Cohos Trail In the News – The Weirs Times

by Amy Patenaude
Outdoor/Ski Writer

Coös County is the most northern and largest county in New Hampshire. Coös and Cohos are pronounced “CO-ahss” with two syllables. If you say Coös as if it rhymed with ooze you’ll quickly give yourself away as a flatlander “from away.”
The Cohos Trail (CT) travels the County from North to South over 165 miles utilizing old and new trails. The Southern terminus is Notchland (just north of Bartlett) at the Davis Path. The Northern terminus is the Canadian border at the Fourth Connecticut Lake.
Long distance backpacking is the rage. More people than ever are hitting the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail—two trails made even more popular due to recent books and movies. The Cohos Trail is a jewel just waiting to be discovered. Or maybe we should just keep it for ourselves!

 The Cohos Trail guidebook has a section titled “What To Do When You Meet A Moose.” Becca found a moose antler that had been chewed up by hungry critters. Squirrels, mice, porcupines, even foxes and bears eat antlers because they are full of calcium, phosphorus, and mineral salts.
bears eat antlers because they are full of calcium, phosphorus, and mineral salts.
The third edition of the The Cohos Trail guidebook is now available at and fine bookstores. Coös was spelled Cohos on early maps. This and many more fun facts and interesting wisdom about New Hampshire’s North Country are found between the pages of the book.

The new third edition of The Cohos Trail guidebook has just come out and ask for it in your favorite bookstore or purchase it and the new map on-line at
The map is broken up into four sections: Notchland to Jefferson, Jefferson to Nash Stream, Nash Stream to Clarksville and Clarksville to Fourth Connecticut Lake.
Many White Mountain hikers have traveled southern sections of the CT while summiting Mount Isolation or Mount Eisenhower since the CT’s route utilizes the Davis Path and the Edmands Path.
Guests at the Omni Mount Washington Resort might spy a backpacker trekking down along the bank of the Ammonoosuc River on the edge of the golf course as the hiker makes his way to Cherry Mountain. But, if they are trekkers, they will continue over Mount Weeks and on to Roger’s Ledge.
The AMC’s White Mountain Guide includes a few North Country hikes. Fourth Connecticut Lake Trail, Falls in the River Trail and the Percy Peak Loop come to mind. The CT connects these nice trails and these trails make super day hikes.
I confess I have yet to take up long distance backpacking. Recently I have done a good number of sections of the CT in the North Woods to help me access 3,000 foot peaks. The 3ks are a much less popular list of New Hampshire peaks because most do not have trails.

Becca heading into the woods on the Kelsey Notch Trail part of the Cohos Trail near Dixville. The trail is well blazed with yellow blazes and signs.
Becca heading into the woods on the Kelsey Notch Trail part of the Cohos Trail near Dixville. The trail is well blazed with yellow blazes and signs.

After a day of bushwhacking north of Route 26 in Dixville, up to the summits of Cave Mountain and Rice Mountain, we slept well in our tents. The next morning with a belly full of oatmeal cooked on Becca’s new Jet-Boil stove we looked forward to following the Cohos Trail to Baldhead South.
East of Dixville Notch from Route 26 we took the West Branch Road, a rugged gravel road that you shouldn’t take your mother’s sedan anywhere near. My all-wheel drive rig bumped its way to the gate at the old Kelsey Notch Road. We passed by a tractor backhoe that was attempting to smooth out some of the more washed out parts.
We parked at the gate and headed up the old road. A sign read “3 Miles to Shelter”. The Baldhead Shelter was our goal since Baldhead South’s summit was just a short distance north of the shelter.
The CT guidebook’s instructions include “What to Do When You Meet a Moose” and “What to Do if You Meet a Bear”. These instructions are followed by “What to Do If You Meet a Homo Sapiens”. I giggled at the “When” you meet a moose verses “If” you meet a bear or a homo sapiens! North of the White Mountains on the CT you will see other people infrequently it warns.

 The Cohos Trail’s Baldhead Lean-to, we reached it via the Kelsey Notch Trail from Dixville.
The Cohos Trail’s Baldhead Lean-to, we reached it via the Kelsey Notch Trail from Dixville.

Becca and I hiked south on the CT up the old road. This old road from Colebrook is now a popular ATV corridor. After hiking less than 15 minutes the trail left the road and went into the woods. We followed the yellow blazes and the CT signs. Moose tracks far outnumbered the few boot prints we saw in the muddy areas.
The trail was pleasant and felt much easier than our efforts bushwhacking. We crossed through many fern glades, the foot bed of the path was not heavily worn and felt soft on our feet. The North Country is famous for its mud but we easily kept our feet dry in our trail runners since it had not rained in many days.
The hike wasn’t a grind. In fact, the trail rolled up and down and then a final steep push and a short descent to the shelter. The Baldhead South Lean-to was empty and it looked like a nice place to make camp. In front of the small shelter an area had been cleared to provide a fine vista. We tried to convince ourselves we could see all the way to the Percy’s over the Nash Stream Forest.
The bushwhacking to the high point was easy since, obviously, the area’s moose meet here to have dance parties. Seriously, the herd paths went in every directions and we followed a clear path right to the summit bump.
On the way back we took our time. Big trees, fern glades and boulders we admired and appreciated maybe a little more this time. We didn’t meet a moose but I bet we walked by one.
We rolled back into civilization at lunchtime. A trip to Colebrook requires a stop at the Le Rendez Vous French Bakery! We wouldn’t dream of missing their yummy tarts and croissants. Have Fun

Amy Patenaude is an avid skier/outdoor enthusiast from Henniker, N.H. Readers are welcome to send comments or suggestions to her at: [email protected]

My favorite CT founder last weekend

If you see this man on the trail … get out of the way. He does trail work like a 25 year old. We re-blazed the Percy Loop trail red up to the campsite. Then blazed yellow and red from the campsite to the peaks trail. On Saturday we formally opened the new Trio Trail. Blazing of the Pond brook falls trail and Trio trail is done. This picture is from the Nash Stream Road end of the now non CT part of the Percy Loop trail. So many years this vision and dream of moving the CT off the road has finally been accomplished. This new route is already on the new map, shown as checkered line.
Hike the Mighty Cohos Trail
Ken Vallery President TCTA


Trio Trail Work Day

Trio trail fun (work) day last weekend. 15 folks and of course Bonnie (CT work crew dog) did some great work on the Trio trail and Pond brook falls section. Seasonal bridge over pond brook was donated and delivered by Garland Mill Timber-frames of Lancaster NH, thank you Ben and Dana for your continued support of the CT.
We had three crews working, a south to north blaze crew led by Kim N., with Kim Votta reblazing the Loop trail. Second blazing crew led by the Wentworth 3, blazed North to South. My crew put up posts/signs/blazes/ bridges on both trail. This was our second work day and we successfully opened a new section of the CT. Thank you volunteers for helping us exceed our matching labor hours for the RTP grant. Your continued hard work and support of the Cohos Trail is appreciated.

Trail Notes 8-6-16

The Trio Trail is now 99 percent complete, signed, blazed, and very easy to follow. A few logs have to be cut out of the trail as yet, and some minor tweaking needs to be carried out in several spots, but the pathway is easy to navigate and is a great pleasure to be out on now. The views out to big Sugarloaf and its neighboring peaks are a delight.

Several folks were thru-hiking it while we were working on it today. Because the treadway is so distinct and the blazing and signage so good, there is no possiblity of getting lost.

The Percy Loop Trail has been reblazed in red. The lower half of the trail, from the Trio Trail junction is blazed solidly in bright red. Above the junction and uphill to the Percy Peaks Trail junction, the Percy Loop now carries two blazes, one yellow (Cohos Trail color) and one red, because the upper section is a part of the Cohos Trail. The lower section is no longer part of the CT route. But to avoid confusion over the upper and lower sections, we added the red color.

There are reports from numerous folks about the severe tornado-like storm that hit the region north of Dixville Notch last week. (See Pete Castine’s report on this FOTCT page.) On the Lake Francis Trail in particular there are a good deal of fallen trees that need some work getting around. Be aware of it. It will take more time to get through the area until folks can get in to clean it up.

The Pond Brook Falls Trail now has a heavy temporary bridge in place over Pond Brook, thanks to a donation of big squared timbers from Dana Southworth at the Garland Mill in Lancaster. A crew of six installed the heavy timbers and chained them to a tree. the surface was covered with chicken wire to ensure a sure nonskid footing. Each fall the timbers will be pulled back from the stream. Late each spring they will be reinstalled. This trail also has a bog bridge over one wet spot a bit downhill from the bridge.

We had 15 volunteers (and one dog) on hand for the work day, ranging from eleven years of age to nearly 70 years. Great crew. Great day out there. Rain held off for most of the day, and what rain did come down was brief and not enough to soak clothing.

We are working to see if we can get the new bypass on the Sanguinary Summit Trail put in this fall, so we can eliminate one of our toughest problem sections in the entire CT and pick up the open summit of Mt. Sanguinary for the first time.

Last week in the Clarksville area south of Lake Francis and after the storm, the ground in a number of places was covered with leaves that had been blazed off trees by a heavy barrage of hail.

Still dry out there, but a bit of rain overnight got some rivulets running again, so water is easier to come by in some places.