Searching for the Cable Car

The entrance to Austin Brook Trail.

The entrance to Austin Brook Trail.

A couple of weeks ago there was an article in the Berlin Daily Sun about a cable car being installed to cross Austin Brook over in Shelburne, NH.  In some years, the Brook flows high and fast, blowing out bridges and making crossing the water dangerous, so a local family donated the cable car to provide better access to the trails on either side of the river.  There wasn’t a lot of details about the whereabouts of the car in the article and they indicated that they still had some work to do on it, but we thought we’d go over to those trails and see what we could find.

Alden is wide awake to start the hike.

Alden is wide awake to start the hike.

We parked at the Austin Brook Trail parking area, off North Road and took the trail along Austin Brook that is familiar to us as far as the Yellow Trail junction, and beyond which was new territory.  We didn’t know exactly where we’d find the cable car so we walked along the very pleasant and interesting trail until it reached the junction of Mill Brook Road.  Along the way Andrew complained that all our pictures appeared “blue”, and Lindsay finally discovered an improper setting for the images; enjoy our improved pictures!  No sign of a cable car so we looked at our map and thought maybe the cable car was further up the trail at the next water crossing.

We hiked along the Austin Brook in search of the cable car.

We hiked along the Austin Brook in search of the cable car.

Lindsay and Alden next to Austin Brook.

Lindsay and Alden next to Austin Brook.

An interesting ledge juts out and hugs the Austin Brook Trail.

An interesting ledge juts out and hugs the Austin Brook Trail.

We continued on the trail/Mill Brook Road until we reached another water crossing with no sign of a cable car.  At this point the water crossings were getting smaller so it wasn’t making sense that they would need a cable car.  Andrew went ahead to see if it was at the next crossing while Lindsay and Alden had a snack and rest.  Then we thought, maybe if we walk back down Mill Brook Road we will find the cable car, or at least we can take the Yellow Trail back over to the Austin Brook Trail and make a loop of our walk.

Andrew crosses a brook along Mill Brook Road to hike ahead to the next crossing.

Andrew crosses a brook along Mill Brook Road to hike ahead to the next crossing.

So we walked down the road, past Alden’s first hike (we did a blog about it here: First Hike). We were busy talking and hiking when out of the corner of her eye, Lindsay noticed a change in the woods to her right.  When she looked, there was the cable car!  It isn’t marked yet so we would’ve walked right past it if not for a glance over.

We hiked down the Mill Brook Road.

We hiked down the Mill Brook Road.

We found the cable car!

We found the cable car!

It looked sturdy enough and Lindsay jumped on the car and pulled herself to the other side of the river. Andrew and Alden came second.  It does take some effort to pull yourself across, especially at the far end when the rope goes slightly up hill.  There is also a need for some sort of platform to help get down off the car from that end too.

The cable car is ready for passengers.

The cable car is ready for passengers.

Andrew gets in the cable car.

Andrew gets in the cable car.

Andrew pulls himself (with a sleeping Alden) across the river.

Andrew pulls himself (with a sleeping Alden) across the river.

They made it across!

They made it across!

The trail turns sharply to the left down a faded old logging road and eventually pops out onto the Yellow Trail.  The Shelburne Trails Club will need to do a little bit of work to mark and trim this section of the trail.  We were a little hesitant to write a blog about this cable car since it didn’t seem ready to invite visitors, but we figured that it was already advertised in the local paper and it’s now been several weeks since we lucked out and found it, so maybe some work has been done to get it more ready for hikers.

One last picture before we head home.

One last picture before we head home.

We are excited to come back again to see it in its’ finished stage and maybe Alden will be awake for car ride across too.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. beverly
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 10:55:14

    That is so cool! Now, look at Alden…fast asleep after his adventure on the cable car, even though Daddy did all the work! Nice photo. :-D

    Reply

  2. 1HappyHiker
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 20:30:35

    Fantastic report! And as far as I know, you might be the FIRST to write a Blog report about the new cable car. You should give some consideration to posting a link to your report on the Shelburne Trails Club’s Facebook page. They are always appreciative of having material posted that relates to their trail system.

    Loved the “new/improved” photos (although photos in your previous blogs were not bad at all).

    Thanks for sharing!

    John

    Reply

  3. Leslie
    Oct 09, 2013 @ 00:25:29

    Very Cool!

    Reply

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