Unloaded at Baker River Clubhouse, Wentworth. NH 8:30 am. Nice parking for unloading sleds. Was hoping the clubhouse would be open for the holiday (MLK) but closed. Headed out Trail 8 west. The plan for the day was 8 West to 5 North to 11 South to 8 West back to the clubhouse, 165 miles according to the new NHSA mobile mapping app. 8 West was thin but in poor shape as groomers hadn't been out all weekend. We picked up Corridor 5 North, poor with no grooming all weekend. Rode 53 miles into Littleton in 3 hours (17 MPH average). We lost Corridor 5 in Littleton and ended up on the 105 railbed (Not groomed, exposed rails). Had lunch at the Little Train Depot on Cottage Street in Littleton (excellent food). Continued on 105 East (not groomed, exposed rails) until we hooked up with Corridor 5 again north of Whitefield. Followed Corridor 5 (thin cover, poor with no grooming) to Corridor 11. Headed south on Corridor 11 towards Twin Mtn, railbed (poor, no grooming, exposed rails). Followed Corridor 11 (Twin Mtn, Fanconia area) very thin, poor conditions, no grooming. After Franconia Notch, picked up the railbed in Lincoln (Corridor 11) poor, exposed rails, no grooming). Arrived at the (Plymouth) Common Man restaurant where Trail 8 intersects. Assisted 2 sleds that had skis wedged between rails. They were also looking for Trail 8. After freeing up the sled, found Trail 8. Followed Trail 8 West to Baker River Clubhouse, arriving 7:30 pm (poor conditions, thin cover). Total hours for the day: 11. Total miles 165. Average speed: 15 mph. Trail conditions: Poor, Thin cover, No grooming. Extensive water bars and open pools (one sled got into a pool 2.5 feet deep and had to be towed out).
Summary: This report is not a slam against grooming crews and all the work they do for their clubs and trails as I am highly respectful of grooming crews. This is strictly an observation based on actual riding conditions. Out of 165 miles there were less than 3 miles total of "smooth and flat". We knew conditions were marginal at best from club reports all over the state. Signage is very bad or not there at all. We got lost 3 times and met other riders lost as well. The number of intersections with no signs at all was staggering. We are thankful for the new NHSA trail map app on my phone as that told us where we were. BOTTOM LINE: They need more snow to build a good base.