Cockermouth and Crosby Mountain Forests – a Groton Secret

I’ve driven past the SPNHF sign a dozen times over the years but never took the time to stop until now.  As the map and website point out, there are two major destinations in this preserve, Little Pond and Crosby Mtn.-Bald Knob.  I chose the mountains, and will save the pond and its cliffs for another time.Cockermouth MapI made this a loop hike by going out the Old North Groton Road and up the Bald Knob Trail all the way to Crosby Mt., then followed the Beeline Trail and High Pasture Trail back by way of the Old Remick Place, a cellar hole.


Fungi emerging from an old hemlock stump

O-shaped cellar hole with hollow chimney base

Amazing chimney base with hollow chamber underneath in an O-shaped cellar hole

The Old North Groton Road is a pleasant trail that passes 4-5 old cellar holes as it gradually leads you uphill.  The Bald Knob Trail is also enjoyable, until the last quarter mile, when it suddenly becomes quite steep.

But the views from both mountains are worth the hike.

Crosby Mountain Groton NH

Layered granite? I’m not sure what caused these.

The top of Crosby featured these unusual layered rocks.  Considering everything else was granite, I’m not at all sure what these were – just one more surprise on this hike.


Lichens at the summit

Heading down the Beeline Trail and High Pasture Loops was not very interesting or rewarding at all.  The Beeline Trail in particular was steep and unrelenting, while the High Pasture Trail was just less steep but equally unrelenting.  But the trail guide warns you of that.  Ditto the Old Remick Place, as the double cellar hole was trashy and the old apple trees had attracted deer, making it very tick-y at this time of year.

Hebron Village Store Hebron NH

Hebron Village Store

But when the hike was done, it’s just a short downhill drive to Hebron and its historic village store, where I had an ice cream cone to finish my day.  Yummy!

Happy travels!

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