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The Co-NET Route
New Englanders can follow trail blazes from Long Island Sound all the way to the Canadian border, with the exception of a break in New Hampshire that can be overcome.  This blog describes a series of northbound natural history adventures, starting in Guilford, Connecticut, back in 2012 when the New England National Scenic Trail (NET) was still being flagged and cleared. The NET ends at the New Hampshire border, but other trails continue onward, including the M-M Trail and the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway. The northern end of the route consists of the Cohos Trail, which leads to the Canadian border at Fourth Connecticut Lake, the source of the Connecticut River. I call the route the Cohos-NET route, or Co-NET for short.

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This blog focuses on the natural history along the way: the geology, plants, human history, and surrounding communities, all of which change dramatically from south to north. It is dedicated to all the trail volunteers who have worked on the route, in some area for decades, and to the private landowners who allow the trails to cross their property. Your efforts are appreciated. Thank you!

You don't need to be a hardcore thru-hiking backpacker to complete a route like this. In fact, the New England Trail isn't even set up for backpacking. Most of the route has no legal camping sites and few water sources.  This blog is an example of how regular working people with families, hectic schedules, and common health issues (plantar fasciitis, anyone? ) can squeeze in a hike here and there and eventually discover that they have hiked across an entire state. It may take years, but I find it's more rewarding than a series of random loop hikes. Progressing north, I did get to the point where the drive was too far for day hiking.  By this time the kids were young adults, so my husband and I started taking long weekend vacations, sometimes preceded with an overnight backpacking trek on my part. Our mini-vacations progressed northward over the years and were great fun, each location new and a bit further north.

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