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Cox Pinnacle, Brunswick

Updated: Feb 17

This trail includes Brunswick's highest point (a.k.a "pinnacle") at 350 feet above sea level. It's no Katahdin, which is 5,269 feet above sea level, but it is much easier to get to.

Last week I was home with my kids after Henry had a positive COVID test and Finn had some symptoms. Quarantining with kids can be a mixed bag. It provides some extra quality time, which I usually enjoy because I really like my kids. It can also drive you bananas if you're unable to get outside. With extreme cold temps and too much screen time for too many days, both of my kids had some serious energy to burn. We resorted to my "go to" for this sort of thing - get 'em outside on a hike.

Cox Pinnacle was a bit of a drive from Portland, but it was one of the last few trails I had to explore before reaching 100 (trails, not years). So off we went, with a small bribe of some McDonald's fries after the hike. And for the record, there is usually a bribe involved in hiking with my kids. Although they always end up having fun, it's not their first choice. They'd rather just be playing outdoors with friends, or doing anything with friends for that matter. It's all ok and very age appropriate. Still, I believe that hiking is good for kids and I'm sticking with it. That top of a mountain feeling is hard to replicate anywhere else.

Back to Cox Pinnacle. Before we talk about this trail, let's explore the name. It's a funny one and did give me pause when I first discovered it. I looked up the two words in the old Merrian-Webster and here is what I found:


1. Short for coxswain: a steersman of a racing shell who usually directs the rowers


1. A high mountain top

2. The best or most important part of something: the point of greatest success or achievement

I'm still not sure what this trail has to do with rowing crew, but I get the pinnacle part. I also appreciate the fact that someone took the time to build a large, stone pyramid on this pinnacle that lives at the top of a small hill.

This trail includes a 1.25 mile, moderate loop of forested hills and wetlands. The 103 acre park provides space for hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and dog walking. Although dogs must be on leash at all times.

After parking in the lot on Hacker Road, you will find yourself on a very long foot bridge.

From here, head counter clockwise along the loop. It's pretty quiet here. We only saw one other person as we were leaving.

This trail will eventually wind you along and upward to the pinnacle. That said, I was looking at my All Trails GPS, which did not show a trail leading up to the pinnacle, so we forged our own. Over this icy rock.

Once we reached the rock pyramid marking the pinnacle, we could clearly see a path leading up to it, had we not been so impatient. Or maybe we just wanted the adventure of climbing rock.

From the pinnacle, the loop follows down to the left and circles back to the parking lot.

If I didn't have a 100 trail list to tackle, we probably would have opted for a hike closer to home. Still, new places and experiences are always a breath of fresh air...which the boys got, along with some snowballs down the back of the jacket, and some laughs. We're always better for being outside.


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