Thursday, April 27, 2017


I can't find anyplace where this trail is labeled, and when I first listed it some contacted me and said  this was actually the Orange and Black Trail, which if you look at old maps,  the trail appears to be a quick access route to the Orange and Black trail, used for perhaps a short cut for workers who were constructing the Orange and Black trail or working on the nearby Precipice and Great Cave Loop.  .  I simply have called this the Lost Rudolph Brunnow Trail.   Take a moment and study the old map below, I have outlined this lost trail in red.  Notice the white Path is a separate path that crosses this path we found.  Now once again study the old map and notice that this lost path, along with the Great Cave Loop, are both marked lighter than the other trails on the map.  I don't know why these two paths are marked lighter, but they are.

So we have now come up with two much easier ways to locate the area this lost trail is in.  Begin at the Orange and Black trail post located before you get to the precipice parking area.  There is a storm drain next to the trail marker, that is storm drain one.  Now walk in the same direction as the traffic until you reach storm drain four, that is where you enter the woods, to the left side of the storm drain.  A short ways away is a very huge boulder with a split across it.
The second way to locate the area of the lost path is by GPS, storm drain four is located at
N 44 21.172   W 068 11.277
base of the stone gully is located at
N 44 21.183   W 068 11.306
When you look up toward the top of the gully, you will see a line of white birch, the stone steps run along the back side of those white birch before turning the corner along larger steps.

One of many storm drains along side of the Park Loop Road

The stone gully is located straight in and slightly to the right, it is the only gully in that area.  So why is the stone steps higher up easy to see once your at the top of the gully, steps to the right, and the path up the gully is not so easy to see?  One word - Earthquake.  Years ago a fairly good size earthquake took place in the area, with the center of it being Champlain Mountain.  The earthquake caused rock slides all around the mountain and a number of hiking trails were closed for a time until the trails could be cleaned up.  Places like abandoned trails however were not cleared of fallen rocks, which is most likely why the steps leading up the gully are pretty much buried.  In places, you can see parts of a path still.

From road go straight in short ways until you reach rocky gully slightly to the right running upward.
Once you reach the top of the gully look to your right and you will see stone steps.  Unlike the much larger stone steps leading up Dorr Mountain, these are smaller stone steps which run between the mountain side and a row of white birch.  As the steps approach a corner, the stone steps become larger.  The path turns left higher up, and cuts back in the direction you came from but at a higher level.  The trail runs straight ahead before coming to thick brush, here the trail turned upward, and just a short ways ahead is the official Orange and black trail.  We believe there was once stone steps leading to the official path ahead and the Park Service removed them so people hiking the Orange and Black path would not see the other path.

Rocky Gully - at top, look right for stone steps

To locate this trail, drive, bike, hike or take the free Island Explorer bus to the Precipice parking lot.  If using the bus, make certain you let the driver know you want to get off at the Precipice parking lot.  He may tell you the trail there is closed due to endangered Falcons nesting along the Precipice, just tell you to let you off there.

Now walk along the Park Loop Road, going against the traffic, and at each storm ditch along the roadside, look back down the road behind you to see if you can still see the large Precipice sign on the side of the Park Loop Road.  When you come to the storm ditch where you can no longer see the sign, follow the tiny brook there into the woods.  The brook may be dry.  There may or may not be some rock piles up, just walk straight toward the base of the mountain toward a rock strewn gully which leads up the mountain side.  as I recall, it is the only place in that area where you can make your way upward.

Rock gully as seen from the stone steps

Strom Drain One

This large boulder is a short ways from storm drain number four where you enter the woods..

Standing by the rock gully looking toward the Park Loop Road.

Stone gully leading upward.  At top of gully look right and path and stone steps are there.


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