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Madison Spring Hut
June 21, 2000

Route: Airline Trail, Airline Cutoff, Osgood Trail,
Valley Way, Fallsway, Maple Walk
Map: map.jpg (84106 bytes)
 

Elevation:

Madison Spring Hut – 4825 ft
Partway up Mt Madison summit cone – 5075 ft

Vertical Climb:

Paul - 3800 ft
Erin - 3550 ft

Distance:

Paul - 7.8 miles
Erin - 7.5 miles

Who Went:

Paul, Erin

On this trip, I was going to take Erin, so I first had to drive down to Milford to pick her up at 5:00 AM. We drove up to Randolph, stopped at Lowe’s Store to call home, then parked at the Appalachia Trailhead. The weather was mostly cloudy, and the temperature was around 60. The forecast, which had originally called for another nice day with possible showers in the evening, had now changed to possible showers in the afternoon. However, the clouds looked ominous, and I was worried that it might start raining much earlier. Our plan was to climb either or both Mt Adams and Mt Madison, while also stopping at Madison Spring Hut. How far we could actually go depended mostly on the weather.

After putting on our packs, I took a picture, and we started up the common trail leaving the parking lot. Soon after entering the woods, the trail crossed over the bed of an abandoned railroad, then arrived at a junction where the Airline Trail branched to the right and the Valley Way branched to the left. We turned right onto the Airline Trail, which began gently climbing upward through a hardwood forest. The Airline Trail climbs to the Mt Adams/Mt Madison ridge via the Durand Ridge, which is bordered on the West by the deep and rocky U-shaped King Ravine, and on the East by the gentler V-shaped Snyder Brook Ravine.

After about a half-hour, we came to the junction where the Randolph Path crossed the Airline Trail. The Randolph Path, which is a long trail that goes from the town of Randolph (about a mile east of the Appalachia Trailhead) to Edmands Col between Mts Adams and Jefferson, was quite overgrown, and looked little-used.

After a short rest, snack, and drink, we continued up the trail. There were no views in this section of the trail, but the woods were nice ­ a mixture of hardwoods and balsam firs. There were also a number of wildflowers along the trail, including bunchberries.  

Erin at the Appalachia Trailhead. A number of trails leave from this spot, including the Airline and Valley Way.

Appalachia Trailhead.jpg (40000 bytes)

Me at the junction of the Airline Trail and the Randolph Path. The Randolph Path was overgrown and seemed to be little-used.

Airline-Randolph Path Junction.jpg (50800 bytes)

Bunchberries. Just above the Randolph Path junction, there were a number of wildflowers along the trail, including bunchberries.

Map

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