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09 February 2012

A Short Loop: Shelburne's Mt Cabot, and Wiggins Rock

This is another one of those hikes that will likely be of little interest to most folks.  However, I decided to post it anyway.  My thought is that it's worth it, even if only a handful of folks find it helpful, or if it inspires someone to get out into the woods for just a short hike.

The Berlin, Gorham, Shelburne area offers opportunities to launch major hikes to 4K peaks, as well as a variety of shorter hikes.  While in the Shelburne area On 08-February, there was only enough time for a short hike.   I opted to do a loop hike to the little mountain named Mt. Cabot, which is only 1,512 ft elevation (versus it's 4,170 ft  "big brother" of the same name which lies to the west in the Pilot Range).

This loop involves two trails, i.e. the Red Trail and the Blue Trail.  I did the loop in a clockwise fashion by ascending Mt. Cabot via the Red Trail and descending via the Blue Trail.  The elevation gain is just under 800 ft regardless of whether the loop is done clockwise or counterclockwise.  The total distance for this loop is only about 2.5 miles.  I added another 0.4 mile by doing a short side-trip to Wiggins Rock.

Besides only having a limited amount of time to hike on this day, my other motivation for doing this particular short loop was to check out Mt. Cabot's  improved views which are a result of the fine work done the Shelburne Trails Club (STC).

I began the hike from the Philbrook Farm Inn.  The personnel at the Inn cheerfully accommodated my request to park at the far end of their lot.  How many trailheads look like this (photo below)?!

Conditions were such that I wore snowshoes from start to finish. The photo below shows a typical scene along my route.

Also along my route, was the trail sign shown in the next photo.  I guess that someone had a "bone to pick" with this sign (Ha! Ha! . . . very bad joke!)  Regardless, I'm certain there must be a story to be told about how the bone ended up atop the trail sign.

Upon arriving at the top of Mt. Cabot, I made the slight descent to the ledge just a hundred feet or so off the west side of the trail.  I must say the STC did a marvelous job of opening up the views of the Presidential Range from that ledge (see photo below).  (Please be advised that for now, there is no signage pointing to this short spur trail leading to the ledge.  However, I'm certain that the STC will have a sign in place sometime later this year.)

As mentioned at the top of this report, I extended my trek to make a short side trip to Wiggins Rock where there is a limited view toward the Presidentials (see photo below).

To sum it up,  there's little else to say about this little hike, other than it was an enjoyable romp in the woods.   Another way to look at it is that a short hike is better than no hike!


Karl said...


Please know that there will always be at least one hiker (me) interested in all your treks, regardless of the length, elevation or any other parameter that some think make a hike worth reading about. I'll guarantee you, that I am not alone! :)

This seems like a very nice little hike and similar to the hikes on the smaller mountains in our seacoast region. Although, I think the views you got from little Cabot are much better than the flat plain views we get.

The white and red signs are very nice. I have a new appreciation for the rustic wooden signs since many of the Whites' signs are being replaced with composite material. I'm sure the bone does had a good story too!

Great post and always!

1HappyHiker said...

Karl . . . a huge thank you for your very supportive comments!

It is reassuring to know that there are folks like you who are interested in hiking just for the sake of hiking! Probably you would agree that there is enjoyment to be had from all types of hiking, i.e. bushwhacking, treks to the 4K peaks in NH, ME, VT, and even mini-treks to places like Shelburne’s little Mt. Cabot.

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the underdog, and I feel that in some ways the little peaks don’t receive the accolades that they deserve. And so, quite often (but not always), I’ll generate a Blog report when I pay a visit to these lesser peaks. It makes me feel good to give them some “air time”. And who knows, perhaps those little guys are appreciative of the attention! :)

Thanks again Karl!

Andrew said...

Hi John,

Just like Karl says don't hesitate to post these wonderful little hikes, your readers often enjoy them just as much as the big hikes.

We are often looking for insights on these little treasures for a quick afternoon hike that takes minimal planning.

Your recent Mt. Jasper post inspired me to remember I wanted to go there last weekend when we were itching to get out for a few hours later in the day. Check out Lindsay's blog post I,m looking forward to checking out the 'cave' in the fair seasons.

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Andrew,

Thanks on 2 counts!

First of all, thank you for your encouragement to continue posting the little hikes, as well as the bigger ones! It’s good to know that there are others out there who sometimes like to do a quick afternoon hike that involves minimal planning, and no need to pack a lunch, etc, etc.

And secondly, thanks for linking me to the Outdoor Adventures blog that you and Lindsay have put together. I’ve just signed up to be one of your “followers”. You have some really, really neat postings there. I especially like the postings about XC skiing which is another one of my passions!


Rita Wechter said...

I alway enjoy descriptions and photos from your hikes, John; no matter how short the hike, or how small the mountain, you always manage to capture brilliant views and interesting shots (what kind of bone was that anyway?).
And you're right about the trailhead. Not many trailheads like that one out here in Utah!

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rita,

Well, my guess (and it’s only that) is the bone is that of a moose. Although my photo doesn’t provide a lot of detail, perhaps there is enough there for some “bone-ologist” to chime in with a more educated speculation. :))

Thanks once again for your kind words about my Blog . . . so much appreciated!


Anonymous said...


Until the STC finishes their maps, I find your posts very helpful in planning short hikes close to home. Thanks!

1HappyHiker said...

. . . and thank you for taking time to post this comment to my blog. It is so very gratifying to learn that a reader has derived some benefit from my reports.


Anonymous said...

We were looking for a short hike and did this same hike today in reverse order. What a view from Mt. Cabot! We didn't find the view at Wilson's Rock--I imagine it must be the path across from the rock--because we continued up the road/trail, but we did find a nice loop trail that appears to be Wilson's Trail from an old sign.

1HappyHiker said...

Thank you for the update! And yes . . . isn’t that a terrific view from Mt. Cabot!

Danielle Bishop said...

We are taking this jaunt today, it's great prep for longer hikes this summer. Thanks for sharing!!

1HappyHiker said...

Danielle, thank you for reading my blog.

I hope you enjoyed your hike along the Shelburne Trails system. And my best wishes to you for ‘happy trails’ wherever your travels may take you!