By Eric Yao
Tired of sitting at home on your computer all day? Want to go outdoors somewhere with not that many people? I present to you the Sugarloaf Mountain and the Northern Peaks Trail. It is a medium length, 6 mile trail that features beautiful wild flowers in the Spring. A part of the Blue Ridge mountain range, it also offers several areas for picnics.
Interestingly, Sugarloaf mountain was designated a World Heritage Site in 1969, and was the site of a battle in the Civil War, but it is still free to visit for everyone. The trail is moderately easy to hike, without too many bumps or steep ledges, as well as clear, color-coded markers that make sure you never get lost. At the summit, it also offers a scenic view of the farm land below, with the mountain towering more than 800 feet above the surrounding area. It is best to go in the Spring for the flowers, or in the Autumn for the orange and gold foliage, but going now in the winter is still great if you want to get some fresh air and exercise without bumping into too many people.
There is a good amount of parking, as well as a wide selection of 6 different trails of varying difficulties - with the white, green, yellow, red, and blue trails being moderately easy to scale, while the orange trail is always available for those who wish to seek a more challenging hike. As you can see above, the orange trail mostly consists of steeper, unpaved rocks.
All in all, Sugarloaf mountain is a very good hike, and also a safer option in this pandemic as there are less people here.