I heard recently that BRATTS received permission from the Scout camp to do some maintenance on the trails within the camp’s property, and that some new signage had been added. I decided to go check out some of the new signs, and also take a peek at what the falls on Precipice Path look like in spring.
When I reached the small, grassy parking area at the end of Alton Mountain Road, there were no other cars there. I quickly loaded myself up with bug spray (the Cutter stuff with DEET on the bottoms of my pant legs and on my hat, and Repel lemon/eucalyptus on my arms and neck), put on my backpack, and headed out.
I headed west on Old Stage Road to get to the Anna/Goat Pasture Hill trail. When I reached the marsh (which is a perpetual wet spot in the road/trail), the marsh was actually overflowing across Old Stage Road, and was up to maybe a foot deep in some spots. I stuck to the left edge of the road where the planks are, and carefully crossed there (stepping into a little of the brush along the edge of the road at a couple spots). A little further beyond this area, Old Stage Road takes a bend to the right and another snowmobile trail continues straight ahead. This would be another good spot for some directional trail signage, but I’m not sure whether BRATTS has permission from the landowner to perform maintenance here. I now know that I need to take the right, but my first time here last fall I had to use the interactive map on my phone to make sure I was going the right way.
Soon enough, I reached the red-blazed Anna/Goat Pasture Hill trail, which is now easily found with the new sign. The purple-blazed Precipice Trail was also easy to find, as there was a new sign there as well.
The falls were flowing very well thanks to recent rains, but without making crossing difficult. After crossing near the top of the falls, I began climbing the steep trail that runs along the edge of the cliff.
Fast-forward to the junction with the Belknap Range Trail (blazed blue). I turned left and headed west toward Mt. Anna, which is maybe a third of a mile away. After pausing to check my map, I decided to continue following the blue trail, which becomes the Anna/Old Stage Road trail. It’s about a mile longer than taking the Anna/Goat Pasture Hill trail back to Old Stage Road, but I was making good time.
At the end of the Anna/Old Stage trail, there was another new sign (as well as several yards away on Old Stage Road where the southern end of the trail heads down to the Scout camp). I decided to head a little further west on Old Stage Road to check out a small bridge over the stream about a hundred or so yards away. It’s a pretty spot and was worth the extra walk.
After visiting the bridge, I turned around and followed Old Stage Road east to return to the parking area. It’s about 1.7 miles of walking on an old dirt road that serves as a snowmobile trail in winter.
When I got back to the parking area, there were a couple more cars that arrived since I started my hike, but I didn’t see anyone else there or while I was out on the trail.