Our first stop on our Part 2 of exploring Dixville Notch, was the Polish Princess Bakery in Lancaster to pick up something for lunch. We lucked out and she had just made foccacia bread with onions and cheese. That will be a perfect lunch somewhere on the trail. Her breads and treats are delicious, so stop in before a hike. Next stop…
Dixville Notch, parked at Huntington Cascade lot, grabbed our backpacks (leaving water shoes and a change of clothes in the car) and headed out to the Flume.
From here we jumped on the Sanguinary Ridge Trail, part of the Cohos Trail Network. We are big fans of the CT, we think it is one of the prettiest trails around.
As we embarked on the trail and reached the top of the waterfall, we made the mistake of crossing over the top of the waterfall. No, the trail doesn’t go that way, but yellow boundary markers painted on the trees threw us off, plus we missed the CT sign that was hidden from our view.
We continued on the SRT, admiring the turnouts that provided picturesque views.
On some turnouts, blueberries were available to refuel our bodies.
This was a beautiful trail that switchbacked its way, never with a demanding ascent that left us exhausted.
We reached a crossroads of sorts at 1.2 miles from the Flume start.
We jaunted out for a bit on the Sanguinary Summit Trail to see the sights below us.
We started our descent down to the Balsams Resort. The first part of the descent included switchbacks with some fine overlooks.
And more blueberries on the trail to snack on.
That over there is Table Rock, our next destination. It was at this moment, I had the revelation that I am armchair thrillseeker. Sitting at home reading about Table Rock, I felt brave to hike out to it, but when I saw it across the way, all my bravery fell away.
Then we came to the scree field. I sometimes, sitting in an armchair, don’t read trail descriptions carefully enough. I didn’t recall reading about a scree field. Maybe that is a good thing, because if I had know I had to go down and through one, I would have called this one just an out and back hike. I remember staring at this, saying out loud “I hope we aren’t going down there on all that rock.” We entered a little wooded nook and it emerged onto the scree.
Thankfully stairs were placed on the descent, but we still had a short field to cross. I wasn’t brave enough to look around or down and I’m sure if I did, it was real pretty. My stomach felt a little queasy not sure if it was nerves or ate to many blueberries.
Next we had to cross this, slow going for me, but it was just level enough not to be terrifying.
Towards the end I was rewarded with you guessed it, more blueberries. Here is my joy at surviving the scree and gorging on blueberries.
Once back in the forest, I regained any lost confidence in hiking I had.
This trail ended for us at the Balsams Resort and we had short road walk on Rt. 26 to the next trailhead, Table Rock Trail.
We entered the woods and began a steady ascent up the Table Rock Trail.
For the first part of this trail, my little legs were tired from the desent on SRT, so it made for slow going, luckily the forest was lovely and justified a slower pace to take it all in.
Near the end of the trail, it started to level out and become boggy. I found sinking in the mud to be rather fun today.
Then we saw a our destination a little closer up. We are going to go out to Table Rock.
Off we go, having to descend for a bit at first.
Then a quick scramble up to the Table Rock.
The views out from the legendary look out.
Mike ventured out to the end and he hung the camera over the edge. This is the ledge below Table Rock.
He also snapped a photo of where we came from and the scree field we crossed.
Mike returned from the edge and chatted with a couple that hiked up here also. Mike was the brave one and made it to the edge. I just made it to the middle of this walkway. That was good enough for me.
Then it was lunch time. Enjoying our Polish Princess Bakery bread. OMG it tasted so good and was well earned.
After the viewing and snacking, we returned to the trail. Back on the Cohos Trail portion that is called Three Brothers. Here the trail was well groomed, beautiful and peaceful.
This sign made me laugh out loud. There is a harder route to get to Table Rock, we took the “easy” way to get to it.
Mike discovered a rock with a great lichen pattern.
At this point, Mike went down the outlook trail, while I continued on.
The view from the outlook.
He joined up at the scat pile, moose?
From here it was a smooth hike, though a bit muddy at times to Huntington Cascade, where we were yesterday.
We returned to our car, grabbed our water shoes and towels, headed back to the pool, below the falls, to have a quick dip. On our return to the falls, we saw a porcupine. It was my first one I’ve seen alive. I was so excited I couldn’t take a good picture. He tired of me snapping photos rather quickly and lumbered off.
We then jumped in the little pool to cool off, boy was that water cold.
Once we landed at home, we quickly changed into “lounge” wear, grabbed a beer and relaxed in the evening sun. Great way to end an awesome hike.
The Details: 4.5 miles round trip using the Sanguinary Ridge Trail to road walk to Table Rock Trail, to Three Brothers Trail. Total time was 5 hours with breaks and an elevation gain of 1700 feet.
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