It's a bit of a stretch to say North and Middle Sugarloaf are in my "backyard". Nonetheless, these tiny mountains are only about 8-miles from my home in Bethlehem, NH. And being so close, it's often convenient to go there for some "playtime".
Recently, I spent about 3-hours playing around there by doing an improvised 4-mile loop that included some bushwhacking, as well as on-trail travel. In the grand scheme of things, it was a rather meaningless adventure since it's not as though I discovered anything of great significance, such as the Northwest Passage. But yet, it was still great fun! I take pleasure in hiking where I've never hiked before, and/or hiking to familiar destinations via unfamiliar routes.
My improvised loop entailed hiking a segment of snowmobile trail, followed by a bushwhack to Middle Sugarloaf (2,539 ft). From there I picked up the Sugarloaf Trail which I followed to North Sugarloaf (2,310 ft). And finally, to complete the loop, I hiked the Baby Twins Trail back to my starting point. It should be noted that the Baby Twins Trail was decommissioned as an official hiking trail in the early 1970s, but it's still occasionally used, primarily by locals.
To get a general idea of the route that was followed for this 4-mile loop, please take a look at the Google Earth image shown below.
|Google Earth image showing general idea of the 4-mile loop (CLICK/TAP TO ENLARGE)|
For those readers who might be interested in details about the geology and history of the Sugarloaf mountains, click HERE for a wealth of information put together by Steve Smith.
And, for those readers who might have an interest in getting a general idea of what was seen during my adventure, presented below are a few snapshots.
|There were open woods for the entire way when bushwhacking between the snowmobile trail and Middle Sugarloaf.|
|This was the view that was seen upon reaching the bottom of the bare rock on the west-facing slope of Middle Sugarloaf.|
|View of Presidential range as seen from the "edge of a ledge" before making final ascent to top of Middle Sugarloaf|
|Looking westward from Middle Sugarloaf, there were low-lying clouds (undercast) in the valleys, which provided the familiar illusion of a large body of water off in the distance.|
|Shown here is the Sugarloaf Trail ladder which is located on the north side of Middle Sugarloaf.|
|A segment of the Sugarloaf Trail between Middle and North Sugarloaf|
|View of the Presidential Range from North Sugarloaf|
To sum it up, I'm fortunate and grateful for having a "playground" like the Sugarloaf mountains located so close to my home. Many small, but fun, adventures have been enjoyed there over the past years. And perhaps it should be noted that although this trek was limited to Middle and North Sugarloaf, on prior occasions I've bushwhacked to trail-less South Sugarloaf (click HERE for a report).