Driving Directions:

Trailhead is on First Crown Point Road in Strafford, NH (summit is in Farmington). First Crown Point Road is accessed off the north side of Rt. 202A, 3.9 miles east of Rt. 126 and 4.5 miles west of Rt. 202. The large parking area is 4.8 miles down this road, on the right. Click here for a Google map.

About the Hike:

Blue Job Mountain is the second highest mountain in the Blue Hills of the southeastern Lakes Region, and home to one of NH's sixteen active fire towers. The fire tower affords good views in almost all directions, from the White Mountains to the ocean. Many changes have happened to the trail network at Blue Job, brought about by changes in property ownership. Most importantly, what was once a bootleg trail through private property to an open, ledgy spur called Little Blue Job is now an official part of the trail system. Hikers now have access to the panoramic views from this low, ledgy dome in addition to the excellent vista from the fire tower. This page will describe the best loop hike over both destinations.

To begin the hike, walk to the kiosk and turn right onto the south end of the loop. The trail runs flat past the parking area and crosses a private driveway leading to a recently constructed residence. It continues on the other side and swings left to join the route of an old fire warden's trail in 0.1 miles from the parking area. The trail begins to ascend through the forest, soon reaching forested ledges, where the climb briefly becomes steep before the trail levels off and meanders across the ledges to reach the fire tower on the summit in 0.4 miles (just a half-mile from the start). No views can be had from the summit until you climb the tower, revealing a wide vista of mostly flat land. The view to the north is partially restricted by trees, but on clear days the White Mountains can be seen over them. Several isolated peaks from central NH can be seen off to the northwest, including Mt. Kearsarge and Mt. Cardigan, and mountains in the Belknap Range. Other close-up features to the south include Catamount Mountain, Fort Mountain, and the Pawtuckaway Mountains. Off to the east, if it's clear, you can see the ocean, and often, the Isles of Shoals.

To continue the loop over to Little Blue Job, descend the summit on the side opposite where you came up on Pond Trail. This newly created route is marked with white blazes and cairns and makes use of some of the unofficial trails that followed this route before. Because of this, there are scattered paths diverging from and returning to the official route that all head in generally the same direction. Some care is needed to watch for the trail markings and stay on the correct path. The trail descends alternately over open ledges and through the forest on the north side of the mountain for a quarter mile before reaching a flat area. The trail meanders through open woods for another 0.2 miles at gentle grades, then passes by a small pond at the low point between Blue Job and Little Blue Job. The trail then climbs again, crossing more open ledges where you can see back to the main summit of Blue Job, for 0.1 miles to a trail junction. Turn right onto Little Blue Job Trail and pass through a final strip of forest before coming out onto bare rock, reaching the round summit in 0.15 miles, marked with a sign. There are unrestricted views in all directions from the ledgy dome. There is a much better view of the White Mountains from here than from the fire tower, and you can also see into the surrounding valleys. The view of the ocean, however, is blocked by the main summit of Blue Job. Generally, it is a much more scenic area here on Little Blue Job; the amount of open rock is quite unusual for this low elevation (1250').

To complete the loop back to the parking area, return to the last junction with pond trail, and continue straight on Little Blue Job Trail. This route is a bit harder to follow, since there are no blazes; the easiest thing to do is look at the sign and walk down the beaten path that it is pointing directly at. This will take you down a very short distance to the other end of the pond, where you should turn right, passing a sign for "Perimeter Road". Several other paths converge onto this route. Follow the "road" down for 0.4 miles, soon entering and area of recent logging. Ignore a blue-blazed trail heading off to the right. The main trail leads across a flat area, then descends gently to reach the north side of Blue Job Mountain Trail at a signed trail junction. Turn right and follow the trail down for the final 0.3 miles, crossing a brook on a wooden bridge and following a short relocation back to the parking area.


NH Family Hikes Printables