Lucia’s Lookout – Another Highlight of Pillsbury SP

Pillsbury State Park has really grown on me over the last year.  It has a rugged but gentle beauty that reminds me of what New Hampshire must have appeared like to both the Abenaki Indians and later on to the first European settlers.   The park is centered on a bowl-shaped valley (once known as Cherry Valley) sprinkled with a half dozen good-sized ponds, and most of the surrounding peaks barely exceed 2000 feet.  But it’s the nearby area that is also attractive, and this blog focuses on one wild spot to the north and a domestic spot to the south.

Mill Pond view - Pillsbury State Park

Mill Pond view – Pillsbury State Park

Mill Pond

Mill Pond

At about 2500 feet, Lucia’s Lookout isn’t going to make anyone’s list of tall peaks.  But as the name implies, it’s an easy hike with some rewarding views.  Hiking from the parking lot on Mill Pond, you have two choices: either a direct out and back of about 8 miles or a more interesting loop hike adding up to about 9 and a half miles.  If those distances sound large, don’t be put off.  Much of the trail is akin to walking on a country road so it’s actually pretty kid-friendly.

North Pond in Pillsbury State Park

North Pond in Pillsbury State Park

The direct route is to follow the Five Summers Trail there and back, which is nice as about half the trail is flat as it borders both Mill and North Ponds.  From there it gradually ascends the 800 feet to Lucia’s Lookout.

Lucia's Lookout view towards the east.

Lucia’s Lookout view towards the east.

Instead, I took the Bear Pond Trail to the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway to the lookout, returning on the more direct Five Summers Trail.  It was a little more rugged and a little longer but still a nice contrast and a continuous change of scenery.

Mountain Ash berries at Lucia's lookout

Mountain Ash berries at Lucia’s lookout presage Christmas colors

The lookout itself offers wonderful views to the east, west, and south.  Make sure to look for the eastern views – they are a little off the main trail but easy to find.  Late September would be perfect for foliage although you never know for sure.  These photos were taken October 5th so you can see that the colors are a little past peak.

Beautiful downtown Washington (New Hampshire)

Beautiful downtown Washington (New Hampshire)

But the color was still to be found at lower elevations so I followed my hike with a drive through the beautiful town of Washington NH, just south of the park.  I was especially pleased with the drive to even more scenic East Washington, and from there to Bradford.  But that will be the topic of another blog.  For now, I’ll end this with a few pictures of East Washington NH in the fall.  Happy travels!

East Washington NH

East Washington NH

Mill Pond, East Washington NH

Mill Pond, East Washington NH

End of blog.  Paging down may expose you to ads.

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2 responses to “Lucia’s Lookout – Another Highlight of Pillsbury SP

  1. Pingback: Big Pines and a Big Bog – Two Small Bradford Gems | The Park Explorer·

  2. Pingback: The Foivy Woods Beckon – A Return to Lucia’s Lookout | The Park Explorer·

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