If you like orienteering, try this with your compass. This course follows the Madison Cascades trail so don’t follow a direction that leads you off the trail. This is for those who want to practice orienteering. It is not a bushwhacking trail for experts. Practice determining the distance of your “pace”. Train it to be 5 feet and your life will be easier. I used FEET for distances not steps or paces.
In front of the Madison Historical Society building there is a commemorative plaque. Look to the left and see a hiking trail sign and stand near it.
|On a compass bearing of—-degrees:
||Go this many feet:
||Base of a rise. Stop and look north to see an old well
||Ash tree on your left
||Through low pines to a huge white pine
||Down hill, cross a brook, stop as trail bears right. Look left, see 5” diameter beech tree
||Pile of rocks on left of trail
||Descend to a double maple on RT
||4 white pines on RT
||Up a small hill along a ridge to two white pines on L & R
||Big white pine on RT with pinecones at the bottom
||To upturned birch and White Pine
||4 inch maple on RT with moss at the bottom
||White pine with hiking symbol
||Two inch hemlock on RT
||3 inch hemlock on RT
||24 inch red pine on RT
||6 inch balsam fir
||Pine with hike symbol on the RT
||Descend RT to cascades
||White pine on left
||Red painted boundary tree BARBED WIRE
||Back to where trail descends to cascades
Parking in winter is always an issue. You are probably not allowed to park on East Shore Drive. You might be able to push your way onto LMR. The other end of LMR has more options for parking. The whole road is about 1.2 miles. As of the 2007 Town Meeting it was designated as a class V road to summer cottages. This allowed the designation to conform to the practice of not maintaining it in the winter. The road is shared by snowmachines, snowshoers, cross country skiers, and hikers. There are trails off the main road including a trail to Winter Road, a loop around Goodwin Bog, a path to Cook’s Pond, a power line, and several other paths. The actual Lead Mine is a deep hole in the ground with steep sides filled with water which can be dangerous.
Remember to leave your hiking plan with someone including your anticipated time of return.
This short hike is best done with snowshoes unless the trail is packed. Many winter hikes have limited parking, but you can park behind the Town Hall for this one. The loop is through a wooded area with a variety of hardwoods and softwoods, many animal tracks, and a brook that runs all year. There are also a couple of hunting perches. The trail has metal markers on trees, but you can lose track of them. You are mostly within earshot of route 113 so if you get turned around, you can hear your way out.
Snowshoes are the way to go since the last snowstorm. This trail meanders so much that skis would be awkward. There is a lot to see: tracks, trees, and tributaries along a fairly level walk of about three quarters of a mile. Breaking trail will be more exercise. See if you can find the structure built in the tree to wait for deer to pass.
Take Colby Hill Road to the end and turn left on Modock Hill Rd to a Cul-de-sac. Park here and proceed northwest on the discontinued portion of Modock Hill Rd. (sometimes spelled Modoc). This class six road heads generally downhill over varied terrain: some wet areas some washed out ledge areas. At about .8 mi the road bears right where there is a brook crossing. At about .85 miles notice a cemetery on the right in the woods. At just under a mile you arrive at Town Line Road where you could get picked up, or retrace your steps back to the driveable part of Modock Hill Road, or head south on the discontinued part of Town Line Road which leads to another cul-de-sac. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s these were important roads to the farming communities in these rough lands.
Find it on a map.
Madison Cascades Trail
NOTE: This trail is closed in Summer 2014 as access is blocked by construction at the Madison Historical Society building.
Parking is easiest at the Madison Church, located just north of the junction of East Madison Rd and Route 113. Once out of the parking lot, turn right and head about two-hundred yards down the road, cross over to East Madison Rd, and find the Madison Historical Society (the Granville Homestead.) The trail begins behind this building. You will notice a guest book at the start of the trail, please sign in.
The forest around the trail begins as mixed hardwood. Try to spot the change, noticing how undergrowth vanishes as you continue along the trail. Watch out for poison ivy on the first stretch of the trail, around the old well on your left. The trail cuts through a clearing of tiny pines, and it is easy to lose the trail in there. Once you are out of the pines, however, the trail is once again clear. Keep your eyes peeled for Lady Slippers in the spring and summer! The trail descends slightly after the pine clearing, and there is a stream crossing once the ground levels out. You can leap across, or use the stepping-stones. Soon the trail will climb moderately then the ground levels out into a ridge. You can look down onto Forest Brook from here. After reaching the top of the ridge, you will see the trail fork. The right path is steep and takes you down to the Madison Cascades. There are many flat rocks by the Cascades and shallow water. The left will take you through some lovely woods, past a grassy clearing, and end at an old class 6 road.
Find on map.
Written by Students at the Community School