Plants along the Cohos Trail

Joe-Pye Weed

On The Cohos Trail, you will walk and climb through myriad micro-habitats, perhaps the most diverse of any biosystem in northern New England. From Arctic tundra to the chilly 120-foot depths of First Connecticut Lake, from black, cold spruce forests in dark bogs to beautiful wildflower meadows on open mountain slopes, you will drift through a healthy environment that supports great numbers of species.

The wildlife on the Cohos Trail is its real secret treasure, and so is the flora. The Cohos Trail drifts through an eastern transitional forest, smack between the hardwood abundance to the south and the boreal evergreen forests of the Canadian vastness to the north

The tree cover can be vastly different at different altitudes and changes quite a bit as you head north. A maple, beech, and ash forest, laced with white pine and spruce, covers the countryside up to as high as 3,000 feet of elevation. Above that, spruce, birch, and fir begin to take over and maintain a solid grip on the land until the elevation moves above 4,400 feet or so. In most places above that mark, the forest itself gives way to true Arctic tundra similar to the environment of northern Labrador, Canada.

In cold, moist lowland pockets, trees that grow in acidic or wet environments, like black spruce and tamarack, are common. Few other species can compete with them.

Along the trail, many plants are edible if you know what to look for. Certainly, in late July and August, you may find quantities of raspberry and blueberry. Atop North Percy Peak, there is an expansive blueberry barren.  People skilled in wild foraging may find most of what one needs to survive in the wilderness in the vast forests of the Great North Woods and the White Mountains. Food, water, and shelter are readily available if you know what to look for.


  • Balsam Fir
  • Black Spruce
  • White Cedar
  • Sugar Maple
  • American Beech
  • White Birch
  • Yellow Birch
  • Alder
  • Choke Cherry
  • Mountain Ash
  • White Ash