I interrupt this southern New Hampshire trail blog for a brief northern foray. I’m happy to announce the publication of 50 Hikes North of the White Mountains, written by New Hampshire’s own Kim Nilsen. Finally, Coos County is getting its due in print. Hikers & campers will love this, of course. I recommend it to anyone who lives in New Hampshire but hasn’t yet discovered all the beautiful land north of U.S. 2. If you’re already a Coos County fan, you might find some new ideas for your next visit as you browse through this book. Kim’s writing is worth reading in any case.
50 Hikes includes a map with each trail description, along with black-and-white photographs. (I’m flattered that Kim chose one of my own photos to illustrate the Prospect Mountain hike.)
A chart in the opening pages shows at a glance the distance and relative difficulty of the fifty hikes, along with notes about suitability for kids and availability of campsites.
I’ve written in my Cohos Trail journal about Kim’s real masterwork, the Cohos Trail. Kim came up with the idea for the trail extending from Crawford Notch north to Canada, and he wrote the original guide to the trail. Now the Cohos Trail Association (www.cohostrail.org) is going strong maintaining the CT’s 160+ miles. 50 Hikes includes many segments of the CT as dayhikes, and hike #50 is the full Cohos Trail in all its backpacking glory. The rest of Coos County is not neglected, however, with featured hikes for the Randolph area, the Dead Diamond district, Indian Stream, and Mt. Success.
From my own experience, I can give a few recommendations. The Falls in the River trail (#46 in the book) goes south from the Second Connecticut Lake dam on U.S. 3 in northern Pittsburg. It’s a fairly level woods walk that leads to a beautiful flume of the Connecticut River, complete with ledges for a picnic stop. Mount Magalloway (#40) features the northernmost fire tower in New Hampshire, with correspondingly awesome views. The Pondicherry wildlife refuge in Jefferson gets its due in hikes #2 & #3.
Kim is generous with his time for anyone seeking information about New Hampshire’s north country, as I learned as I was preparing for a backpacking trip on the CT a few years ago. All that generosity and love for the land comes through in his new book. Find it at your local bookstore (I picked it up at Toadstool Bookshop in Milford), or online at Countryman Press or amazon.com.