New Hampshire’s Cohos Trail–2

English: * Snowmobile coming down the Mississi...

English: * Snowmobile coming down the Mississippi River to Hastings. Location no. GV3.78 r2 Negative no. 52567 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IMG_0187

This is a follow-up to my last post.

I started south on the Cohos Trail from the Canadian border, near US Customs, which is north of Pittsburgh Village, NH. There is a sign leading you to the trail, but it is confusing because the trail is little used and covered with waist-high weeds at the starting point. A customs official explained the route follows a snowmobile trail and that it would thin out after a while. It did, but the trail was wet and mucky from earlier rains. I followed CT signs and an obvious snowmobile trail for miles. Much of the Cohos trail, especially in the northern sections, follows snowmobile trails.

I had read somewhere that one of the trail founders saw a moose a day when he blazed the Cohos Trail. I didn’t see any, but there were moose tracks everywhere, some of them huge. I tried to take pictures of tracks imprinted in the mud, but my I-phone camera locked up on me. Because I was alone most of the time (not recommended, my bad) I hoped not to encounter moose right on the trail. I saw many deer tracks and one set of bear tracks.

There is plenty of water on the Cohos. The guide says some sources aren’t reliable in hot weather, but I found water available for treatment everywhere. Although this trail is isolated, it nears several NH towns, and it is easy to hitch out or in at four-by-four paths and access roads. I was able to hitch from Fabyan to the AMC hostel on Rt 302 without a problem.

I regret that I couldn’t do the entire thru-hike with a friend. I believe I hiked through areas that haven’t seen people since Indian times. I was extra careful.

IMG_0163

Near US Customs–Canadian border

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New Hampshire’s Cohos Trail

IMG_0180

One of three shelters on New Hampshire’s Cohos Trail

A few years ago, I spent three weeks hiking New Hampshire’s Cohos Trail. This relatively new trail is an isolated path that runs from the Canadian border, just above Pittsburgh, New Hampshire down to Crawford Notch, in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. I trekked from north to south so I could build up to the more strenuous climbs in the Whites.

If you are looking for a new trail to hike and don’t mind not seeing many (if any) other hikers, then this is a good challenge for you. I didn’t see a soul. Only when I neared Mt. Eisenhower and the ever popular Mt. Washington, did I spot other hikers.

In most sections the blazing is good; in some sections, the blazing is weathered and can be confusing. I used my compass often to confirm direction, and I suggest you bring separate maps of the White Mountain trails you will encounter. The Cohos Trail website store sells a set of Cohos Trail maps, and these are an absolute must if you are planning to thru-hike the Cohos.

My next two posts will detail more of this newer hiking trail.

IMG_0170

A view from New Hampshire’s Cohos Trail

New Hampshire Hiking Trail

Cohos Trail–NH

 

September in New Hampshire Mountains

September in New Hampshire Mountains

Something special for hikers in New Hampshire. The little known Cohos Trail blazes north from New Hampshire’s White mountains to the Canadian border. This 162-mile Appalachian-like trail was the dream of Kim Nilsen who conceived the idea 36 years ago.

This trail is remote and wild and is “the largest trail system to be built in the northeast in generations.” As the third major trail in New England (complementing the Appalachian Trail and Vermont’s Long Trail), the Cohos offers true solitude to the hiker. Sue Kenn is the first thru-hiker of the Cohos Trail, and she has confirmed how wild and remote the trail is. It offered, Kenn says, “the chance to do something new, but also to be in a quiet place, and really just be by myself.”

It’s remote because most New Hampshire hikers continue to Maine after hiking through the Presidential Range. They don’t swing due north towards Canada. “Everybody knows the Presidential Range,” Nilsen says, “but there’s a whole ‘nother 100 miles north of that filled with dramatic peaks and huge lakes and waterfalls galore, and we made it possible for people to trek out there, to steep themselves in the magic of that part of the world for a little while.”

I hiked this trail three years ago. If you are looking for a new trail that promises pristine beauty, and want to be with only a few friends and not run in to scout packs and groups of hikers, I can’t think of a better place to plan a hike. When I’m in the mountains, I often wonder what it must have been like when Native Americans roamed the lands. What did they see? I believe the Cohos Trail in northern New Hampshire gets you very close to the untouched beauty of Indian times.

 

6ZX4SQKAMTQX

Peak-Bagging

Sign at the summit of Mount Washngton, New Ham...

Sign at the summit of Mount Washngton, New Hampshire, United States. (1,917m/6,288ft) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peak-bagging is hiker jargon for those who get satisfaction in summiting mountains. Peak-baggers will climb (bag) peaks usually in some type of organized quest. It’s how I developed a passion for hiking.

Some years ago, I met a hiker in the White Mountains who said he was going to summit all the 4000 footers in New Hampshire. There are 48, and he was up to 23. I checked my journals and realized I’d done seven. Over the next years, I finished the ones in New Hampshire and went on to complete all the 4000 footers in New England. There are five in Vermont and fourteen in Maine.

This whole idea can become addictive. There are separate lists of the 100 highest mountains in New England, the Northeast, and the USA. There are backpackers who try to “bag” all those peaks. I stopped after the 4000 footers in New England, but will begin a quest of the 4000 footers in the Adirondacks of New York state this autumn. There are 46, so it will take me a while.

The landscape photo with the towers is New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, the highest mountain in the northeast, at 6288 feet. The other landscape photo is from Washington’s peak, looking down on Lakes of the Clouds Hut on the shoulder of Mt. Washington. The profile photo shows the Franconia Ridge Trail up to the peak of another 4000 footer, New Hampshire’s Mt. Lafayette (5260 ft).

Most peaks are scenic and peaceful, the perfect place to dream, plan, hope—all that good stuff.

Tips For Hiking With Kids

Hiking with kids

Backpacking with children
Anthony (right) and CJ–White Mountains

Young kids need to stay active. They also thrive in new and challenging situations. Why not take them on an overnight camping trip in the mountains?

A few years ago, I took my step-grandson, Anthony, and his friend on a hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I pulled out two old backpacks and drove us up to the Mount Liberty trailhead. They asked me on the ride up if we would see snakes and bears; I told them to stay alert and be watchful.

Late morning, we started the climb up to the Mount Liberty tent site, which is about three-quarters of the way to the summit. At the site, I showed them how to get water and treat it. I handed them their private tent set-up instructions and told them to figure it out. It was a nice afternoon with plenty of time before sunset; they put their heads together and did fine.

I wanted to teach them about the wilds and quickly realized they would put up with some instruction, but not lots. So I took it easy on them. The next morning on the summit, they were wide-eyed as they huddled looking at views. The boys felt like they had accomplished something.

On the way back down, I let each of them navigate and quizzed them about what they would do if they got lost. At trail junctions, I asked them to pull out their maps and show me where they were. I had my watch and showed them how long it took to hike a certain segment–another way to confirm what you are doing, I’d said.

These pictures tell the story. We didn’t see any snakes or bears, but I taught them what camping basics I could in the time we had. They’ve turned into fine young men.

Peak-Bagging

Sign at the summit of Mount Washngton, New Ham...

Sign at the summit of Mount Washngton, New Hampshire, United States. (1,917m/6,288ft) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peak-bagging is hiker jargon for those who get satisfaction in summiting mountains. Peak-baggers will climb (bag) peaks usually in some type of organized quest. It’s how I developed a passion for hiking.

Some years ago, I met a hiker in the White Mountains who said he was going to summit all the 4000 footers in New Hampshire. There are 48, and he was up to 23. I checked my journals and realized I’d done seven. Over the next years, I finished the ones in New Hampshire and went on to complete all the 4000 footers in New England. There are five in Vermont and fourteen in Maine.

This whole idea can become addictive. There are lists of the 100 highest mountains in New England, the Northeast, and the USA. There are backpackers who try to “bag” all those peaks. I stopped after the 4000 footers in New England, but will begin a quest of the 4000 footers in the Adirondacks of New York state this autumn. There are 46, so it will take me a while.

The landscape photo with the towers is New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, the highest mountain in the northeast, at 6288 feet. The other landscape photo is from Washington’s peak, looking down on Lakes of the Clouds Hut on the shoulder of Mt. Washington. The profile photo shows the Franconia Ridge Trail up to the peak of another 4000 footer, New Hampshire’s Mt. Lafayette (5260 ft).

Most peaks are scenic and peaceful, the perfect place to dream, plan, hope—all that good stuff.

New Hampshire’s Cohos Trail–2

English: * Snowmobile coming down the Mississi...

English: * Snowmobile coming down the Mississippi River to Hastings. Location no. GV3.78 r2 Negative no. 52567 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IMG_0187

This is a follow-up to my last post.

I started south on the Cohos Trail from the Canadian border, near US Customs, which is north of Pittsburgh Village, NH. There is a sign leading you to the trail, but it is confusing because the trail is little used and covered with waist-high weeds at the starting point. A customs official explained the route follows a snowmobile trail and that it would thin out after a while. It did, but the trail was wet and mucky from earlier rains. I followed CT signs and an obvious snowmobile trail for miles. Much of this trail, especially in the northern sections, follows snowmobile trails.

I had read somewhere that one of the trail founders saw a moose a day when he blazed the Cohos Trail. I didn’t see any, but there were moose tracks everywhere, some of them huge. I tried to take pictures of tracks imprinted in the mud, but my I-phone camera locked up on me. Because I was alone most of the time (not recommended, my bad) I hoped not to encounter moose right on the trail. I saw many deer tracks and one set of bear tracks.

There is plenty of water on the Cohos. The guide says some sources aren’t reliable in hot weather, but I found water available for treatment everywhere. Although this trail is isolated, it nears several NH towns, and it is easy to hitch out or in at four-by-four paths and access roads. I was able to hitch from Fabyan to the AMC hostel on Rt 302 without a problem.

I regret that I couldn’t do the entire thru-hike with a friend. I believe I hiked through areas that haven’t seen people since Indian times. I was extra careful.

IMG_0163

Near US Customs–Canadian border

New Hampshire’s Cohos Trail

IMG_0180

One of three shelters on New Hampshire’s Cohos Trail

Recently, I spent three weeks hiking New Hampshire’s Cohos Trail. This relatively new trail is an isolated path that runs from the Canadian border, just above Pittsburgh, New Hampshire down to Crawford Notch, in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. I trekked from north to south so I could build up to the more strenuous climbs in the Whites.

If you are looking for a new trail to hike and don’t mind not seeing many (if any) other hikers, then this is a good challenge for you. I didn’t see a soul. Only when I neared Mt. Eisenhower and the overly popular Mt. Washington, did I spot other hikers.

In most sections the blazing is good; in some sections, the blazing is weathered and can be confusing. I used my compass often to confirm direction, and I suggest you bring separate maps of the White Mountain trails you will encounter. The Cohos Trail website store sells a set of Cohos Trail maps, and these are an absolute must if you are planning to thru-hike the Cohos.

My next two posts will detail more of this new hiking trail.

IMG_0170

A view from New Hampshire’s Cohos Trail

New Hiking Trail

Hiking New Hampshire's Cohos Trail

English: The Appalachian Trail in the southern...

English: The Appalachian Trail in the southern Presidential Range of New Hampshire, facing south towards Mount Pierce. Photo by Ken Gallager, August 2004. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hiking the Cohos Trail from New Hampshire's White Mountains to Canadian Border
Cohos Trail–New Hampshire

Something new for hikers in New England. The recently completed Cohos Trail blazes north from New Hampshire’s White mountains to the Canadian border. This 162-mile Appalachian-like trail was the dream of Kim Nilsen who conceived the idea 34 years ago.

This trail is remote and wild and is “the largest trail system to be built in the northeast in generations.” As the third major trail in New England (complementing the Appalachian Trail and Vermont’s Long Trail), the Cohos offers true solitude to the hiker. Sue Kenn is the first thru-hiker of the Cohos Trail, and she has confirmed how wild and remote the trail is. It offered, Kenn says, “the chance to do something new, but also to be in a quiet place, and really just be by myself.”

It’s remote because most New Hampshire hikers continue to Maine after hiking through the Presidential Range. They don’t swing due north towards Canada. “Everybody knows the Presidential Range,” Nilsen says, “but there’s a whole ‘nother 100 miles north of that filled with dramatic peaks and huge lakes and waterfalls galore, and we made it possible for people to trek out there, to steep themselves in the magic of that part of the world for a little while.”

I can’t wait to hike this trail. If you are looking for a new trail that promises pristine beauty, and want to be with only a few friends and not run in to scout packs and groups of hikers, I can’t think of a better place to plan a hike. When I’m in the mountains, I often wonder what it must have been like when Native Americans roamed the lands. What did they see? I bet the Cohos Trail in northern New Hampshire will get you very close to the untouched beauty of Indian times.

Backpacking the Cohos Trail in New Hampshire

New Hampshire–view from the Cohos Trail

photos from Internet public domain

6ZX4SQKAMTQX

Tips For Hiking With Kids

Hiking with kids

Backpacking with children
Anthony (right) and CJ–White Mountains

Young kids need to stay active. They also thrive in new and challenging situations. Why not take them on an overnight camping trip in the mountains?

A few years ago, I took my step-grandson, Anthony, and his friend on a hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I pulled out two old backpacks and drove us up to the Mount Liberty trailhead. They asked me on the ride up if we would see snakes and bears; I told them to stay alert and be watchful.

Late morning, we started the climb up to the Mount Liberty tent site, which is about three-quarters of the way to the summit. At the site, I showed them how to get water and treat it. I handed them their private tent set-up instructions and told them to figure it out. It was a nice afternoon with plenty of time before sunset; they put their heads together and did fine.

I wanted to teach them about the wilds and quickly realized they would put up with some instruction, but not lots. So I took it easy on them. The next morning on the summit, they were wide-eyed as they huddled looking at views. The boys felt like they had accomplished something.

On the way back down, I let each of them navigate and quizzed them about what they would do if they got lost. At trail junctions, I asked them to pull out their maps and show me where they were. I had my watch and showed them how long it took to hike a certain segment–another way to confirm what you are doing, I’d said.

These pictures tell the story. We didn’t see any snakes or bears, but I taught them what camping basics I could in the time we had. They’ve turned into fine young men.