Sanguinary Ridge Trail, Table Rock Trail, Three Brothers Trail – Dixville Notch Part 2

Looking at Table Rock from Three Brothers Trail

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.

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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.

Don't cross here, oops
Don’t cross here, oops

We continued on the SRT, admiring the turnouts that provided picturesque views.

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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.

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We reached a crossroads of sorts at 1.2 miles from the Flume start.

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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.


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And more blueberries on the trail to snack on.

shoving ripe blueberries down my gullet


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

at the top left you can see the trail we worked our way down and across the small scree field to the left and then the trail re entered the woods

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.



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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.

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Mike discovered a rock with a great lichen pattern.


At this point, Mike went down the outlook trail, while I continued on.

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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.

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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.

Trust me that blob of black on the tree is a porcupine

We then jumped in the little pool to cool off, boy was that water cold.

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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.

Dixville Notch

Dixville Notch Waterfalls – Part 1


Our Wednesday started with a drive to far North New Hampshire. An exploration of the Dixville Notch area was on our agenda.  Our first stop was a drive up waterfall, Beaver Brook Falls, located on Rt. 145 outside of Colebrook.  This truly is a drive up waterfall, you can sit in your car and just stare at its beauty.


However you can also get out and walk right up to the falls or hike the steep paths on either side.




After our viewing, we returned to the car and headed to Dixville Notch to explore two more waterfalls, The Flume and Huntington Cascades.  What we didn’t realize at the time, was how much we would fall in love with these woods.

We parked at the Dixville Flume Brook parking area, left our backpacks (with water shoes) in the car, grabbed our cameras and started to explore.





We took note of the Sanguinary Ridge Trail to the left of the brook, only knowing it was a 1.2 mile trek and not sure what we see on it, so we decided to skip it for today, doing more research later.  I then decided to explore the trail to the right and with excitement I bounded off on the Cohos Trail.  Since we discovered the Cohos Trail a few years ago, any time we see those CT signs we just happily follow it.


Of course in my excitement, I didn’t think to go back to the car to retrieve the backpack with water, food and water shoes.  I was skipping through the forest, following the trail, listening to the hum of the brook, the drone of logging trucks on the road and looked up to see we had to cross the road.

Cross the road we did to the other parking area for the Huntington Cascades, it was only about .25 to get to this area.  Right before we entered this parking area, we stopped and paid our respects to the first settlers of Dixville Notch.




We crossed the parking lot and followed the trail.



We were like two little kids scrambling over the rocks, exploring the nooks and crannies, ohhing and ahhing over the beauty of the trail.








As we explored this area, this little tree was sad we might not return:


However, I didn’t want to disappoint mother nature and it was at this spot I declared we are returning tomorrow, to hike prepared and swim in this pool.


So with the decision made to return on Thursday, we hiked back to the car and made a quick stop at the Balsams Resort to look around.


As I returned to the car, I shouted to Mike look up, what an amazing rock formation.


Oh no…I became fixated on this and knew we had to figure out the trail out there. Little did we know staring at it, that was Table Rock, listed on NH’s Terrifying 25 lists.

Once home we figured out a loop hike to return to Huntington Falls and visit Table Rock, so until Part 2…keep hiking.

Cherry Pond – April 16, 2015

Pano of  Cherry Pond and Presidentials
Pano of Cherry Pond and Presidentials

We made our pilgrimage out to Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge and Cherry Pond today.   This is the start of hiking season for us and we like to begin with this one.  A great warm up hike  with amazing views of peaks we hope to summit this season, a great motivator for our summer hikes in the White Mountains.

The first 1/8 mile was ice-covered on the rail trail, the snowmobiles had really packed it down this year. After that the trail was damp, muddy in spots and some areas were dotted with mushy snow.

sliding along the trail

The best part of the trail it is so not technical you can actually stare up at the blue sky or notice the crazy ice formations on the side, without having to be focused on foot placement.


I always get excited when we come across this trail sign.  I just adore the Cohos Trail, because it truly is the trail less traveled.

Cohos Trail
Cohos Trail

We hit the railbed, followed it for a bit and this time just sat down, admiring the view, the warmth of the sun and the rat a tat tat of the woodpeckers.


Closeup of Mt. Washington
Closeup of Mt. Washington

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After admiring the view, we headed over the viewing platform.  We took the shore trail over to the platform.  I was excited to see the little bench had been put back.  In October, when we last walked here the bench was gone and I was very sad to think someone might have taken it.


The walk through this section was spring muddy and I can see it getting muddier over the next few weeks.  On the way over to the platform, I noticed dried mullins and decided to call them “New England Cacti”.

Ann's New England Cactus
Ann’s New England Cactus


After a brief snack, we headed back to the car. Along the way we meet two birders and were “interviewed” for an upcoming birding radio show in New Hampshire.  Sadly we didn’t have much to offer, as we didn’t see any birds that stood out to us.  Oh well, adds to the adventure.

On the way back, Mike captured a few more photos of the stunning mountains.

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We spent about 2 hours out in the Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge area. The weather was perfect, little wind, no bugs and clear skies.  I hope this is a great start to amazing hiking season.

I alway

Slide Brook Trail Take 2 – April 18, 2014



We attempted this hike last June (see report), but the swarms of mosquitos turned us back shortly after we hit the Presidential Rail trail.  We thought a nice April hike would be free of those nasty bugs and the snow-capped mountains would be beautiful.  We were correct on both accounts, no bugs and the mountains were majestic.

Anytime I get on the Cohos Trail, I get giddy. Why? I honestly don’t know, maybe it is because it is a lesser known trail, maybe because it is a bit untamed and maybe because …

The trail starts off simply through a meadow.



After the meadow we entered a forested area for a short distance.


After leaving this area we visited the abandoned playground of the beaver.  We carefully stepped across his damn, admiring the views along the way.






Leaving the playground, we entered the woods again.  This time there freshly laid bridges to walk on (thank you).



After this we entered another meadow, right below the Presidential Rail Trail.


After we exited the meadow we turned left on the Rail Trail and made our way to the Marsh, a very beautiful area.

Rail Trail
Thanks for the bench!!





zoomed into Mt. Washington


We turned around at the bench and re traced our steps back to the car.  Unfortunately I don’t have a distance or time log on this hike.  If you are looking for a jaunt with beautiful views, I highly recommend this one, just don’t go in mosquito prime time.



Gadwah Notch Trail June 21, 2014

Cathrdal Meadow


One of our favorite places in the North Woods is the Nash Stream Forest.  One of our favorite trails systems meanders here, the Cohos Trail.  We love the long unpaved road to get to the trail heads. We love the solitude of the forest. We love beauty of the Cohos Trail.  In order to celebration the summer solstice we returned to the land we love, the Nash Stream Forest.  Today we would venture out on the Gadwah Notch Trail for a few miles.

The trail begins at the end, the end of Nash Stream Road.


Follow the yellow signs of the Cohos Trail
Follow the yellow signs of the Cohos Trail

Our feet followed an old woods lane, while we listened to trickle of  Pike Brook.





Along the way we spotted evidence of moose, bear and other  woodland creatures.

Moose tracks
Moose tracks


Well hello there mr. caterpillar
Well hello there mr. caterpillar


After 22 minutes of walking we arrived at Cathedral Meadow.  What a delightful place that just appeared.

Coming up to the meadow
Coming up to the meadow


Views from the meadow




Flower in the meadow


We walked another 1/2 mile, admiring the woods and flowers along the way, until we reached the next smaller meadow and the trail turning to the right.


Moran Meadow to the left, trail to the right
Moran Meadow to the left, trail to the right

The flowers were almost ready to burst in the meadow.  One yellow flower did stand out though.

This reminded me of yellow fireworks
This reminded me of yellow fireworks

Turning away from the meadow we went up the lane, with some mud hopping adventures.


We followed the trail for another 1/2 mile.

Follow the yellow brick road, no the yellow marked rocks


We entered Muise Bowl, a natural amphitheater.

Muise Bowl
Muise Bowl


flower in the bowl
flower in the bowl

We walked a little further passed the Bowl, and turned around at 2.5 miles, not making it to Bulldozer Flat.  We hit an area that was very wet, boggy and just didn’t have the desire to slog through mud or high grass today.  We hoped the moose would have blazed a clear cut path, but I think they even turned around in the seeps.

Seep turnaround for us
Seep turnaround for us


The return was full of great views and we enjoyed the moments of just being in a such a tranquil place, free of manmade noise that clutters our ears.

heading back
heading back


Columbine Flower
Columbine Flower




We spent a great 2 and 1/2 hours exploring the Gadwah Notch area.  We tramped 5 miles in total.  We will return to do this again and go further next time.  The Nash Stream Forest and the Cohos Trail are a very special area, free of crowds, full of beauty.


A trail with two different points of view, Sugarloaf Mountain – June 29

Here is Mike’s version:

Went up a very long, steep hill.  Saw fog. Came down same very long steep hill. Had mud and bugs. I was the  grumpy hiking partner . One of those  hikes that didn’t do anything for me.


Ann’s version:

We thought the clouds/fog would lift off of Sugarloaf Mountain.  We kept seeing blue sky teasing us, so decided to stick to our destination.  We drove the 8.3 miles on Nash Stream Road, with the sun sometimes peeking out.  Parked the car by a cabin and was immediately swarmed by gnats and mosquitoes.

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We followed a grassy path until it viewed to the right and followed the Sugarloaf Mountain trail.


We had to keep moving because of the bugs. I tried to stop to snap a picture and even the camera was attacked.

Yup a bug on the lens
Yup a bug on the lens

Not much to say except follow this trail and just keep going up. The trail isn’t impressive.  The steepness doesn’t stop and I had to motivate myself to reach one water division channel at a time.  Stop at each one, catch breath, get to the next one. I ended up thinking this was just a workout hike, to keep me in a good mood.  I could tell Mike wasn’t enjoying the trail.

Even in the mud section, where I swear the mud monster is lurking to suck your shoe off, you are going up.  Walking through the mud avoiding this monster was a better way to go than rock hopping.  The rocks were very slippery.

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Shoe sucking mud

At 1.5 miles we reached the old fire warden’s hut, that is now a jumbled mess of wood and tin.


After this the forest transformed into a Boreal Forest. The trail was beautiful for the next .6 miles and the grade seemed a little easier.

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I had a spring in my step, so we made good time to the summit.

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We stood around and ate a few pieces of food quickly.  The bugs at the summit didn’t take a break and we snapped a few pictures of the fog that surrounded us.



Down we went at a good clip.  I tried to cheer up my grumpy hiking partner, told him we just had a great workout and it helps to look at it that way.  Usually I’m the grumpy one, but I enjoyed battling the mud monster, laughing as he didn’t get my shoes and that kept my spirits light.

The Details: Park on Nash Stream Road in Stark.  4.1 miles, 2200 feet elevation gain.  Total time was around 3 hours, 1 hour 6 mins. it took us to come down.

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