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Little and Big Sugarloaf

Length: 3.4 miles out-and-back with loop

Difficulty (click for info): Easy

Elevation Gain: 950 feet

Rating (click for info): 5/10

Elevation: 1002' (Little) and 1370' (Big)

Prominence: 112' (Little) and 290' (Big)

Best Time to Visit:
The close-up views from this hike are good for a day that is too hazy for distant views.

Driving Directions:
Parking area and trailhead are on West Shore Road in Alexandria, NH. West Shore Road leaves the north side of Rt. 3A 2.1 miles north of Rt. 104. The parking area is on the left side of the road, 2.9 miles from Rt. 3A.

About the Hike:
The two sugarloafs near Newfound Lake each provide thin directional views over the water. Both have nearly the same view; Big Sugarloaf's is slightly wider and higher. The climb to Little Sugarloaf is short and easy, while continuing to Big Sugarloaf requires a bit more effort. Regardless of if you choose to visit one or both of them, you will be rewarded with a fine lake view. From the parking area, walk up to the Elwell Trail sign and bear left onto Elwell Trail. You can also bear right onto the Goose Pond Snowmobile Trail; both routes rejoin in 0.3 miles. The trail then begins to climb gradually through the woods, passing several boulders. In half a mile, the trail reaches the rocky but wooded summit of Little Sugarloaf. Bear right and walk down to the viewpoint ledge, where you have a good view over the lake.

The trail now descends easily for about 0.3 miles, then climbs through a rock passageway. It soon passes a short connecting trail on the left, then passes Goose Pond Trail on the left in another 0.1 miles. Descending, you can follow this trail to visit Goose Pond, and avoid Little Sugarloaf without adding any extra distance. Just after this, the trail passes two ends of Rest Area Loop (this trail is 0.2 miles long and goes through a forested ledge area). The trail then ascends steeply for half a mile, passes White Trail on the left, then meanders across the ledgy summit of Big Sugarloaf for 0.1 miles to the viewpoint. Here, there is another good view of Newfound Lake, slightly different than Little Sugarloaf's.


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