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12 May 2014

A Hike to Devil's Hill (near Peacham, VT)

With only a few hours available for hiking, I drove less than a hour from my home in New Hampshire to do a short hike to Devil's Hill (near Peacham, VT).  This mini-adventure was ideal for the amount of time that I had to spend, plus it was a perfect fit for my goal of doing hikes that are new to me.  And to cap things off, this was a surprisingly nice hike with nice views.  The trail was in good shape, and easy to follow.  I would recommend it!

Click HERE for directions to the trailhead and a brief description of the Devil's Hill hike.  According to the information presented in this link, the one-way distance to Devil's Hill from the trailhead is 0.5 mile. (My personal sense is that it might be slightly longer than that.)  And, if you opt to do the loop that is mentioned in this link, it adds a bit of extra distance.  But regardless, the loop is certainly no greater than 1.5 miles (round-trip).  The overall hiking time is under an hour.  If you factor in the time you might spend enjoying the views, then this can be an outing lasting well under 2 hours.

On this particular day, it fit my purposes to do this hike without bundling it with other hikes in the area.  However, for most other occasions, it would make sense to combine this short trek with other nearby hikes within the Groton State Forest.   Or, as another alternative for using any leftover time, you could simply enjoy the scenic Vermont countryside by exploring some of the back roads in this remote section of the State!

Presented below are some photos taken during my hike to Devil's Hill.
Perhaps a bit of Vermont humor?  Sign located at the turn off for the road to the trailhead.  The road had a very short section of deep ruts, but overall was in pretty good shape.  (I've driven on much worse roads to get to a trailhead!)
There is plenty of parking at the trailhead, and there is good signage for the starting point for the trail
On one portion of my loop hike, there was a picturesque patch of Trout Lily alongside the trail
Moderately-zoomed photo of Mt. Washington and other peaks in Presidential Range as viewed looking eastward from Devil's Hill, VT
Looking over the edge of one of many ledges on the west side of Devil's Hill.  Was struck as to how much the coloration of the budding trees resembled Autumn foliage!

It was late afternoon when I arrived at Devil's Hill and lighting was poor for westward vistas.  As a result, the next 2 photos are rather dull and lifeless.  But perhaps they will at least provide some idea as to the views that are available.
The left side of the photo shows 3 other peaks within the Groton State Forest that have hiking trails.  In the center of the photo on the distant horizon is the well-known silhouette of Camels Hump.
This photo shows Peacham Bog and Spruce Mountain, both of which can be reached by hiking trails.
The location for this hike is rather remote.  Perhaps this map will provide a general sense as to where it is in relation to known locations in VT and NH.



Rita Wechter said...

It looks like you found another fine destination for a leisurely hike, John.

I like the Vermont humor on the sign. Seems I saw a lot of signs like that one when I visited Vermont last summer.

And I also like your advice about enjoying the scenic country roads in Vermont—there are plenty of them to explore!

Steve Smith said...

That looks like a great little hike, John! Never heard of it before. Thanks for sharing. Keep on exploring!


1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rita,

Completely agree that there are plenty of scenic country roads in Vermont to explore. Although both NH and VT have country roads that are very scenic, the topography of VT is so different from NH. You can sense the difference almost immediately when crossing over the State line.

Further concerning your visit to VT last summer, as I've mentioned previously, your blog report about the Bread and Puppet Museum in Glover, VT was very enjoyable. I took my sister there when she visited us a few months ago. What an unusual place!

1HappyHiker said...

Thanks Steve for taking time to read my blog and post a reply.

Perhaps it's just me, but it seems that VT has a fair number of hikes that receive little notoriety, and it further seems that there is no single-source guidebook which lists them all. Regardless, it's fun to check out those that are within a reasonable drive from home.


Gary A. Creighton said...

I remember my Artist Uncle and Writer for Vermont Life magazine, Louis A. Lamoreaux, taking me to hike up Devil's Hill back around 1959. I was 6 years old at the time.

He brought us up and showed us some Native American mortar holes (what they ground things with a pestle in. They're holes that are about 8 - 10 inches around and a foot deep) that were ground right into the bedrock and maybe a metate (what they ground food on). He called them 'The Devil's Toilet'. He was always a joker. He lived in Peacham VT and was my favorite Uncle.

Did you see any deep holes in the rock up at the top? If so, you were looking at holes made over 500 years ago.

1HappyHiker said...

Gary . . . thanks so much for sharing your experience about Devil’s Hill!

Regarding your question, I wasn’t really looking for the type of deep holes that you described when I visited Devil’s Hill. However, you have definitely piqued my interest, and when I visit that spot again, I’ll be certain to look for them!