Rocky Branch Trail and Stairs Col Trail

MODERATE 7 reviews

Rocky Branch Trail and Stairs Col Trail is a 10.8 mile out and back trail located near Glen, New Hampshire that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 10.8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,240 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wildlife

NOTE: There is a blown out bridge which has added approximately 2 miles to the hike. The distance shown is the correct one which includes the added length.

hiking
blowdown
bridge out
bugs
washed out
2 days ago

We are planning to do Mt. Isolation starting from here and wanted to scout out the situation based on the recent reviews. Yes, the road is closed indefinitely about 1.9 miles from the trailhead. I put a waypoint on my recording for where the washed out bridge is. I was encouraged, as it’s definitely doable (see pics). There’s about a 20 ft gap washed away on one end of the bridge, but one can pretty easily climb up and over the edge of the bridge or ford the river - which is quite low right now. The walk in on the road is flat and mellow, but does add to the length and time involved. No idea of the trail conditions beyond the bridge, but I expect it to be overgrown. We plan to do a 2-3 day out and back backpacking trip starting from here next week.

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bridge out
bugs
muddy
washed out
26 days ago

Went to hike up and stay over on top of Mt. Stairs, hiking via rocky branch in to stairs col then up. However, upon arriving we found our first surprise, a gate across Jenk's Hill Rd a good 2 miles from where the trail head parking used to be. The gravel road is totally washed out in placed and can make for annoying footing with all the loose gravel. It is a relatively easy hike to the trail head but added an unexpected distance carrying packs. Once we got to the trail head, we found that access to the bridge across the river is completely washed away. Where the gravel road used to meet the bridge, there is now a gap at least 20 feet wide and 10 feet deep (complete with guard rail pilings hanging from the remaining guard rail where the ground used to be. Due to collapsed sections of bridge parts, we were able to climb down into the ditch then up onto the bridge to get across. A water crossing would not be possible without getting soaked and risking losing equipment. We proceeded up the Rocky Branch trail to shelter #1 which was a mess of trash everywhere, fire pit full of trash and some rotting meat that some really inconsiderate people left behind. Our plan was not to stay there and we moved on. Given the extra hiking up front and leg injury my son sustained, we ended up not making it all the way up stairs col to the saddle or top of Stairs. We ended up calling it quits and camping the required distance off trail in the woods. The bugs this time of year were a real nuisance, swarming us non stop. Not an ideal hike. Two years ago when I went in the fall, this was a beautiful trail and I would have given it 5 stars. If you attempt it now, be prepared for the extra challenges that the washed out road and bridge pose. If you go in the spring I recommend head bug netting in addition to the long sleeves, pants, bug spray etc.

9 months ago

This was tricky. I had a hard time getting information about it and decided to just go for it. there was a very flat gravel road that took us to a washed out bridge. An eight foot section fell off, but we were able to climb back on the bridge and cross the river. The road continues another mile and you come across a sign denoting the trail head. The first part of Rocky branch trail is fine and clear, however turning to the stair col was interesting. what I believed to be the path turned into and over grown jumble. we hiked a mile in knee high growth, then hot a literal wall of evergreens. there was a small field that had a completely washed out bridge which may have been the intended trail, but it seemed that the trail was not supposed to cross the trail again, so we opted to stay on that side. definitely an adventure, next time I'll bring some bushwacking gear.

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Saturday, November 05, 2016

Sunday, January 20, 2013

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