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 Blueberries On Bayle - 7/21/16 
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 Blueberries On Bayle - 7/21/16
We interrupt your regularly scheduled Acadia update to bring you...BLUEBERRIES!! :D

Yesterday the plan was to take the kids to White Lake to keep cool for the day, but they ate all the blueberries in the house so I decided to make them sweat for some more! :twisted: Conveniently on the way to White Lake State Park you go right by the Ossipees, which are usually loaded with berries. Bayle Mountain also had a forest fire on it's summit recently, and fire regenerates the berry bushes, so I had my fingers crossed this little diversion not far off route 16 would be both full of berries and away from the crowds that pick other mountains like Major and Roberts clean relatively quickly. The Bayle Mountain Trail is steep and lightly used, and the bugs were bugging (but not biting) so the combo of 85 degree heat, bugs and poor footing made for some slow going, but the promise of berries (Lord I better be right about this I kept thinking!) kept them climbing, and at the first ledges the first berries appeared! Not just a few clumps here and there mixed in with green berries like we had in Acadia, but bush after bush of nothing but big, fat blue berries, so we started our picking and the kids commenced filling their mouths.

Follow logging roads until you see the cairn of the trail
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The trail up Bayle is short but steep and rugged
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Getting to the good stuff near the lower ledges
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The first berry...
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...followed by many...
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...many...
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...many more! :D
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My kids were thrilled with the find, but the open summit ledges above I thought would be the real jackpot, so we finished the last chunk of trail and as soon as we hit the open top of the mountain dozens of birds cleared out and left us with bush after bush of berries! :shock: Fully ripe with barely a green one in sight and they looked like nobody had ever picked a single one! The kids already made up their mind it was the best hike ever and were super excited to be able to bounce from bush to bush. I don't know if it was always like this or if the fire did indeed give them a boost, but it was just overflowing with berries, and the flattish open ledges let the kids wander freely to feast and pick while still staying in sight. We spent about half an hour up there filling a little bucket in the breeze, and me taking in the nice views that were secondary to the berries yesterday. Even a nice view of White Lake with the White Mountains as a backdrop for the cherry on top!

Now we're getting to the really good stuff
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Checking out what careless campers can do
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Bingo!! I got Bingo!!
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So many berries, so little time
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Heading for the top...
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...where nice views of the fellow Ossipees can be had...
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...as well as the Whites to the north...
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...Conners Pond and Ossipee Lake...
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...and even our next stop, White Lake
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But first they wanted to pick all the berries they could
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Finally with the bucket overflowing and wanting to get into the water we made the quick descent back down to the car and headed for the nearby lake, where we spent the rest of the afternoon swimming, picnicing and eating a bunch of the berries. A perfect way to spend a hot summer day. We may go back and try it again this weekend, either returning here to harvest some more or maybe going to Foss Mountain and seeing what that's like. Or if anyone reads this and has other can't miss suggestions I'm all ears. I know we left millions of berries here for anyone else interested in such a hike. The Belknaps, Ossipees, Acadia and others have their spots but I've really never seen anything like this for blueberries, and oh I almost forgot, it's a solid little hike away from the crowds too! :D

Successful haul off the mountain
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Nothing left to do but head for the water
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Nicest lakefront beach in NH??
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View of Bayle from said lake
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Nice cool down after the hike
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Life is good!! :D
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We stuck it out until sunset. Just too nice to leave
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Said sunset and the Sandwich Range. Great end to the day
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Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:33 pm
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