NH – Blueberry Mountain, Benton
Blueberry Mountain is on the list of "NH 52 with a view". With an afternoon start after waiting for the skies to clear, we chose a short hike.
Blueberry Mountain, at 2635 feet, is near the S end of the Benton Range, west of Mt. Moosilauke. The southeast trailhead starts on Long Pond Road north of Glencliff on Route 25, and the northwest trailhead is off Lime Kiln Road and then Page Road north of East Haverhill further west on Route 25. (Note that there is another Blueberry Mountain in New Hampshire in Evans Notch on the Maine border.)
We chose the southeast trailhead. Our route driving there was Route 112 to Route 116 and then south on Long Pond Road to the trailhead. Long Pond Road was gravel and quite long. On return, we continued down Long Pond Road to a paved High Street and then to Route 25 to Route 118 to Route 112 home, much better.
The yellow-blazed trail, which ascends gradually but steadily about 1100 feet in 1.7 miles, follows a relatively new logging road for 0.2 miles, then turns right up a short, somewhat steep bank, follows a forest path and then across a newer logging road at 0.4 miles.
Purple-flowering raspberry, Thimbleberry.
Turning right up a bank.
The trail, which starts in hardwoods, enters a spruce forest at about 0.8 miles with ledge showing on the path. Gradually the trail becomes more open at times, with the addition of red pine and low shrubs.
At about 1.0 miles, there is a view of Moosilauke looking back along the trail. At about 1.1 miles or so, the trail turns right. At this point the trail markings include a fair number of cairns.
At just under 1.6 miles, an outlook to the right has a good view of Mt. Moosilauke from the west, showing the Slide Brook ravine.
At about 1.7, the trail reaches the crest of the main ridge, where a side path on the right (which we missed initially and had to walk back a little once the path started down) leads 0.1 miles to the true summit. The views are restricted, but it was so restful, we ate there and just relaxed for quite a while.
Side path to the summit. Note there is no sign.
Along the way, there were lots of low-bush blueberry bushes, black huckleberry shrubs, blue-bead lily (clintonia), etc.
All in all, it was about 3.4 miles round trip and a pleasant way to spend a few hours in the afternoon, with some nice warm but not too hot sun and no bugs. We did the round trip in about 2 hours and 45 minutes, but that included a lot of picture stops and time spent relaxing at the top. We did wonder why it’s on 52 with a view as there were mostly only views to the east, featuring Moosilauke, but the description of the trail also includes ledges with more views as you proceed northwest to the other trailhead. In any case, it was a very pleasant and very pretty hike.