#21 Sugarloaf (Groveton): Excerpt

Tough Cookie’s locust friend.

It takes a lot to rip up Carhartts, but the young man we meet on the trail has Carhartt pants that are torn to pieces. He wears a t-shirt that says, “Yes, as a matter of fact, I was born in a barn.” He carries one plastic bottle of water. He wears sneakers.

He’s a north country boy out for a quick run up the very, very steep flank of Sugarloaf Mountain in Groveton and as he passes us on his way down he seems amused. Here we are, three city slickers, in our engineered gear and hiking poles, huffing and puffing our way up his mountain.

“You’re almost there,” he says softly, almost shyly. “There’s a wildflower field of, um, well, I’m not sure of what flowers they are, but once you pass through that it gets less steep.”

We’ve been tramping around the North Country these past few days and have very much enjoyed meeting locals like the young man who tend to seem genuinely curious about why we’re here, in Nash Stream Forest, and not following the conga line up Franconia Notch or some other equally beautiful but tourist-heavy hiking locale.

He tells us about how in the winter, he and his friends drive their snowmobiles up this trail. “Well, we try anyway,” he says. “Sometimes we don’t make it.”

We watch in wonder as he heads down, sure-footed and fast.

“Snowmobiles up this trail, huh?” Janelle says.

Meena shrugs. “North Country boys at play!”

Sugarloaf Mountain in Groveton (9/2/12)

Height: 3,710 feet

Location: Groveton, I-93 to exit 35 to Route 3 north to Groveton to Route 110 east to Emerson Road to Nash Stream Road.

Our trailhead: Sugarloaf Mountain Trail up and back. (Warning: Trailhead is poorly signed. At mile 9 of Nash Stream Road, you cross a bridge. Parking is available on either side of bridge. Trailhead can be found by walking past the south side of a cabin just off the road. Also, Nash Stream Road may be closed in winter.)

Distance: 4.4 miles round trip.

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Categories: Excerpts and 52WAV Mountain Stats | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “#21 Sugarloaf (Groveton): Excerpt

  1. Nancy

    Oh, those North Country boys!! I’ve heard they’re a different breed … lol Oh, to be that comfortable in one’s own skin…

  2. Hi Nancy, yeah it was a very nice weekend, everybody up north is very friendly and nice. It was great tramping around the logging roads 🙂

  3. Sdr106

    We see a big gap in the gear folks carry. Some bring the kitchen sink and and are dying a 1/4mile up. Others bring only a fanny pack and bolt to the summits! I guess there is a balance there between safety, ability & confidence.

    • Hi Scott, yeah. There are so many factors – weather, experience, trail – that play a role in what to bring and what not. Because I’m with Janelle, I fall on the kitchen sink side of things with everything from extra foods to emergency shelters. I assume that the worst will befall us 🙂 When I hike solo, I tend to go a lot lighter, but even that depends on distance and weather. In this case, the young man was clearly a local who had done this mountain (and others I assume) many times and this hike was just a way for him to get a little morning exercise!

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