Moriah Brook TrailOfficials have closed the Moriah Brook Trail Bridge in New Hampshire’s White Mountains because of safety concerns.

In consecutive storms in 2011 and 2012, Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy delivered extensive flooding in the Wild River watershed, eroding much of the river banks, particularly under the eastern abutment of the bridge. Since those large storms, the river has remained in a state of change, further removing soil and vegetation from the banks. This, combined with decaying wood, led Forest Service engineers to determine the bridge is unsafe and due for removal.

This pedestrian bridge provided access from Wild River Campground to the west side of the Wild River Wilderness, and the east side of the Carter-Moriah Range. Hikers need to be prepared to ford the river, find another crossing, or turn back and hike another day. With the closure of this bridge, the only remaining hiker bridge is at the northeastern end of the Highwater Trail, seven miles downstream at the confluence of the Wild River and Evans Brook.

A barricade is in place on both sides of the bridge preventing further use. All trailheads that provide reasonable access to the bridge are posted with notices. Hikers are urged to be prepared by planning ahead.

The Forest Service is currently in the process developing a proposed action and will be seeking public comments.  They welcome thoughts on locations and alternative suggestions and designs. For comments and questions, contact Helon Hoffer at Androscoggin Ranger Station of the White Mountain National Forest at 603-466-2713 x1211.