Arcadia Backpacking Trip
Saturday, March 21 -
Troop 54 returned to Arcadia Management Area (our last visit there was in 2009) for a backpacking trip on the North South Trail.
Until a few yeas ago, our March trips were generally free of snow and ice.
The park still had about 8 inches of snow and ice, so that is what we were hiking on, even over most of the plank stream crossings. Snow fall the previous night had left the trees frosted in white, which was picturessque. For the first few hours of the hike, snow continued to fall. Later, as it warmed well above freezing, the snow fell from the trees as large drops of slush. This left us pretty wet, especially our boots.
Our camp site was the Frosty Hollow Shelter. The Scouts slept in the shelter, and the leades set up tents on the snow. Even wood that was above the ground had, until recently, been buried in snow, so all of it was wet. Still, we managed to get a camp fire going for a couple of hours.
The camp site had several picnic tables and a latrine, making it a luxury site for backpacking.
A low temperature overnight in the 20s meant it wasn't super cold. The biggest challenge for everyone was putting on those frozen solid boots in the morning.
We had three Scouts and three leaderfs participating on this trip.
We hiked about 6.5 miles the first day and 4.6 miles the second day. View our actual trail (GPS data recorded by ASM Keith MacNeal):
The Scouts made a dinner from Ramen noodles and canned chicken. Leader meals included freeze-dried food and soup.
This was the troop's seventy-fifth consecutive month with at least one overnight camping trip.
Narrative originally posted on Trimble Outdoors by Keith MacNeal:
This was a two day trip in teh Arcadia Management Area. Many trails criss cross the area and are popular for hikers, mountain bikers, snow mobiliers, ATVs, and equestrians. Some trails are posted hiker only. There are also several geocaches in the area. Information on the area is in the North South Trail guidebook by Cliff Vanover. Detailed maps of Arcadia seem to be hard to find.
We parked along side of the Escoheag Hill Road near the intersection of Falls River Road. At this time of year, Falls River Road was closed due to the snow. There is a parking area here, but that hadn't been plowed. From the cars, we headed NE on Falls River Road to the River Trail trailhead at Stepstone Falls. The trail connects with Ben Utter Trail a short distance to the south. We continued south on Ben Utter to Plain Road. On some maps this is marked as Austin Farm Road. We continued south to Barber Road and then to Deion Trail. Head north on Deion Trail to Frosty Hollow Road. Stay North on Frosty Hollow Road. The trail to the shelter is about a 1/4 mile after the pond on the left.
The shelter sleeps 6. There is a firepit and picnic tables. There is also a two seat latrine. There is plenty of room for pitching tents. Water is available from Breakheart Brook (don't forget to treat it).
On Day 2 we headed NW on the Shelter Trail to Plain/Austin Farm Road. We stayed on Austin Farm Road to Breakheart Trail. Follow Breaheart Trail until it intersects again with the road, cross the bridge and head North on the Ben Utter. Stay on the Ben Utter and you'll pass by the ruins of old buildings from a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. Camping is permitted here with a permit. The trail meets River Road, where we headed SW back to the cars.
Page updated 3/14/17