The Best Hiking Locations in New Hampshire
White Mountains and Beyond
There is nothing like the clean, crisp New Hampshire air and the solemnity and beauty of nature in all of its unspoiled grandeur. If you have not had the chance to experience New Hampshire, you are certainly missing out. Some of the best hiking trails and camping spots can be found in the White Mountain region of the Granite State. Ski resorts transform in the spring and summer from their primary purpose to host a variety of summer activities including rafting, hiking, mountain biking and so on and so forth. If you are an avid hiker, there are ample trails available, uncluttered by large numbers of tourists. If you are an experienced hiker, there are myriad routes which are seldom traversed. In the following sections article, some of the best hiking locations will be highlighted. So, if you are planning a trip to New Hampshire this summer to experience the great outdoors, or are inspired by the mere thought, check it out!
North Twin Mountain
This peak should be attempted by hikers with at least some experience as it is at the edge of the Pemigewasset wilderness. The best route to take for the first time up the mountain is the North Twin trail which has a convenient parking lot at the base and is the shortest route to the summit. It may appear deceptively easy at first because the first two miles is an old railway grade. At various points during the early to mid stage of the trek you must cross a riverbed. If the snow melt is particularly strong (usually in early Spring) look out for rapid currents. For you nature lovers, this is the closest you can come to some genuine White Mountain wilderness. Having breached the summit, you overlook miles of untamed green, areas still untouched by the modern world.
Franconia Notch State Park
This area of the White Mountains is perhaps best know for being the former home of the famous “Old Man of the Mountain”, whose visage is imprinted on most New Hampshire license plates. One great advantage to hiking in this region is that it is relatively accessible to major highways. Route 93 meanders through the region meaning that a day trip from Massachusetts is entirely doable. There are a few good trails to follow and if you are a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, this state park does have lodges to stay in. One popular destination is Lonesome Lake which stands about 1000 feet above Franconia Notch. The pristine waters are a perfect place to have lunch and enjoy the scenic landscape. Another point worth highlighting is Kinsman Falls which offers an easy, and entertaining short hike along a babbling brook and finally ending at the Rocky Glenn Falls.
Lincoln Woods is situated near the quaint ski-town of Lincoln, New Hampshire. Known for Loon Mountain in the winter, the spring and summer still offer some excellent opportunities for enjoying nature. The trails at Lincoln Woods are not for the faint of heart. Some measure out to about 9 miles in total. Hikers should take more precautions and take the time to plan ahead. If you would like to make it a two day affair, the Appalachian Mountain Club does have huts to stay at if needed. The terrain is strenuous at times and can be extremely rocky in places. Bring quality footwear and make sure everyone in your group (assuming you are a social creature) knows what they are getting in to. The reward; however, is spectacular. The views as you near the summit are absolutely fantastic. The panorama gives you a complete view of the White Mountain region. If you came for the White Mountains, you will find it all right here..
While this peak is not in the White Mountains, it is too good to not mention. Nestled near the idyllic and quintessential New Hampshire town of Dublin, Mt. Monadnock towers above the region. Monadnock roughly translated means a solitary mountain, and that’s just what it is. This hike is perfect for beginning and intermediate hikers. If the family is looking to come along, this might just be the best all around fun experience for the whole gang. The White Dot trail is about 4.5 miles to the summit and can be readily accomplished as a day trip, even if you are traveling from a neighboring state. The mountain itself is easily accessible from route 101. For a more scenic approach, the White Cross trail will suffice. Either way, Mt. Monadnock is a must climb for hikers of all abilities (even just to say you have done it). This peak is one of the most frequently climbed in the country. As such, avoid the weekends if you want a more solitary experience