Or, “Most Complicated Car Spot for a 5 mile Hike Ever”
Or, “A Perfect New Year’s Day Hike with Friends and Family”
No matter how I title this post, there’s a story here, especially since my friend JohninNH gets credit for the first alternate title. It has been a long time since JohninNH, GregYEAH! and I got together for hike; the three us haven’t hiked as group since last February to the Twins. That was almost a year ago, and a lot has happened individually to the three of us over the course of the year, so it was really nice to get together again for a short New Year’s Day hike. Ethan would be joining us today, too, so that was new element as he’d never hiked with two of my hiking friends.
After kicking around ideas, we settled on Blueberry Mt. in Benton. We were aiming to hike something that wasn’t too long, just to keep it fun and enjoyable. Everyone also got some redlining miles as a bonus.
Now for the complicated carspot bit. Some of us were thinking of also redlining Town Line Trail since it is in the same area. With three vehicles it would be possible to do a traverse of Blueberry and do Town Line. I won’t explain the whole thing, but three of us ended up doing an out and back of Town Line, since Oliverian Brook looked a bit dicey to cross. It was doable, maybe with the right traction and timing, but not without a chance of getting wet, potentially up to the knees or higher. So we went with the simple two car carspot: one at the east trailhead and one at the west. Since Long Pond Road is closed in winter, we parked at the gate, and had an extra .6 mile road walk at the end back to the car (well, before hiking Town Line Trail).
The hike up to Blueberry was pretty simple and reasonably well marked, although there are quite a few logging roads at the western side. Once past the logging areas, it is easy to follow, as there is only one trail on that mountain. We quickly got to the ledgy areas, and we had some nice views to the rest of the Benton Range and to the immediate west.
We headed further along the ridge, and headed up the summit spur, the down to another ledge with a nice lookout to Moosilauke to the east. We were thankful we weren’t up there, as it was shrouded in thick clouds, providing no views and even worse, hard to navigate conditions. We made the quick descent to the trailhead, moving through a nice, open forest and soon were back on Long Pond Rd., headed toward Town Line Trail and some of the cars.
It was here we’d say goodbye to JohninNH, since he’d already hiked the Town Line Trail and didn’t want to hike it again. After a quick snack, we were on our way, checking out the Jeffers Brook Shelter along the way. We quickly hiked over a few hills and then we were at the Oliverian Brook crossing. We checked again and because we didn’t have a car on the other side, there was no point to crossing and then walking the roads back to the car. Back up the trail we went, quickly getting back to Lost Pond Rd., to finish the day.
Although it was a short day, it was a great way to start off 2015, hiking with my husband and friends. I hope that 2015 will be a great year for all of us and that we’ll get to hike again in the future soon, no matter where our individual paths may take us.