especially at the higher elevations. May is right around the corner!
AMC Highland Center Adventure Guide