News

704, 2018

What’s New on the Cohos Trail in 2018

The Cohos Trail Association has a number of critical projects on the agenda in 2018, projects that will substantially improve the trail and the ability to stay out in the backcountry under a roof.

The all-volunteer trails group will also be utilizing contracted help to support the effort to clear extensive storm damage along scores of miles of pathway the length of Coos County, NH.

So, that said, here is a look at some of the things you can expect on the Cohos Trail during the hiking season in 2018.

Devil’s Rest Shelter

In late spring, the association will construct its fifth lean-to shelter and attendant composting latrine on the Cohos Trail. In the community of Stark, just a bit south of the junction of the Jimmy Cole Brook Road (grassy old logging lane) and the Old Summer Club Trail, the new Devil’s Rest Shelter will be erected within the Kauffmann Forest, a delightful 6,000-acre parcel of protected conservation land managed by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

The new shelter has already been milled out by the Garland Mill Timberframers of Lancaster, NH, the good folks who run the historic water-powered sawmill at the eastern margins of town. It will be somewhat similar in size and design to the existing shelter they helped create for us that resides on Sugarloaf Arm in Stratford Township. The shelter will be able to sleep up to eight individuals. It will be accompanied by a fine composting latrine fabricated by Jack Pepau, who lives in the nearby community of Stark. Jack and his son Chad (former president of the association) have fabricated many a composting latrine for the association and other trail groups.

The location of the shelter will be about one-quarter mile south of the main route of the Cohos Trail (Jimmy Cole Brook Road and Old Summer Club Trail junction). The way to the shelter will be well marked so there will be no problem finding the facility. Once there, please be aware that campfires are strictly forbidden at the site. If you stay at the facility please use Leave No Trace practices and pack everything out with you, and we do mean everything.

It will be possible after a long haul over the course of a full day to reach the Devil’s Rest Shelter from the Mount Cabot Cabin deep in the Kilkenny wilderness. There are no roofed shelters between Cabot and the site of the Devil’s Rest, but there are two formal campsites, one at Unknown Pond and one below Roger’s Ledge and near the junction of the Kilkenny Ridge Trail and the Mill Brook Trail. But for those who are hell-bent on sleeping beneath a roof, it will be possible to do so provided one puts in the effort to cover some seventeen miles between the Mt. Cabot watchman’s cabin and the new shelter.

Moose Alley Trail Rebuild

On Saturday, June 2, National Trails Day, volunteers will assemble near the Magalloway Road bridge over the Connecticut River and northward near Big Brook Bridge on Route 3 where the trailheads of the Moose Alley Trail are located. Once on site, two separate volunteer crews – one starting at the Magalloway Road trailhead near the Connecticut River and one a mile and a half north – will work to restore the Moose Alley Trail which was subject to logging over most of its length in 2017. The northern crew will clean up a small stretch at the northern end to the junction of the Falls in the River Trail, then rejoin the southern crew for the majority of the effort.

Volunteers will have their work cut out for them removing extensive amounts of debris, cutting obstacles out of the trail, rerouting the pathway in places, adding blaze stakes and blaze paint throughout, filling skidder ruts, and the like in order to make the trail route passable and fully visible to the hiking public.

The Moose Alley Trail is a critical link in the Cohos Trail system and restoring it is a high priority, indeed. Hikers moving along the trail will find most of the forest has been removed by logging and logging litter will be evident on all sides. There is one bit of silver lining, however. The timber cut opened up views in the region which were not available to the hiking public before.

The association welcomes anyone who would like to participate in the effort to restore the Moose Alley Trail. To keep appraised of the project, go to Friends of the Cohos Trail on Facebook periodically and check in for upcoming information, or check our website.

The Cohos Trail is, after all, located in places within working forests, forests that are cut to supply local sawmills, regional paper mills, and regional biomass energy plants with raw material to create products and generate power. The forest economy in the county makes it possible for huge tracts of forested land to remain undeveloped. These vast tracts of timber benefit more than industry. The trees provide a great regional carbon sink, habitat for countless animals and plants, filters for surface water to keep it clean, a wonderful recreational environment for many different users, and income for local citizens up and down the length of New Hampshire’s largest county.

Sugar Hill Trail Rebuild

The Sugar Hill Trail south of Coleman State Park was also impacted (although less so) by logging in 2017. The association has contracted with the NorthWoods Stewardship Center for a crack pro crew to spend a day or two out on the Sugar Hill Trail cleaning up debris, reestablishing the route, leveling treadway impacted by machinery, adding blaze stakes and blaze paint, and generally making the trail suitable for hiking traffic. It is likely that the restoration effort on this pathway will take place either late in the first week or early in the second week of June.

If you are planning on hiking the trail early in the season, you should expect to encounter this logging cut and the one that impacted the Moose Alley Trail. Be aware that the trails will not be reestablished if you hike early, so you will either have to backtrack, use roads of old skidways to get around the problem areas, or you will have to pick your way at your own risk through the cuts in much less than ideal conditions and without the aid of blazed trees.

Contracted Trail Sweep

Extensive storm damage in the forests of Coos County, NH has prompted the Cohos Trail Association to contract for two weeks with a crew from the NorthWoods Stewardship Center of E. Charleston, Vermont, to thoroughly sweep the trail of blowdowns and debris, particularly in the vast mountainous region between Route 110 in Stark and Coleman State Park in Stewartstown, as well as lands where some trails reside in 300,000-acre Pittsburg Township. The Gadwah Notch area, more than most stretches of the CT, needs considerable work to make the route suitable for passage.

In order to make the long trail route safe for hikers this year, the association felt it needed the help of a pro crew to clear the treadway over many miles. So when hiking season begins in earnest in July, the pathways that make up the Cohos Trail system should be well cleared of problems from Stark much of the way to the Canadian border.

This effort has been made possible by an anonymous donor who has gifted the association with many thousands of dollars for the purpose of improving the trail and its infrastructure.

Reblazing a Priority

The Cohos Trail is blazed in yellow paint throughout its entire distance north of Route 115, from Jefferson to the Canadian border. South of Route 115 the various White Mountain National Forest trails in the system have various colored paint blazes as anyone who has hiked the entire trail knows.

Where we can influence the blaze colors, the Cohos Trail is blazed in that single yellow color. This year, we will make a concerted effort to touch up and add blazing throughout the entire trail system so that following the trail is easier than ever and less confusing in a few spots. We will also add additional signage and direction arrows to help hikers navigate the system, particularly in the area between Danforth Road and Round Pond Brook Road and the Round Pond Brook Trail in Pittsburg Township.

We are asking all trail adopters to apply or touch up 2×8-inch blazes with yellow latex paint applied with 2-inch foam brushes along the route of their respective trails. Other volunteers will march out into the backcountry with paint, too, to touch up blazing on trails that have not been adopted.

Please be aware that there are exceptions to the yellow color on spur trails that are a part of the Cohos Trail system. For instance, the Percy Peaks Trail is blazed in orange; the Deer Mountain Firetower Trail is blazed in blue. The Sanguinary Ridge Trail (part of the main Cohos Trail) also exhibits white blazes along with the yellow and has for decades. In some areas, old red logging blazes show up as do royal blue State of NH blazes. But the main path of the Cohos Trail is always blazed in yellow. If you have a yellow blaze in your face, you are on the right track.

Some Trail Closures in the Whites

Please be aware that there are some trails closed in the White Mountains due to very recent storm and flood damage. Those closures do not affect the route of the Cohos Trail to any great degree. However, the Cohos Trail does use a very short segment of the Dry River Trail deep in the Dry River Valley. The main trail is closed. But the less than quarter mile segment that the CT runs on should not be problematical.

Former Southbound Databook Alert

If you have any Southbound Databook that is not the 2018 version, there is one glaring mistake that you must be aware of. In the beginning of the Nash Stream Forest chapter, it states that when leaving the Baldhead Shelter on Baldhead Mountain one should turn right to head south. That is incorrect. One should turn left (southwest) and head south.

The Neil Tillotson Hut is Open

The new Neil Tillotson Hut shelter in the Connecticut Lakes State Forest was completed last year and is open to the public. There is now a place to camp legally halfway between Lake Francis State Campground and Deer Mountain State Campground. There is a new ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant composting latrine 100 feet from the shelter, and there is water in a gulley very close by just to the north.

Layout of a New Trail

In 2018, the Cohos Trail Association hopes to have a route laid out for a direct pathway due north out of Coleman State Park to link the park to the inlet bridges at 1,000-acre Lake Francis seven miles away. It is our hope that in 2019 we will be able to brush out a straight-shot pathway north so that we may eliminate lots of road walking and ATV-traveled corridors that the Cohos Trail runs on in the Deadwater region of Stewartstown and Clarksville Townships.

Once landowner and state approvals are in hand, the layout work will be carried out by volunteers and by skilled individuals with the NorthWoods Stewardship Center. Their work will be underwritten by a $2,200 grant from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund, administered by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Those funds will be used to explore terrain, GPS a suitable route, and flag it.

Cohos Trail Tourist Place Card

An effort is underway to create a full-color, two-sided place card for tourist information kiosks all over the North Country and in State outlets in the hopes of increasing Cohos Trail exposure.

The association has applied for a Coos Economic Development Corporation grant to underwrite the effort. If we are fortunate enough to procure a small grant, we will proceed with the design and printing of the place card and with providing guidebooks for local campgrounds and hotels.

Lose the Traffic Jam Blues

Appalled by two-mile-long lines of parked cars on the margins of North Country highways, piloted there by hikers who want to tramp the high peaks of the Franconia and Presidential Ranges? Who isn’t! The Cohos Trail is not too much farther north, you know. Hiking is wonderful in the Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge, in the Kilkenny wilderness, in the rugged Nash Stream Forest, craggy Dixville Notch, and in the vast Connecticut Lakes Region all the way up to the boundary peaks on the Canadian border. The mighty Cohos Trail is calling you north. Answer the call.

2107, 2017

What’s New Right Now in 2017

Here are some things you should know right now about the Cohos Trail.

  1. The new Trio Trail and Pond Brook Falls Trails are open, eliminating 1.9 miles of road walking in the Nash Stream Forest.
  2.  The Moose Alley Trail is closed right now (July 20) due to a logging operation. Signs are posted at either end telling you how to bypass the problem on Route 3 and the Magalloway Road.
  3.  Logging took place on the recently opened Sugar Hill Trail south of Coleman State Park. You can get through the area if you take your time and look for the blazing that was not felled by the loggers in late 2016. 
  4. The original route of the Cohos Trail — western leg of the Isolation Trail, Dry River Trail, Eisenhower Trail, are open after having been rebuilt a bit or rendered accessible again after closure five years ago due to Hurricane Irene.
  5. Check for ticks daily if you’ve been walking in grassy areas.
  6. The new Neil Tillotson Hut lean-to shelter in northern Pittsburg, half way between Lake Francis Campground and Deer Mountain Campground has been completed. There is water nearby. A composting latrine is being built for the site but has not be finished and hauled into the shelter as yet.
  7. The Cohos Trail Association will likely build a second shelter in 2017, in the Kauffmann Forest in Stark, just south of the south central boundary of the Nash Stream Forest. This new shelter — The Devil’s Rest — will be one rather long day’s hike away from Mt. Cabot cabin in the Kilkenny and a half day’s hike away from the Old Hermit Shelter on Sugarloaf Arm in the Nash Stream Forest.

    The new Neil Tillotson Hut lean-to as it nears completion in northern Pittsburg township.

2107, 2017

The new Neil Tillotson Hut shelter is complete in northern Pittsburg

Recently, a score of volunteers came out to help with the construction of the new Neil Tillotson Hut lean-to shelter in the Connecticut Lakes State Park in northern Pittsburg, NH, about 10 miles or so south of the Canadian border. Hikers may now camp legally between Lake Francis Campground and Deer Mountain Campground at the top of the state. A composting latrine has not been installed as of this writing, but will be before the hiking season ends.

The new Neil Tillotson Hut lean-to as it nears completion in northern Pittsburg township.

1910, 2016

Kiosk at Happy Corners

The very first Cohos Trail graphic panel has been bolted in place on our standing kiosk at Young’s Store at Happy Corner in Pittsburg. Many more to go. They will begin showing up over the next weeks and months from Sophie’s Lane just below Deer Mt. Campground in northernmost Pittsburg all the way to Bartlett village south of Crawford Notch.

This particular panel is one of three identical Connecticut Lakes Region panels with the background pro image donated by Robert John Kozlow. The photo of the kiosk was taken by Cohos Trail board member Lainie Castine, who also mounted the panel on the kiosk.

Lookin’ good!

cohos-kiosk-happy-corners

1810, 2016

Save the Date – November 5th

The Tillotson shelter in storage at Garland Mill in Lancaster is slated to be moved to Pittsburg in early November. We’re appealing for a few mighty Cohos Trail fans to join us for an hour or two on Friday, November 4th at 2 p.m. at the Garland Mill on Garland Road to help load the timbers (with the aid of a forklift) onto a trailer.

shelter-build-november-4But the next day, Saturday, November 5th, is the day when we’ll need some 20 sets of hands to help us move timbers (with the aid of an ATV) from Route 3 to the shelter site in northern Pittsburg. The meeting time in the far north will be 9 a.m. The rendezvous point will be some three miles north of Young’s Store at Happy Corner.

Travel past Young’s, past West Bay at First Connecticut Lake, and past Camp Otter Road (on right). Once beyond Camp Otter Road, the highway begins to climb a hill and passes into the Connecticut Lakes State Forest (big sign at the boundary). At the very top of the hill is a pullout on the right where the Bog Bridge Trail and the Round Pond Brook Trail intersect. You may park there. Or, several hundred feet south is an indistinct pull-in on the left into a small field. We will likely have the timbers there. You may pull into that field.

It is our hope that we can move the timbers into the shelter site on the Round Pond Brook Trail not too terribly far away on that day. Most of the timbers can be managed fairly easily, but a few a very large and heavy and will need the mechanized assist much of the way.

So mark your calendar, folks. Come help us begin the process of creating something wonderful for northern Coos County. Join us in our effort to give something back to the communities of NH’s far north.

Bring gloves, water, a snack or lunch, and a smile.SHARE THIS POST.

 

1410, 2016

Neil Tillotson Shelter

BREAKING NEWS: The department of Forest and Lands at the state offices in Lancaster has issued a formal agreement to the Cohos Trail Association that enables us to utilize a sliver of land in the southwestern corner of the Connecticut Lakes State Forest north of Route 3 for the purpose of erecting the donated log lean-to to be known formally as the Neil Tillotson Hut shelter. The shelter was donated by John Ninenger of Vermont several years ago and it was on display in the Museum of the White Mountains for a year until we moved it this past spring to Garland Mill in Lancaster where it has been in storage.

tilitson-shelter-cohos-signWe will attempt to move the stored shelter to Pittsburg soon (stay tuned for that). And we will build the shelter and its attendant composting latrine on June 4th, National Trails Day.

We’ve waited a long time for this day. It has finally arrived. This is big. This complements the recent approval to utilize a site on Society for the Project of New Hampshire Forest managed lands in the Kauffmann Forest in Stark for the purpose of building the new Devil’s Rest Shelter and latrine (slated for August of next year).

If we are fortunate to raise both buildings, the string of cabins and shelters from Mt. Cabot in the south to Deer Mountain in Pittsburg in the north will be just about complete. We are still interested in developing a shelter in Dixville on Mt. Gloriette to shorten the tough 14-mile distance of the trek between Baldhead Shelter and Panorama Shelter. Once we have the Tillotson Shelter and the Devil’s Rest Shelter in place, we can think about a shelter for Dixville and perhaps even one for the Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge region.

The most troublesome missing link in the shelter system now is the lack of a lean-to in the Clarksville area, between Coleman State Park and Lake Francis State Park. But we may not need one in the future provided we are able to someday soon build a direct woods trail north out of Coleman to Lake Francis.

Whenever we build shelters, we get lots of folks to come out and help us. We always have a good olde time of it. When the time comes, come on out and join in the effort. Beats sitcom repeats and depressing political races, most would agree.

tilitson-shelter-cohos

 

1010, 2016

Nash Stream Shelter

A few weeks ago, we said to stay tuned for some good news. Well here is the first round of good news, with more to come in a week or two.

The Cohos Trail Association board of directors met and authorized Ken Vallery, the president of the association, to sign an agreement offered by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) to erect a new lean-to shelter and composting latrine on the north central boundary of the Society’s Kauffmann Forest just south of the southern border of the Nash Stream Forest.

The location is nearby the junction of the Old Summer Club Trail and the old Jimmy Cole Brook Road (grassy old logging lane) and within the 5,000-plus acre Kauffmann Forest property. The site solves a few problems for hikers on the long-distance Cohos Trail. The site can be reached over a long day’s hike from Mt. Cabot cabin in the Kilkenny. The distance between the cabin and the new shelter site would be something on the order of 14 to 15 miles, a good majority of that trek being in descent. .

In the opposite direction, the site is a modest day’s jaunt away from the Old Hermit Shelter on Sugarloaf Arm. So the location allows hikers to string together overnight stays under a lean-to roof from Mt. Cabot cabin all the way north to Coleman State Park, where the state maintains a shelter, as well.

The structure the association would like to build would be quite similar to that of the beautiful Old Hermit Shelter. A composting latrine would be erected close by, too, to take care of sanitation needs.

The signed agreement will reach the Forest Society offices today. It may take until this time next year to complete the shelter, but we now have the opportunity to do so, thanks to SPNHF’s considerable help.

Now, stay tuned one more time. There is more to come regarding shelters

nash-stream-shelter

910, 2016

The Kiosk Signs

Members of the Cohos Trail Association board of directors hold aloft five of 16 new outdoor graphic panels produced by MegaPrint Inc. of Holderness, NH for us. These panels are to go up on sign kiosks and a few walls on or near the Cohos Trail route from the Whites to Canada. All the images were donated for the panels by pro and amateur photographers including Chris Whiton of White Mountain Images, Ken MacGray, John Compton, Robert John Kozlow, Dan Szcezney and Kim Nilsen.

Appearing in the photo are (from front left) Ken Vallery of Lancaster, president of the association, Lainie Castine of Stewartstown, Bill Schomburg of Columbia, Kim Nilsen (back left) of Spofford, and Nancy Spaulding (hidden by the panel) of Stark. The photo was taken by Cohos Trail vice president Kirsten Silfvenius.

cohos-trail-kiosk-signs

2909, 2016

Appreciation for Members and Friends of The Cohos Trail Association

Dear Members and Friends of The Cohos Trail Association,

 

On behalf of The Cohos Trail Association, I take this opportunity to express our sincerest appreciation for your contribution and/or receipt of your membership dues. The Cohos Trail Association is deeply grateful for your support and generosity.

 

It is through the support of our members and friends like you that we, The Cohos Trail Association, are able to continue to develop and improve the 170-mile long-distance hiking trail that all of you know as the Cohos Trail. With your generous funds given to The Cohos Trail Association, either by contribution or payment of membership dues, you have significantly helped to bring the Cohos Trail to where it is, today. It is with your aid that in 2017, the Cohos Trail will be able to do probably the most it has done in a single calendar year.

 

TCTA currently has one lean-to awaiting formal permission in the Pittsburg region to be erected on-site. This lean-to was generously constructed and donated by The Wooden House, Company of Wells River, Vermont. At this time, we are hopeful to have written permission in hand to site another lean-to in the Stark area. The design of this structure is complete; however, it remains to be built. One composting-latrine has already been fabricated, though we will surely need a second one. We are in hopes of adding these two lean-tos and latrines to the Cohos Trail system in 2017.

 

As always, The Cohos Trail Association is challenged with the daunting task of maintaining the 170 mile hiking trail. With your generosity through contributions and/or keeping your membership with The Cohos Trail Association current, maintaining and improving the trail will be much easier as it will allow TCTA to carry-out the various projects planned and to hire a small trail crew to oversee the yearly maintenance of the trail.

 

We encourage all of our members and friends to either join or renew their annual membership with The Cohos Trail Association by visiting the Cohos Trail’s membership page at: https://www.cohostrail.org/product-category/membership/. Your membership helps the young association underwrite trail work, enlist volunteers, and purchase tools and materials to maintain and improve the Cohos Trail. Memberships also help us in our effort to develop a modest system of rustic trail structures along the 170-mile route of the Cohos Trail and towards volunteer appreciation, such as hosting a meal for our volunteers to show our appreciation for their efforts during volunteer work-weekends. TCTA is an all-volunteer organization and all funds go to the basic needs of the trail.

 

If you have not already had the opportunity to join The Cohos Trail Association and would like to do so; or would like to simply make a donation of any size, you may visit the Cohos Trail’s membership page at: https://www.cohostrail.org for more information.

Again, thank you for helping to make the Cohos Trail a wonderful recreation resource and allowing TCTA to continue to develop the trail for the enjoyment of current and future outdoor enthusiasts.

 

Sincerely,

 

Chad E. Pepau, Board Director

The Cohos Trail Association

1608, 2016

Cohos Trail In the News – The Weirs Times

http://weirs.com/wordpress/2016/08/10/coos-countys-cohos-trail/

by Amy Patenaude
Outdoor/Ski Writer

Coös County is the most northern and largest county in New Hampshire. Coös and Cohos are pronounced “CO-ahss” with two syllables. If you say Coös as if it rhymed with ooze you’ll quickly give yourself away as a flatlander “from away.”
The Cohos Trail (CT) travels the County from North to South over 165 miles utilizing old and new trails. The Southern terminus is Notchland (just north of Bartlett) at the Davis Path. The Northern terminus is the Canadian border at the Fourth Connecticut Lake.
Long distance backpacking is the rage. More people than ever are hitting the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail—two trails made even more popular due to recent books and movies. The Cohos Trail is a jewel just waiting to be discovered. Or maybe we should just keep it for ourselves!

 The Cohos Trail guidebook has a section titled “What To Do When You Meet A Moose.” Becca found a moose antler that had been chewed up by hungry critters. Squirrels, mice, porcupines, even foxes and bears eat antlers because they are full of calcium, phosphorus, and mineral salts.
bears eat antlers because they are full of calcium, phosphorus, and mineral salts.
IMG_20160804_210647023
The third edition of the The Cohos Trail guidebook is now available at cohostrail.org and fine bookstores. Coös was spelled Cohos on early maps. This and many more fun facts and interesting wisdom about New Hampshire’s North Country are found between the pages of the book.

The new third edition of The Cohos Trail guidebook has just come out and ask for it in your favorite bookstore or purchase it and the new map on-line at cohostrail.org.
The map is broken up into four sections: Notchland to Jefferson, Jefferson to Nash Stream, Nash Stream to Clarksville and Clarksville to Fourth Connecticut Lake.
Many White Mountain hikers have traveled southern sections of the CT while summiting Mount Isolation or Mount Eisenhower since the CT’s route utilizes the Davis Path and the Edmands Path.
Guests at the Omni Mount Washington Resort might spy a backpacker trekking down along the bank of the Ammonoosuc River on the edge of the golf course as the hiker makes his way to Cherry Mountain. But, if they are trekkers, they will continue over Mount Weeks and on to Roger’s Ledge.
The AMC’s White Mountain Guide includes a few North Country hikes. Fourth Connecticut Lake Trail, Falls in the River Trail and the Percy Peak Loop come to mind. The CT connects these nice trails and these trails make super day hikes.
I confess I have yet to take up long distance backpacking. Recently I have done a good number of sections of the CT in the North Woods to help me access 3,000 foot peaks. The 3ks are a much less popular list of New Hampshire peaks because most do not have trails.

Becca heading into the woods on the Kelsey Notch Trail part of the Cohos Trail near Dixville. The trail is well blazed with yellow blazes and signs.
Becca heading into the woods on the Kelsey Notch Trail part of the Cohos Trail near Dixville. The trail is well blazed with yellow blazes and signs.

After a day of bushwhacking north of Route 26 in Dixville, up to the summits of Cave Mountain and Rice Mountain, we slept well in our tents. The next morning with a belly full of oatmeal cooked on Becca’s new Jet-Boil stove we looked forward to following the Cohos Trail to Baldhead South.
East of Dixville Notch from Route 26 we took the West Branch Road, a rugged gravel road that you shouldn’t take your mother’s sedan anywhere near. My all-wheel drive rig bumped its way to the gate at the old Kelsey Notch Road. We passed by a tractor backhoe that was attempting to smooth out some of the more washed out parts.
We parked at the gate and headed up the old road. A sign read “3 Miles to Shelter”. The Baldhead Shelter was our goal since Baldhead South’s summit was just a short distance north of the shelter.
The CT guidebook’s instructions include “What to Do When You Meet a Moose” and “What to Do if You Meet a Bear”. These instructions are followed by “What to Do If You Meet a Homo Sapiens”. I giggled at the “When” you meet a moose verses “If” you meet a bear or a homo sapiens! North of the White Mountains on the CT you will see other people infrequently it warns.

 The Cohos Trail’s Baldhead Lean-to, we reached it via the Kelsey Notch Trail from Dixville.
The Cohos Trail’s Baldhead Lean-to, we reached it via the Kelsey Notch Trail from Dixville.

Becca and I hiked south on the CT up the old road. This old road from Colebrook is now a popular ATV corridor. After hiking less than 15 minutes the trail left the road and went into the woods. We followed the yellow blazes and the CT signs. Moose tracks far outnumbered the few boot prints we saw in the muddy areas.
The trail was pleasant and felt much easier than our efforts bushwhacking. We crossed through many fern glades, the foot bed of the path was not heavily worn and felt soft on our feet. The North Country is famous for its mud but we easily kept our feet dry in our trail runners since it had not rained in many days.
The hike wasn’t a grind. In fact, the trail rolled up and down and then a final steep push and a short descent to the shelter. The Baldhead South Lean-to was empty and it looked like a nice place to make camp. In front of the small shelter an area had been cleared to provide a fine vista. We tried to convince ourselves we could see all the way to the Percy’s over the Nash Stream Forest.
The bushwhacking to the high point was easy since, obviously, the area’s moose meet here to have dance parties. Seriously, the herd paths went in every directions and we followed a clear path right to the summit bump.
On the way back we took our time. Big trees, fern glades and boulders we admired and appreciated maybe a little more this time. We didn’t meet a moose but I bet we walked by one.
We rolled back into civilization at lunchtime. A trip to Colebrook requires a stop at the Le Rendez Vous French Bakery! We wouldn’t dream of missing their yummy tarts and croissants. Have Fun

Amy Patenaude is an avid skier/outdoor enthusiast from Henniker, N.H. Readers are welcome to send comments or suggestions to her at: [email protected]