1/25/2017 On Blue Job Mountain

Blue Job Mountain is a tiny and not well known state park and one of the (very) few areas of note in the small town of Farmington, NH.  I lived in the Seacoast area for 5 years and never heard that there was a mountain anywhere close until I started searching for hiking trails in the area.  I actually came within a mile of the entrance to the trail in Strafford multiple times while visiting friends and still never knew about it.  But if you bring it up in conversation, it’s one of those “sure, I go there all the time” spots for the locals.

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Blue Job is actually one of a string of – well, they’re technically mountains, but compared to the Rockies or even to the neighboring White or Green Mountains, they’re more like hills – in Strafford County.  Parker Mountain, the adjoining hill, barely tops Blue Job at 1400 feet. And while there’s miles of trails covering the mountain, nearly all of them lead back to the same singular parking lot on Crown Point Road.  You could wander all day and still end back at your car.  Though admittedly it would also be easy to end up on any of the adjoining series of “mountains” and get off of Blue Job’s trail.

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There are three things about Blue Job that I particularly love.  One is that it’s steep enough to give you a workout while climbing, but you can still be up it in 20 minutes if you keep your feet churning (it is maybe a mile long trail).  The view is spectacular – you can see the White Mountains, the Green Mountains, the neighboring “mountains”, some beautiful farms, Portsmouth in the distance, and potentially, on particularly clear days and with some binoculars, Boston.  It’s a relatively quiet hike during off periods (but extremely busy on a beautiful summer weekend), and I’ve had the dog off leash there on occasion, though I’m less trusting of stranger dogs that are off leash than others.  I had a bad experience with a group of unsupervised off leash dogs at the peak and a ridiculous woman who had no concept of dogs or people who might not like a pack of other dogs off leash and charging up to them at full speed.  This was one of the rare times that I actually used my can of dog repellant on a stranger dog (and was grateful I had it).

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The other part of Blue Job that I truly love is the Fire Tower.  The main trail up to the summit goes along the eastern slope, through some woods and past a lake, where it gets slightly steep and rocky until you hit the summit.  The Fire Tower trail also starts at the parking lot but goes up the western slope of the mountain.  It’s much steeper and rockier in places than the main trail, but you’re rewarded by a truly amazing 360 degree view from the top of the tower (provided you are not scared of heights or steep, narrow stairs!).

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That being said, for the weekend warriors who don’t want a particularly difficult or long hike but still want a specatcular view and an enjoyable trip through the woods, this is the place to go.

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