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The Best Hiking in Northern New Hampshire

Hiking the White Mountains in New HampshireThere are many amazing hiking trails for all skill levels in the North Country. The following is by no means an all-inclusive list, but some of our favorite hikes that we want to share. For additional information on hiking in the New Hampshire White Mountains, check out New England Hiking. This site has a comprehensive list of all the New Hampshire 4,000 footers as well as one of our favorite hiking lists - 52 with a View

When hiking in the New Hampshire White Mountains, it’s always important to keep an eye on the weather, especially if you choose a hike with an exposed summit as the weather in the White Mountains can change quickly. The New Hampshire Appalachian Mountain Club offers several links to weather resources and trail conditions here.

North Country Hiking Trails

Mount Morgan and Mount Percival Loop Trail
Distance: 5.2 miles
Elevation: 2,220 ft & 2,212 ft
Trailhead: Located off of Route 113, Holderness/Sandwich

This five-mile hike packs in varied terrain and outstanding views of Squam Lake and Lake Winnipesaukee. For those looking for a little adventure, the ladders and caves are a must to check out (note: you can skip both if that’s not your thing!). This trail is fairly well known and can be busy on the weekends. Both peaks are on the 52 with a View list.


Welch-Dickey Loop Trail
Distance: 4.4 miles
Elevation: 2,605 ft & 2,734 ft
Trailhead: Located off of Orris Rd in Thornton, NH

The traverse of Welch and Dickey is a classic New Hampshire hike that offers amazing views from an almost two-mile open ridgeline. You’ll be rewarded with great views of Waterville Valley.

Lonesome Lake Trail
Distance 3.1 miles
Elevation gain: 1,026 ft
Trailhead: Lafayette Place Campground parking lot, Exit 34B off of I-93 South

If you are looking for a short hike in the White Mountains but want to enjoy incredible views of the Franconia Range, head to Lonesome Lake! You’ll also be able to relax at the Lonesome Lake Hut. Part of the AMC hut system, it is the second lowest altitude hut in the White Mountains.

If you’re up for something more challenging, continue on to North and South Kinsman Mountains (4,293 feet, 4,358 feet) via the Fishin’ Jimmy Trail to the Kinsman Ridge Trail. The hike is fun but rated as difficult. Note that there are no views from South Kinsman.

The Flume Gorge
A wonderful family friendly destination in the heart of the White Mountains, the Flume is a natural gorge rising to a height of 70 to 90 feet. Wooden boardwalks and stairs create gentle walking paths so you can safely enjoy the natural beauty of the park. There is an entrance fee for adults, children five and under can visit for free. For the most up-to-date park information, visit: www.nhstateparks.org/visit/state-parks/flume-gorge

Mount Flume and Mount Liberty Loop
Distance: 9.3 miles
Elevation: 4,328 ft & 4,459 ft
Trailhead: Located in Lincoln. Park at the Flume Gorge and follow the bike path to the trail head.

Hikers flock to Franconia Notch to hike Mount Lincoln and Lafayette, and rightfully so as the exposed ridgeline is one of the most beautiful trails in New Hampshire! But if you’re looking for a few less people, a great trail and far-reaching views, you might want to head to Mount Flume and Liberty. We recommend going up the Flume Slide Trail and down the Liberty Spring Trail. Both peaks are on the New Hampshire 4,000 Footers list.

Visit http://4000footers.com/flume.shtml for more information.

Mount Moosilauke via the Beaver Brook Trail
Distance: 7.6 miles
Elevation: 4,802 feet
Trailhead: Located off of Route 112 in North Woodstock, NH

This is truly one of our favorite hikes in New Hampshire! The trail is rated as very difficult and can often be very slippery around the falls, especially after periods of rain. The summit is a beautiful mix of grassy fields and exposed rock, rewarding you for all your hard work on the way up. After your hike, stop at the Woodstock Station for refreshments and a bite to eat. During the summer, they offer outdoor dining!

NOTE: An alternative hike would be to start at the Ravin Lodge off of Route 118 near Warren, NH and take the Gorge Brook Trail. Still challenging, it is an easier approach to the summit. Visit http://4000footers.com/moosilauke.shtml for more information.

Mount Garfield
Distance: 10 miles
Elevation: 4,500
Trailhead: Located off of Gale River Loop Road (about 6 miles north of Franconia Notch on Route 3)

Number 17 on the New Hampshire 4000 Footer list, Garfield is one of our favorite hikes in the North Country because of the rocky summit that offers incredible views all the way to the Twin Mountain range as well as to Franconia Ridge. The Garfield trail is fairly gentle for the 4000 footers and is rated as easy by New England Hiking. Please note the last part of the hike does get steep, right at the Garfield Ridge trail. There is a cool old stone foundation at the top where you can seek a little shelter from the gusty winds. Visit http://4000footers.com/garfield.shtml for more information.

Franconia Falls via the Lincoln Woods Trail
Distance: 6.8 miles
Elevation 210 ft
Trailhead: Lincoln Woods Parking area (about 5 miles on the Kancamagus highway from Lincoln)

Franconia Falls is a very popular and very busy trail, but if you’re lucky enough to visit mid-week it’s often less crowded. The walk to the falls is long but gentle and the start of the trail will bring you across a beautiful suspension bridge. Pack a lunch and enjoy the cascades of Franconia Falls before heading back to your vehicle.

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