North and Middle Sugarloaf Mountains: A Great Little Hike with Some Big Views!
It seems as though there's a Sugarloaf Mountain in just about every New England state. Maine has the popular Mt. Sugarloaf ski resort that I hiked back in June, but today I'm talking about the smaller mountains in New Hampshire. They're located in Twin Mountain right off of Rt 302, so I decided to take Lucy for this quick 52 With a View hike on our way to Maine for our first camping trip last week.
We arrived at the trailhead pretty late in the day last Wednsday, around 1:00pm, because I was thinking that it would be the perfect amount of time to kill before going to our campsite up at Rangeley Lake for the night. The hike was just over three miles, so I figured it would only take us an hour and a half or so to complete it with a bit of time to take in the views. I didn't know about this hike until just a few weeks ago, and I hadn't even noticed the trailhead driving by on Zealand Rd in the past. Another reason why I love hiking lists is because they clue me into hikes that I wouldn't have known about previously.
The start of Sugarloaf trail was pretty gentle and a along a beautiful creek. As we walked both Lucy and I were both loving the sound of the water beside us and the of the birds chirping in the trees. It wasn't a super sunny day which was kind of nice with the partly cloudy skies creating some shade for us.
As we kept walking the trail got steeper and steeper until it was similar to the trail up Mt. Liberty that we had experienced the day before. I started to get a bit nervous because Lucy was still tired from that hike and we had a big day hiking in Maine planned for Thursday too. When we made it to the ladder I had a brief urge to turn around in the hopes of conserving energy for the next day, but after a quick map consultation I realized that we were almost done climbing.
I had no idea there would be a ladder on this trail and luckily it wasn't difficult for Lucy to maneuver at all. It was actually more like stairs, so we continued until we made it to the split off in the trail. The path to the right led to North Sugarloaf and the one on the left went to Middle Sugarloaf. I decided to go for North first, so off we went on the very gradual path to the summit. Before I knew it we reached the rocky clearing in the trees with gorgeous views of the southern side of Mt. Washington.
After sitting up there for a few minutes taking in the expansive views we descended and went up to Middle Peak. The views of Mt. Washington were similar to North Peak and I could also see over to Mt. Hale and some other neighboring peaks. I was really surprised because this hike was relatively easy with amazing views. That seems to be the theme with the 52 With a View list!
The descent was much of the same and Lucy did well coming down the ladder without any assistance. There was a nice big mud puddle that she enjoyed rolling in to cool off. When we got to the car I could tell she was tired, but luckily we had a long drive to our campsite that night. Although this was a relatively short and easy hike, it definitely wasn't a walk in the park. There were steep sections that would rival the trail up to any of the 4,000 footers so it's not to be underestimated!
North and Middle Sugarloaf (3,700 ft) via. Sugarloaf Tr [3.56 mi, 1170 ft, 2:25].