View Full Version : Nash Stream Forest

04-03-2005, 07:13 AM
Has anyone been in the Nash Stream Forest? I have a two year old guide book and map of the new Cohoos Trail and it looks very interesting. My wife and I are planning a little camping and dayhiking, perhaps No. and So. Percy and Sugarloaf.

Are there any good roadside campsites? Any experience hiking in this area?

04-03-2005, 09:49 AM
I also was interested in this section and forestnome beat me to creating the thread. But my corollary questions are: I definitely want to climb up the Percy Cliff and Sugarloaf. Originally, I was planning on doing it as two separate up and back hikes on the same day. Should I still do it that way, or could I do it as one dayhike? If so, which route should I use and which peak should I climb first if I am willing to hike up to 15 miles on a dayhike and get the best views in as well as the challenging Percy cliff? I have the ability to car shuttle, so don't need to retrace. I will save Dixville Notch for another hike.

BTW: I was planning on using the Maidstone State Park campground over in Vermont as a base for four dayhikes in this area: Magalloway, Dixville Notch area, Sugarloaf/Percy & Rogers Ledge from South Pond.

04-03-2005, 11:41 AM
Thank you E. Schlimmer for answering part of my question. I want to stay on currently marked trails. As for the elevation gain, I can deal with up to 5,000 feet in one day, which I have done. I plan on doing Magalloway the next day as an easy day following this grueling hike I am planning.

04-03-2005, 12:36 PM
By Percy Cliff, I assume (like E. Schlimmer) that you mean the old Underhill route on North Percy. A slab classic -- I would advertise it more as a moderately easy rock climb (conditions permitting) than as a challenging hike.

04-03-2005, 01:34 PM
Your right, I meant the old rock climb, that is now an abandoned trail and I guess for good reason. I still call it a challenging hike as I am talking 4,000+ feet of elevation gain, 2 peaks and 10+ miles. Now to decide what route to use to do this hike, which way to go and where to place my cars.

04-03-2005, 09:03 PM
I hiked N & S Percy last year with a small group (is Bill Bowden still lurking here?), it was an enjoyable hike, though the elevation gain / distance makes them look deceivingly easy. North Percy is the one with the better view (less vegetation, its summit kind of reminds me of Mt Cardigan) & lots of blueberries, and the trail there from Nash Stream Rd is fairly well-established.

I wouldn't go back to S. Percy and would only recommend it if you are a compulsive peakbagger. There is a short trail now from the col between N & S Percy that leads up S Percy, but it's somewhat hard to follow, rather steep in spots & overgrown with spruce. (The Cohos Trail also goes through here, so you should make sure you're following the correct trail.) There is a small semi-open area at the summit.

NOTE: Be careful! The middle section of the trail (before you get to the col) is very near a section of uninterrupted, slick rock at about a 45 degree inclination, that will be wet & slippery if it has rained anytime recently. If you lost your footing, it would be a long way down. The trail itself does go across shorter sections of similar terrain (there was a somewhat-frayed rope tied to a tree at one point), where if you slipped you might fall downslope 10-15 feet.

I'd like to go back to N Percy in late summer, but not unless it was part of a group. I do most of my hiking solo & wouldn't blink at going up most of the NH 4000' trails alone, but I wouldn't go back to N Percy alone.

Road access to the Percy Peaks trail is straightforward. Right on Nash Stream Rd and the trailhead sign is pretty easy to find. This is a dirt/gravel road. I'm not sure how the conditions are now, but it was in pretty good shape when I was up there the last two summers. Better than Success Pond Rd.

04-04-2005, 07:40 AM
Thanks very much for info. Even though I hike every Saturday, I'm starting to get really excited looking at maps and planning summer dayhikes and overnighters and campsites.

Nash Stream Forest sounds like my kind of place. There's lots of wildlife, paricularly moose.

E. Schlimmer, thanks much for the links. I'm going there now.

04-04-2005, 09:38 AM
I was in the Great North Woods last Oct. It is a beautiful area. The hike to the Percy’s (including the old western route) was a favorite. I wouldn’t even consider it if it was even slightly damp. I loved the contrast between the North and South peaks. Although it was a short hike, Magalloway is well worth the exploring (despite the fact that the summit area was littered with trash). Sugarloaf was short with a nice view. We saw no one on or near the trails the whole weekend we were there. IIRC camping is restricted in the area and there is camping only in designated spots.

04-04-2005, 10:53 AM
Roadside camping in Nash Stream Forest, like other NH state forests, is illegal. The Cohos Trail has permission for a couple of backpack campsites and there are still some cabins on long-term lease. Free roadside camping available nearby in the National Forest.

I hiked the West Side Trail on North Percy when it was still open on a dampish day and didn't think it was that bad. If we closed every trail somebody had died on there wouldn't be many left on Mt Washington :-)

The Nash Stream Road is traditionally gated until after Memorial Day, info not available on Mohamed's closure page.

spider solo
04-04-2005, 11:35 AM
Curiousity has gotten the best of me....what is he Y list ?

04-04-2005, 12:25 PM
IIRC camping is restricted in the area...

what does IIRC stand for?

04-04-2005, 12:29 PM
Also, if I'm not mistaken, there is a shelter or campsite now near the start of the Percy peaks loop. It was put in last year, according to the Conway Daily Sun. I haven't been there, but have wanted to stay there.
Yeah, what is the Y list?

bill bowden
04-04-2005, 12:39 PM
For hikers interested in the Nash Stream area, it is one of the most fun areas of New Hampshire. Besides the trails on the Percies and Sugarloaf there are a number of reasonably easy and quite fascinating bushwhack trips.

I led a small trip to the Percies last year from the Nash Stream Road (Not the Coos Trail). I believe the Percies are not on the Coos trail but there is a short connector. the trail to the S. Peak has gotten better but remains quite rugged.

The Middle and West peaks of Long Mountain are a pretty easy bushwhack from Little Bog Pond with a beautiful Pond at 3400 feet between the two. there's a moose equivalent to an interstate on Castle Mountain leading over to West Peak. Gore and Blue are also accessible from Nash Stream road as are Mount Whitcomb and Middle and South Whitcomb. As a generalization the areas haven't been logged too badly and the spruce forest is pretty open, making for easy trips and a fun day.

Approaching the peaks from the route 3 side seems to generally put you in worse stuff, especially with Goback, Savage and Teapot.

have fun out there!

Tim Seaver
04-04-2005, 12:54 PM
Pick a Pair of Percys:

South Percy and Kilkenny Ridge:

Summit Plateau of North Percy:

04-04-2005, 04:55 PM
I'll take the North one on the left, it has all the views! (Beautiful pix, Tim!)One that is in reasonably average shape can hike both the Percy's and Sugarloaf (Groveton) easily in a day w/time to spend at the voluminous Pond Brook waterfalls about 4 miles North of West Side/Notch trails.

Every year I solo the Percy's and have never seen or heard of a shelter nearby. As Roy said the road (all gravel roads) is gated until the mud season is over and dry enough so that trucks carring 60,000 lbs of logs can drive on. Definitely the moose (I've seen them in Christine Lake swimming) and other wildlife are abundant year round and in the spring, so are the black flies. Enjoy!

04-04-2005, 09:40 PM
Wow! Nice images, Tim!

I cannot wait!

04-04-2005, 10:25 PM
Its been way too many years since I hiked Magalloway. I barely can remember the details. I do remember there is a fine waterfall nearby worth seeing in the spring. I'll just have to re-visit this fine area.

On the way up North, worth the stop is Beaver Brook Falls on Rte 145. When returning head to Dixville Flume and Huntingdon Cascades on Rte 26 and not to be missed during the spring melt in Grafton Notch, ME are Step Falls, Mother Walker Falls, and the best of the lot, Screw Auger Falls. Simply astounding!

04-05-2005, 06:13 AM
Thanks, MntMagic, I'm interested in those falls.

04-05-2005, 08:28 AM
... if you're up in Pittsburg & have another hour or two, another short hike is to 4th Connecticut Lake; the trailhead starts at the US / Canada border station and is about a 15-minute hike up & west to the source of the Connecticut River. (paltry little pond that it is) Only trail in the entire state where you get to walk along the border swath. That last stretch of Rt 3 is a good place to see moose.

I haven't been to Mt Magalloway yet, but the road to the trailhead is, I believe, called Magalloway Rd and is just north of 2nd Connecticut Lake. (Couldn't find any info online & forgot to check the WM Guide last night, it is in the section on North Country.)

04-05-2005, 10:36 AM
[QUOTE=cantdog]I look forward to the opening of the gate. Anyone familiar with Magalloway and its road access? I would like to make a weekend of it sometime.

Cantdog, you might try the following website, which is primarily for snowmobilers:


If you scroll down to current conditions, it will give you an idea of which roads are still being used for snowmobiling, which roads are now open for logging which theoretically means they are drivable (I would wait until after mud season unless you are driving a skidder!), and how much snow is on the ground. Historically, Magalloway Road is drivable at the start, near Rte 3, but can get wet as you proceed toward Mt Magalloway. There is a gate about 1 mile in, right after you cross the Connecticut River, which may be used to regulate public traffic in the spring.

If you go and find the gate locked, but stilll want to hike in the area, it may be possible to take a left at that point (right after river crossing) onto Smith Brook Road which will bring you close to Stub ( & N. Stub) Hill.

04-05-2005, 01:27 PM
It was about 4 years ago so it may be better now, but I climbed Sugarloaf in December and pretty close to the start of the trail I veered left onto a snowmobile trail/old logging road at a junction that wasn't well marked. The trail goes straight here, so watch carefully for markers. There is a maze of old logging roads in this area and you can follow them pretty close to the summit, but after that, it turns into a fairly difficult bushwhack up some cliffs and ledges that you hope you don't have to come back down. The trail is a much easier option. Beautiful views from the top, especially in winter.

David Metsky
04-05-2005, 02:01 PM
I've only done Magalloway from the Hell Gate area by bike, so I'm not sure how to get there from the Pittsburg side. The falls nearby are the Upper Garfield Falls, which is a nice spot and a great swimming hole with some nice cliff jumps into the pool.



04-05-2005, 07:00 PM
I look forward to the opening of the gate. Anyone familiar with Magalloway and its road access? I would like to make a weekend of it sometime.
If you don't trust the description in the White Mtn Guide you can use
As usual this road should be avoided in the spring. Brave hikers used to drive it in winter, the new master plan makes this illegal but I don't know if it's enforced.

There is no reason you can't get your 3 peaks in a weekend, camp for free in the NF or at the bucolic but overpriced Deer Mtn Campground in Pittsburg.