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Author Topic: Narrow Gauge Convention Tour  (Read 2994 times)
Bob Meckley
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« on: August 10, 2016, 06:50:13 PM »

Hello all:
        This will be my first post in a long time but here goes;
With the Narrow Gauge Convention coming up next month is it possible to still drive the ROW from Sandy Creek to Rankin's Mill (with a small detour at Hancock Lake)? I last went with Dana Deering and Mike Fox over part of the ROW and had to swim my jeep across a certain beaver pond that actually dammed both sides of the fill. Any info to tell visitors? I have an open house in Glen NH on Tuesday and Wednesday, and it might be good to know what is open. Back some years ago you could drive through from Rankins Mill (Narrow Gauge Rd) through to Hancock Lake but the steel bridge at Twin Lake had a steep ramp on each side that would stop any regular car. Access to the grade just beyond Bridgeton Jct is the small opening off Rte 113 that cuts through the grade for access to the gravel pit above. The bridge in East Hiram has been closed.

Thanks for any info.
Bob Meckley
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Duncan Mackiewicz
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2016, 03:08:20 PM »

Bob,
I wish I had seen this message before today. My family and I spent a week in that area at the time of your question and I could have checked that out for you. I would be interested to see the answer to your question as I would like to travel those former road beds too. Probably not this summer but then you never know what the future has in store.

Duncan
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Dana Deering
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2016, 07:29:54 PM »

Bob,

     It just so happens that last weekend I was at our camp on Hancock Pond and I rode my Mountain bike north from Swamp Road to Sandy Creek on the roadbed on Saturday.  You can access the ROW at Perley's Mills Rd. and you can drive all the way to Sandy Creek.  The beaver dams have been removed and the roadbed was high and dry.  I would suggest caution if you cross the Willette Brook bridge in a vehicle.  It was built for logging trucks but it has been a few years so I would check it before crossing.  On Sunday I went the other way and biked to Barker Pond.  You can't cross the small bridge at the head of Barker Pond (at Twin Lakes Station) in anything larger than an ATV.  The bridge is in shaky condition.  The supports are fine but the wood is questionable.  Otherwise, you can drive a vehicle (truck or jeep preferably) from the part of the West Shore Road (Hancock Pond access road) which runs through the Notch on the old ROW all the way to the Twin Lake Station site, where there is now room to turn a vehicle around.  You can still see Joe Bennett's old cottage at Hancock Pond (it has a locomotive weather vane on top so it's easy to find and it is right next to the road).  I hope this helps.
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Duncan Mackiewicz
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2016, 07:00:57 PM »

Dana,
I still envy you your cabin on Hancock Pond nearby the old ROW. I should have known you would be nearby and able to answer the question.
Duncan
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Bob Meckley
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2016, 03:32:56 PM »

Thanks Dana and Duncan:
         Its been too long since I followed Mike Fox and his pickup following the grade. I drove through from Hancock Lake to Reed's Mill too long ago and rode it on my Mountain Bike as well. The bridge's back then were substantial but had a high angle to get on them that only a high clearance vehicle could clear. Back in East Hiram the girder bridge to the grade is now closed and access is via a cut in the grade almost at Bridgeton Jct on Rte 113. Some of the grade is visible on the side of the large gravel pit. Bridgeton Jct access is probably better from Hiram, crossing the Maine Central bridge to the station site.
         I have an open house next Tuesday and Wednesday, and wanted some up to date road conditions for those few who might look for signs of the B&SR on their way to the Convention. I always use 113 to below Sebago Lake on my way into Maine from North Conway.

Bob Meckley
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Mike Fox
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2016, 05:25:08 PM »

I wish I had time for a tour. Very busy this year.
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Mike
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