Geocaching

Hiking and Geocaching in the Randolph, NH Community Forest

A few weeks back when I had a day to myself I tackled the geocaches a little bit north of us in Randolph, NH. I’d had my eye on that particular tract of land for a while, and I figured it was one of those little-known pieces of land people wouldn’t seek out. The Randolph Community Forest had eight geocaches on it and it didn’t look like a hard bit of hiking.

On the way to the forest, I made a quick detour to the entrance of Moose Brook State Park and grabbed a couple of geocaches hidden here. There weren’t many people in the parking lot by the entrance for here, and I was in and out pretty quickly. It was a beautiful spot for a quick visit. One family was using the picnic tables for some outdoor time and a picnic. It was a bit of a chilly day for this. As nice as it had been down in the Mount Washington Valley, just an hour north I needed a sweatshirt.

What I wasn’t expecting the beginning of May was to be dealing with snow. The snow cover maps were only showing snow left in the upper mountains. This area of Randolph didn’t seem to be in the coverage area. Still, I arrived to the parking lot and saw a lot of snow on the Jimtown Logging Road which was the largest trail in the area.

It was a beautiful day to be up here though. The sky was clear and a deep blue for a nice contrast to the snow still on the mountain peaks.

The first cache in the Forest was an easy enough find, as were a few others. As I hiked deeper into the forest, though, the snow and muddy spring conditions proved to be an impediment.

One section of the marked trail went near a reservoir. Not only was the reservoir full and overflowing, but all around it was flooded as well. I got creative to go search for a cache that was just beyond it and didn’t get my feet wet there.

The trail is well-marked, however. No trying to figure out which direction I needed to go. Not only was I using my GPS compass to go from cache to cache but I had easy trail markings to follow.

I found 7 out of 8 caches in this area and it was a nice walk. The last cache was right off of the logging road, but had an obstacle of its own.

Going back to my Wrangler I had to cross a field and it was wet. That was when my feet got soaked. There was just no way around it unless I was going to double-back a bit and I didn’t want to do that. One of the caches on one of the trails with flowing water on it had been a bit of a climb to get to.

I walked 4 miles this day. Not a long hike by far, but I did challenge myself with elevation gain and a bit of difficulty dodging the muddy places. For people who want to snowshoe, this is a great area in winter. Cross-country skis would also work on the logging road. It doesn’t seem to get as much traffic as other nearby trails and the parking is easy. I’d recommend checking it out.

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