Winter Hiking Season Came Early This Year

As a New Hampshire native and Granite State enthusiast, it won’t surprise you to hear that I enjoy climbing this state’s beautiful mountains. I have written before about my love of hiking in the snow and, while I have overheard many others complain about the early snow, I am excited that winter seems to be here already.

The view from the top of Blue Job Mountain, home of one of the state’s sixteen active fire towers.

Last week, my husband and I dusted off our microspikes and journeyed to Blue Job Mountain in Strafford for our first snow covered hike of the season. Each of us had hiked Blue Job in the past, but this was a first journey up this little hill together. Having gone to high school with students from Strafford back in the day, I had hiked this mountain dozens of times. In fact, my teenage self carved my initials in the fire tower and I can still find evidence of my vandalism nearly 14 years later.

The Tower Loop Trail is a quick but fun route to the summit.

Looking up the steep stairs on the fire tower

Blue Job Mountain is an easy climb, making it a good choice for a cold weather climb. From the parking lot, we went up the trail on the right (the steeper and quicker portion of the loop). The 1.1-mile loop trail brings you to a rickety old fire tower with a beautiful view in every direction. From the top, we headed down the longer, more gradual route making a stop at the blueberry fields and partially frozen pond. In the summer, especially when the blueberry bushes are in full force, Blue Job is well-trafficked, but on this particular Saturday, we only came across one other hiker (likely because it was quite cold).

Please ignore my wildly inappropriate footwear. I was prepared for slippery conditions, but not wet ones in my sneakers-microspikes combo.

The hardest part of this easy little hike is finding the parking lot. The summit is in Farmington, but the parking lot is located on First Crown Point Road in Strafford. While I have been up this mountain several times in the past, I still needed the GPS to get me there.

Several snowy bridges cross beautiful streams in the forest on both sides of the summit

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