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  • Writer's pictureIzzy Risitano

Magalloway & Garfield Falls

Updated: Nov 6, 2022

Needing a quick quarter-day hike on a Colebrook girl's trip, we opted to take advantage of our location and journey another hour north to Magalloway Mountain.

Cliff-side views to the north

We plugged the location into Apple Maps and began our hour drive but we were surprised to find we had arrived at Magalloway Road in just thirty minutes. Uh oh. Looked like the rumors of heinous roads were about to prove true.


The first 5 miles of Magalloway Road weren’t bad. The road allowed for 25 mph travel with very few potholes but the next 3 miles of Magalloway Mountain/Tower road were not as easy. We slowed to more of a 10-15 mph speed and Emilie maneuvered the frequent imperfections in the roads far better than most probably do. We got through in a Chevy Trax, but I would recommend that anyone who attempts this drive takes the highest clearest vehicle they have.

One of the better parts of road on the way in

Once we got to the trailhead, I was shocked to find a bathroom as many of the easy-access trailheads don’t have such a luxury. The bathroom even had double-ply toilet paper and tile floors!


As for the hike itself, we started up Coot trail which lived up to the steep and simple reputation. The trail feels like that of an access road on a ski mountain. Imagine the steepest part of Wildcat’s Polecat or Stowe’s Sterling access roads and know that is the entirety of the way up Magalloway- steep, wide, rocky.

Emilie & Taylor on the first few paces of Coot trail

After a brief mile to the top, we arrived at the fire tower which awarded stunning views into Maine, Vermont, The Whites, and Canada. As someone who usually hates fire towers, it felt stable even in high wind and was so worth going up.

Firetower

The summit also had a sign to an outlook, which gave us incredibly cliff slide views looking down towards the Magalloway Slides which looked even cooler from above than on the road.

Firetower Views

In addition to the outlook and tower, there were also a handful of locked-up cabins up top which looked to have been unused for a long time.

The descent on Bobcat felt more like a hiking trail and did not contain anything technical, just a gradual moderately steep decline.


All and all, I was a huge fan of this hike and found it to be quite unique. We shockingly did not see any wildlife on the hike but did get to see two deer on the way out on the road.


After our hike, we cooled off in a nearby waterfall and tried to ignore the swaths of bugs as we intentionally and accidentally fell into the water while walking around the falls.

Garfield Falls (beware of potholes on Garfield Falls Road)

As always, the North Woods was a pleasure and I can’t wait to see more of it.

Summit sign

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