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:||To a:|
|112||200||Base of a rise. Stop and look north to see an old well|
|112||45||Ash tree on your left|
|162||265||Through low pines to a huge white pine|
|120||225||Down hill, cross a brook, stop as trail bears right. Look left, see 5” diameter beech tree|
|180||200||Pile of rocks on left of trail|
|180||145||Descend to a double maple on RT|
|95||250||4 white pines on RT|
|55-70||185-190||Up a small hill along a ridge to two white pines on L & R|
|70||160||Big white pine on RT with pinecones at the bottom|
|70||75||To upturned birch and White Pine|
|75-80||70||4 inch maple on RT with moss at the bottom|
|40-45||175||White pine with hiking symbol|
|60||124||Two inch hemlock on RT|
|28||108||3 inch hemlock on RT|
|80||25||24 inch red pine on RT|
|80||110||6 inch balsam fir|
|120||185||Pine with hike symbol on the RT|
|Descend RT to cascades|
|87||85||White pine on left|
|65||40||Red painted boundary tree BARBED WIRE|
|260||125||Back to where trail descends to cascades|
Madison Cascades Trail
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
NOTE: This trail is closed in summer 2014 while construction on Madison Historical Society building takes place.
- 1 mile
- Limited parking on road by Madison Historical Society at corner of Rte 113 and East Madison Road
Marked trail, follow signs starting to right of Historical Society Building. Various wooded terrain gains elevation to a cascading brook.
Find on map.