Cooley – Jericho Community Forest

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I love when the hardest decision of our day is “where to hike?”. Today was a toss-up between a close and familiar hike, the North and Middle Sugarloaf or a new to us, bit further away hike, the Cooley-Jericho Community Forest.  The deciding factor was two blog reports, one from Mountain Wanderer and the other from 1HappyHiker.

We set out a little after 7:30 and were on the trailhead by 8:15 a.m in Sugar Hill.

At one time it appeared parking was allowed closer to the kiosk. We parked before the gate on the side of the road.  Sadly it looked like someone had removed the map that should be hanging on the kiosk. Lucky for us we downloaded this map, before we left the cottage.  There was no cell service at the start of the hike, once we reached higher elevation LTE came in strong and clear.

We choose to follow the South Blue Ascent and return via the North Blue Ascent.

The trail started with a small water crossing and provided us with a nice gurgle as we approached it.

The trail was a steady incline, full of mud, moose prints and wildflowers.

We reached the ledges in good time and admired the views. Unfortunately the sky wasn’t  a vibrant blue, but a dull gray, limiting the grandeur of the mountains in the distance.

Throughout the first part of the trail there were small windows looking out at the mountains.

This is not a well trodden trail, the flowers were growing smack dab in the center of the trail.

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We meandered through the lovely woods until the trail met the logging road.

We took the logging road for a bit until it returned to the forest.

The forest trail returned us to our starting point, making for an almost 3 mile loop hike.

We plan to return to this beautiful little forest, hoping we can do the point to point.  On a bluebird day, the views will be breathtaking.

This hike was a little shy of 3 miles and took us an hour and 48 minutes.