July 02, 2014RANDOLPH — Construction of the Randolph Mountain Club's new Mt. Crescent Trailhead is nearly completed and will soon open on the Boothman Tract, replacing the temporary parking lot just below the Jimtown Logging Road at the north end of an access road built four years ago.
The design and construction of the new trailhead is a project of the Town of Randolph, through its Forest Commission, which is responsible for the 10,000-acre Randolph Community Forest (RCF) in Randolph and Jefferson, established in 2002.
The RCF includes the entire area between the White Mountain National Forest boundary on the Crescent Range and the privately owned properties on Randolph Hill, which are crossed by six of the club's major "hill-side" trails.
The new trailhead on RCF acreage is designed to provide adequate off-road parking to avoid clogging the narrow Randolph Hill Road shoulders, to provide more convenient entry to this part of the RMC's 100-plus-mile trail network, and to create access for recreation in the forest in all seasons. The plan is for the lot to be plowed in the winter.
Two RMC trails — the Mt. Crescent Trail and the Cook Path — will start from the new trailhead rather than directly off Randolph Hill Road. The RMC trail crew cut these new connections in 2013
More detailed information is available on both the RMC and RCF websites.
A ceremonial opening of the new trailhead is scheduled around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2, at the conclusion of the indoor Town Hall portion of the RCF's annual Forest Day. The Boothman sisters, Becky Boothman and Sara Boothman Glines, who worked hard to make the new trailhead parking a reality, will be honored.
After that ceremony, led by RMC president and RCF chairman John Scarinza, a walk is planned around the site, including the new interpretive trail plus a visit to the former "scar" that is planned as a future sledding hill in a town that now has no public place to slide.
Following these activities, a tour of past timber harvest sites, regeneration activities, and permanent wildlife openings is planned as is traditional on the town's Forest Day.
Participants are urged to bring lunch, water, and insect repellent and to wear footgear suitable for rough — but not rugged — terrain.