Magalloway Mountain
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (AMC Books)
Address:Magalloway Mountain Road, Pittsburg, NH
Hours:No posted hours
Fee: Free for day use; contact Lake Francis State Park for cabin rental fees
Contact:

New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands, 603-271-2214, nhdfl.org/new-hampshire-state-lands/state-owned-reservations; Lake Francis State Park (cabin rental; nearby camping), 603-538-6965, 877-647-2757 (reservations), nhstateparks.org/explore/state-parks/lake-francis-state-park.aspx

Bathrooms: Pit toilet at the parking lot
Water/Snacks: None
Map:

USGS Magalloway Mountain quad


This hike in a remote corner of the state offers mountaintop views from a fire tower, waterfalls, swimming holes, and the chance to spend the night in a fire warden’s cabin!

The North Country woods seem to stretch forever from the top of the Magalloway fire tower.
Photo by: Patricia Ellis Herr

This remote hike is truly off the beaten path, and you will have hundreds of miles of North Country wilderness to yourself—along with the moose, coyotes, foxes, bears, bobcats, and beavers that call this place home. A world away from the beaches of the seacoast, the heavily traveled trails of the White Mountains, and the calm waters of the Lakes Region, this special corner of the state offers a true wilderness experience. Given the distances to get here, it is best experienced as a multiday trip, staying in campgrounds nearby at Lake Francis, Coleman, or Deer Mountain state parks—or in the cabin on the summit of Mount Magalloway itself!

Mount Magalloway is the only prominent peak in the Connecticut Lakes Region with a trail leading to the top. At the summit, a decommissioned fire tower offers panoramic views of these dense forests and streams, and you can now stay in the former backcountry fire warden’s cabin for a taste of what it must be like to live deep in these wild woods.

Starting at the parking area, simply continue up the short but steep Coot Trail that served as the access road for the fire wardens who lived at the fire tower at the summit.

After 1.0 mile of hiking through the dense North Country forest of balsam fir, birch, and spruce trees, you reach the summit and the five-story-high fire tower with commanding views of the entire region. To the south, the Presidentials rise on the horizon. To the northwest, Lake Francis and First Connecticut Lake are clearly visible, creating the headwaters of the mighty Connecticut River that flows south between New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, before emptying into Long Island Sound, 410 miles away. Behind the warden’s cabin there is a short, signed trail that leads to open ledges on the east side of the summit for views into Maine.

If you’d like to stay in the cabin, contact Lake Francis State Park ahead of time. You’ll have to pack in supplies, but the cabin sleeps four and has a woodstove, a kitchen, an outhouse, and a small living area.

Plan B:

Nearby Garfield Falls (45° 1.794´ N, 71° 7.019´ W) is one of the most majestic falls in the state, and if you’ve come this far north, it is worth the extra effort to find it. The 40-foot falls are in a deep granite gorge buried deep in the North Country forests, and the swimming hole at the base is excellent. It is highly recommended that you have a New Hampshire Atlas and Gazetteer (DeLorme) with you to help navigate the maze of logging roads in this area.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Pittsburg offers basic sundries and has a good steak house and pizza pub as well.



PHOTO GALLERY




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