What’s the Sense of Hiking – East Side Trail(Cohos Trail) October 12

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Right after we left the Nash bog, Mike turns to me and says ,”What’s the sense of hiking?”. My heart sank, I thought, oh no he is trying to tell me he doesn’t enjoy hiking anymore or this trail has him so bored.  I just gave an him a look of “huh?”.  Then I spotted the gleam in his eye and he gently retorted “think about all the “senses” we have used on this trail.”  Relief washed over me and I realized he was right, this trail filled all of senses.

How did we decide on hiking in the Nash Stream Forest? Well it all started with buying a new car this week.  I wanted to see how this new car would handle the unpaved Nash Stream Road.  We’ve been on this dirt road before in a BMW,.  Arriving to a trailhead on this road  was always a slow, prayerful journey in that car.  It was nine years old, didn’t fit our lifestyle and so we parted ways this week.  Our first sense was the lingering smell of new car mixed with dirt that rose on the road as we rambled along.

Once we arrived at the trailhead, I scurried out of the car ready to explore.

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We agreed today would be a woodsy walk, no peaks. After consulting 50 Hikes North of the White Mountains by Kim Nilsen, we decided on the East Side Trail Loop to visit the Devil’s Jacuzzi, a bog and a beautiful road walk on Nash Stream Road. The huge draw for me was being on the Cohos Trail.  I adore this trail for the untamedness of it and let’s face it, it isn’t well trodden.

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The sounds of fall swirled around us, leaves quaking on their branches,  twirling down from the treetops and the crunch of them under our feet.

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Mike and I started playing a game of spot the trail markers and all the different Cohos Trail signs we could find in various forms.  It kept our eyes sharp.

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The trail was a beautiful fall ramble. The leaves carpeted the trail, while stone water bars guided our path.  Plank walkways helped us navigate over boggy areas.

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The tricky part on this hike were the leaves.  The depths of the fallen leaves  hide the mud and crevices between rocks that were intermittently placed throughout the trail. Even tricked a moose or two.

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As we hiked along, the Nash Stream kept us company, reminding us of her presence with the sounds of rushing waters.  At times you could hear feeder streams under your feet, gurgling along, echoing under the rocks.

Along the way we stumbled upon the Devil’s Jacuzzi, a side trail that leads off to the stream to an unusual current that creates an abundance of bubbles.

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To get to the Jacuzzi you bounce off of rocks covered with soft moss. I wanted to keep petting the rocks.

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The bubbles were fascinating to watch.

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The visual delights after leaving the jacuzzi just kept coming.

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And then I witnessed the most amazing sight.  I didn’t know trail markers grew in trees.

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Not long after visiting the Devil’s relaxation spot, we entered the Nash Bog.

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What a splendid place the bog was.  All of a sudden I was assaulted by the aroma of Christmas.  I bushwhacked a little ways into the forest before entering the bog to inhale the strongest scent of Christmas.  I yelled to Mike that I was standing inside of Christmas.  The views from the bog were rustic and serene.

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Once we left the bog we had an open path to tramp on for a bit.

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The trail was almost over but first we had to wade through beaver damage on the trail before one last natural water crossing. The beavers decided to flood the last part of the trail.

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Here is evidence of fresh beaver work.

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We had a final water crossing that easily rock hoppable.

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We now had a three mile walk back to the car.  It was a great walk.  Though I didn’t know I would be eaten by a shark.

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Loved looking at all the camps as we hobbled along.

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A sign of the times appeared in one of the windows.

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One for sale…anyone?

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After three miles we arrived back at the car.  This hike had a bit of everything to indulge the senses.  The taste of autumn was in the air, the aroma of Christmas filled my nostrils, the softness of moss tingled my fingertips, the beauty of nature marveled our eyesight and the pain of flybites and a blister completed the assault on our senses.   So yeah hiking makes the best sense in the world.

The Details:  Loop hike, 5 miles with 3 miles at the end of walking the Nash Stream Forest Road.  Not a difficult hike on the East Side Trail.

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