If you liked my most recent post on the early summer blueberries at Greenfield State Park, get your hiking boots ready and grab a container to pick all of the wild blueberries you can eat at this week's destination--Pitcher Mountain Fire Tower in Stoddard.
Located in the midst of the Andorra Forest in southwestern New Hampshire, this little mountain is a true gem that most people have never heard of. Not only are the berries plentiful and ripe, but the panoramic vista from Pitcher's peak is one of the best I've seen in New Hampshire--even among the bigger mountains and longer hikes. The view includes the many surrounding hillsides and pastures, the Green Mountains, Mt. Monadnock, and on rare occasions, a glimpse of the White Mountains--Mt. Washington and Mt. Lafayette.What you're not going to see (or hear) while you're up there is cars, boats, horns, or any kind of traffic for that matter. In fact, only the Zen sounds of nature can be heard from here-- the birds' songs, a gentle breeze, and the rustling trees. On my adventure, I was lucky enough to be serenaded at the peak by a local group of campers who were on an evening hike. During the intro in my video below, you can hear a clip of their song. The cinematic view from the peak The 15-minute hike along the white-blazed trail from the parking lot on Rt. 123 is on the easy side of moderate because of the subtle incline, which is accessible for most ages, shapes, and sizes. After picking a bowl full of berries, I grabbed my video camera and climbed to the top of the fire tower to capture as much of the view as I could. This is where I was most at peace enjoying nature's candy--the birds, the berries, and the whispering breeze. Although I haven't experienced one myself, I've heard that Pitcher Mountain is an amazing spot to watch the sunset. What's your favorite park or peak or place to watch the sunset? Before you leave, it's important to remember to toss a few dollars to cover your blueberry and raspberry picnic into the tin box nailed to the tree near the parking lot. No one will be checking up on you... except for your conscience! As always, happy and safe trails!