This article will provide some information the best hikes in New Hampshire. Whether you are an experienced hiker or just want to try out a new activity, New Hampshire has a great variety of trails.
New Hampshire, the granite state, has some of the best hikes along the east coast of America. So let’s look at the top 25 hikes in New Hampshire.
Mt. Monadnock is an iconic mountain in southern New Hampshire. The mountain is known for its challenging hikes, stunning views, and rich history. There are a variety of hiking trails on Mt. Monadnock, ranging from easy to difficult. The most popular trails are the White Dot and White Arrow trails. The White Dot Trail is a moderate hike that is 3.4 miles long and takes about 2.5 hours to complete. The White Arrow Trail is a more difficult hike that is 5.2 miles long and takes about 4 hours to complete. Both trails offer stunning views of the surrounding area.
Appalachian Trail Across the Presidential Range
The Appalachian Trail Across the Presidential Range is a strenuous hike that takes you on a journey from Mount Madison to Mount Washington. The hike is just over 14 miles long and takes around 10-12 hours to complete. The hike climbs over 4,000 feet, so it is not for the faint of heart. The views from the top of the mountains are well worth the strenuous climb, though, so be sure to pack your camera along for this hike.
Starting at the Madison Springs Hut, the hike begins by climbing up to Mount Madison. The summit of Madison is just under 5,500 feet, so it is a good warm-up for the hike ahead. From Madison, the trail continues to Mount Adams, then to Mount Jefferson, and finally to Mount Washington. The summit of Washington is the highest point on the Appalachian Trail, at 6,288 feet. The view from the summit is simply stunning, with 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
This hike is not for beginners, but if you are an experienced hiker with a good level of fitness, it is worth a try. Be sure to pack plenty of food and water, as well as a map and compass, as the trail can be a little tricky to follow in some places.
Chocorua: Champney Falls Trail
Mount Chocorua is a 4,003-foot peak that rises from the town of Tamworth, New Hampshire. It’s the most prominent peak in New England’s the White Mountains and a popular hiking destination for those who live nearby or are visiting the area.
The mountain has two trails that lead to its summit: the Champney Falls Trail and the Chocorua South Trail.
Both routes are challenging and will get your heart pumping. But they’re also rewarding because they provide spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
Washington: Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
The Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail is a moderate hike that can be done in a day. It’s not too strenuous, but it does require a fair amount of climbing. The views along the way are pretty good, but the best ones are at the summit of Mount Washington. From there you can see Mounts Clay and Jefferson to the south, and even North Twin Mountain to the east.
The trailhead is located near the summit building at Tuckerman’s Ravine on Mt. Washington. The trail starts steep but soon levels out as it heads north along the side of Ammonoosuc Ravine. After about 0.5 miles you’ll reach a junction with the Huntington Ravine Trail. If you take this one instead of continuing on Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail then your hike will be shorter by about 0.2 miles (about 1/4 of a mile).
From here you’ll climb steadily for another 0.7 miles until you reach Route 16. Where you’ll cross over and head back down into another section of Ammonoosuc Ravine known as “The Gorge”. This section has some nice views as well, but not as many as near the top of Mount Washington itself
This easy hike starts at the Basin Parking lot and follows the Basin Cascades Trail. The hike is a little over 1 mile long and takes about an hour to complete. The trail is a moderate hike with some inclines and declines. The hike is a great introduction to hiking and is perfect for families.
Hiking the Mount Monadnock Trail
This is a difficult hike that is approximately 10 miles long. The hike takes about 6-8 hours to complete and is not recommended for beginner hikers. The hike is very steep with a lot of climbing, so be prepared for a strenuous hike. The views from the top of Mount Monadnock are well worth the effort though. As it is easily one of the best hikes in New Hampshire.
Franconia Notch Ridge Trail
The Franconia Notch Ridge Trail is a hiking trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The trail follows the ridge of the Franconia Range, from Mount Lafayette to Mount Lincoln. The trail is strenuous, with steep climbs and rugged terrain. The views from the ridge are outstanding, with views of the Franconia Notch, the Pemigewasset Valley, and the White Mountains.
Franconia Notch is a mountain pass through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. That lies between Mount Lafayette on the east and Mount Liberty on the west. Franconia Notch State Park, which surrounds the pass, is home to Old Man of the Mountain, a famous rock formation.
The notch was carved by glaciers during the last ice age. After they retreat from this region about 15,000 years ago, alpine lakes formed in what is now called cirques. These alpine lakes were dammed by glacial debris at their heads. As a result, water from these lakes escapes only through small openings in the moraines.
Franconia Notch State Park contains two trails for hiking: The Franconia Ridge Trail and The Falling Waters Trail.
Best Hikes in New Hampshire – Willard
Mt. Willard, located in Crawford Notch State Park, is an 8.2-mile round-trip hike that offers stunning views from the summit. The hike is moderate in difficulty, but the views are worth the effort.
The Mount Willard Trail is a challenging hike that offers spectacular views of Mount Washington. As well as, the Presidential Range, and the White Mountains. The trail is part of the Appalachian Trail and is located in Crawford Notch State Park.
The Mount Willard Trail begins at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center on U.S. Route 302. From there, you can either drive to the trailhead or park at Tuckerman Ravine Parking Area and hike in. The parking area is less than a mile from Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.
From the trailhead, follow a short spur trail up to the main AT route. Then turn right onto the Appalachian Trail (white blazes) for about 1/4 mile. Until reaching an intersection with the spur trail for Mount Willard (blue blaze). This spur trail leads up to the summit of Mount Willard, which is about 3 miles from where you parked your car in the Tuckerman Ravine Parking Area.
Kearsarge Rollins Trail
Mt. Kearsarge is the highest peak in the southern Presidential Range. They marked the summit with a fire tower, giving hikers a splendid view of the surrounding peaks. The best way to reach it is via the Rollins Trail, which is one of the most popular hiking trails in New Hampshire.
The trail starts at a parking lot on Route 118, just south of North Woodstock. From here, you’ll follow an old logging road up to a junction with the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail on your left (see photo below). Continue straight ahead on the Rollins Trail as it zigzags upward through some steep sections. And over several rocky outcrops before reaching the summit ridge at 0.8 miles from the start.
From here, it’s all downhill (or uphill if you’re coming down). Follow yellow blazes as they lead you along an exposed ridge with incredible views of Cannon Mountain, and Mount Washington. And other nearby peaks. Cross a few ledges and rock faces as you continue down to another junction at 1 mile into your hike. Where you’ll turn right onto an old logging road which becomes more.
Welch-dickey Trail, Waterville Valley
The Welch-Dickey Trail is a 3.7-mile loop and a section of the Appalachian Trail (AT). It runs through Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, and is one of the most popular hikes in the state. The trail has many outstanding features. Including views from alpine peaks, wildflowers, waterfalls, and ponds.
The Welch-Dickey Trail is part of the AT, which runs from Maine to Georgia. In New Hampshire, it travels through Franconia Notch State Park and the White Mountains. The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) manages this section of trail, which is open to hikers only (no bicycles or horses).
The Welch-Dickey Trail is in Waterville Valley Resort in central New Hampshire’s White Mountains region. The resort offers lodging options for all budgets. However, if you want to hike without staying overnight there are plenty of nearby hotels near exit 30 on Interstate 93.
Pawtuckaway Boulder Trail
The Pawtuckaway Boulder Trail is a moderate 0.8-mile hike in Pawtuckaway State Park in New Hampshire. The hike features several large boulders that can be climbed and provides superb views of the surrounding area.
This is a short hike, and it is easy. The trail leads to a series of boulders that are popular with climbers.
The Pawtuckaway Boulder Trail is a short walk that leads to a series of boulders popular with climbers. The trail begins at the parking lot on Route 101, just north of the junction with Route 28 in Salem, New Hampshire.
It runs along the shoulder of Route 101 for about one mile before turning into an old woods road and crossing over an old railroad bed. Keep an eye out for poison ivy on this section of the trail.
The trail then turns into a single-track hiking path through a thick forest until it meets up with another dirt road that leads to the boulders. There are several paths leading up to them; choose one and explore!
Thoreau Falls and Zealand Falls
Thoreau Falls is a moderate hike in the White Mountain National Forest near Lincoln, NH. The hike is approximately 2.5 miles round trip and takes approximately 2 hours to complete. At the start, the hike begins by following the Zealand River upstream, crossing a few small bridges before arriving at the falls. The falls can be viewed from a few different vantage points, with the best views from the top of the falls. There is a moderate amount of uphill hiking, but overall the hike is relatively easy.
Zealand Falls is a strenuous hike in the White Mountain National Forest near Lincoln, NH. This hike is approximately 5 miles round trip and takes approximately 4 hours to complete. And the hike begins by following the Zealand River upstream, crossing a few small bridges before arriving at the falls. The falls can be viewed from a few different vantage points, with the best views from the top of the falls. Be warned, the hike features a significant amount of uphill hiking, as well as a few steep sections.
Mount Willard Hike
Mount Willard hike is a great hike for those who are looking for a challenging hike with rewarding views. The hike is 8.2 miles round trip and has an elevation gain of 2,728 feet. And the hike begins at the parking lot for the Crawford Notch Visitors Center and follows the Avalon Trail. The hike is a strenuous climb, but the views from the summit are worthwhile. The summit offers stunning views of the Crawford Notch, the White Mountains, and the Saco River Valley.
Welch and Dickey Loop is a moderate 11-mile circuit around the two mountains. This hike features some of the best views of Mount Washington, plus several spots to stop and relax along the way.
The hike begins on an old logging road that winds through a dense forest. The trail splits at about 1/4 mile; stay left at both forks to follow the Welch-Dickey Loop.
The path will eventually pass by several ponds created by beaver dams, which are great places to stop and have a picnic lunch (or just enjoy the scenery). At 3 miles, you’ll reach a junction with the Scribner Trail. Head right here and continue up the mountain for another 2 miles to reach the summit of Welch Mountains (2,064 feet). From this point, you’ll have splendid views of Mount Washington and Franconia Ridge on clear days!
From Welch Mountains, head back down to your car or continue for another 1/2 mile to Dickey Mountain (1,800 feet). This smaller peak has excellent views too!
Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain
This pair of hikes is a lovely day trip from the White Mountains. The shorter hike to Artists Bluff has incredible views of the Franconia Range. While the longer hike to Bald Mountain features sweeping vistas of the Kinsman Ridge.
The shorter hike takes about 2 hours round trip, so you can easily do it as an out-and-back if you don’t have time for the long trek. And the trail starts at an easy incline through the forest, then becomes steeper as it moves up along Artist’s Bluff. The views here are stunning – the Franconia Ridge towers above you. And with Mount Liberty in full view on your left and Little Haystack on your right.
From here, it’s just a short walk to Artist’s Vista, where there is a rock outcropping that offers 360-degree views of Franconia Notch State Park and beyond. This area is popular among photographers because it makes for such great shots! And one of the top hikes in New Hampshire
Pitcher Mountain Fire Tower
The Pitcher Mountain Fire Tower Trail is a moderate hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The trail climbs steeply to the summit of Pitcher Mountain. Where hikers can climb the fire tower for stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
The trail begins at the parking area on the north side of the mountain. And the hike climbs steadily, switch backs up the steep slope. The trail is well-marked and relatively easy to follow. You can reach the summit of the mountain after about 2.5 miles of hiking.
From the summit, hikers can climb the fire tower for stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The view from the top of the tower is one of the best in the White Mountains. The trail down the mountain is much easier than the hike up and can be completed in about an hour.
The Pitcher Mountain Fire Tower Trail is a great hike for those looking for a challenging climb with rewarding views.
The Welch-Dickey Loop is a moderate hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. And the hike is approximately 8.8 miles long and takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete. They can access the trailhead from Route 116 in Thornton.
Welch-Dickey Loop hike offers hikers beautiful views of the White Mountains, as well as opportunities to see wildlife. And the hike is moderate, with a few steep sections. The trail is well-marked and includes several scenic viewpoints.
This hike is a great option for those looking for a challenging but rewarding hike in the White Mountains.
Mount Cardigan Via the Holt Trail Loop
This hike is 8.5 miles long and has an elevation gain of 2,700 feet. It is a loop hike that starts and ends at the same location. The hike begins by ascending Mount Cardigan via the Holt Trail. The Holt Trail is a moderate hike that is well-maintained and has a few wooden bridges. After reaching the summit of Mount Cardigan, the hike continues by descending the mountain via the West Ridge Trail. The West Ridge Trail is a difficult hike that is not well-maintained. It is a steep, rocky trail that requires hikers to use their hands for balance in some sections. The hike then concludes by ascending Mount Cardigan again via the Holt Trail.
This hike is a great option for hikers who are looking for a challenging hike with rewarding views. The Holt Trail is a moderate hike that is well-maintained. And provides hikers with great views of the surrounding area. The West Ridge Trail is a difficult hike that is not well-maintained, but it offers hikers some of the best views of Mount Cardigan.
Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge
The Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge is a great place for one of the best hikes in New Hampshire. The refuge is home to a variety of animals, including deer, bears, and coyotes. There are also several ponds and marshes, which make for a beautiful landscape. The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset, and there is no admission fee. It is a great place for cross-country adventures, beautiful wilderness, and one of the best Southern NH hikes.
Perfect for family-friendly destinations. And rivals some of the best hikes in San Diego, California.
Best HIkes in New Hampshire – squam lake
Squam Lake is a beautiful lake in the town of Holderness in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. The lake is a popular spot for fishing, swimming, and boating. There are also several hiking trails in the area that offer beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
Cannon Mountain is a 4,080-foot mountain in Franconia Notch State Park in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The mountain is home to the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway. Which takes visitors to the summit of the mountain. There are also several hiking trails on the mountain, including the popular Profile Trail.
The White Mountains are a mountain range in northern New Hampshire. The mountains are home to some of the most popular hiking trails in the state, including the Appalachian Trail and the Presidential Range.
Franconia Notch State Park is a state park in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The park is home to several popular things to do and see. And one of the top hikes in New Hampshire.
northern rail trail
The Northern Rail Trail is a Recreational Rail Trail in Coos County, New Hampshire. It is the longest rail trail in New Hampshire, and one of the longest in New England. The trail is open to hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.
The Northern Rail Trail begins at the Vermont border. And winds its way for 55 miles through the towns of Colebrook, Stewartstown, Clarksville, and Berlin. The trail follows the path of the former Montreal, Portland, and Boston Railway, which was abandoned in the 1980s.
Northern Rail Trail is a popular destination for hikers and mountain bikers. And the trail passes through many scenic areas. Including the White Mountain National Forest and the Androscoggin River Valley. The trail is also popular with equestrians, with several equestrian-friendly campsites along the route.
The Northern Rail Trail is open to hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.
The Northern Rail Trail begins at the Vermont border. And winds its way for 55 miles through the towns of Colebrook, Stewartstown, Clarksville, and Berlin.
Many great hikes in New Hampshire offer beautiful views of the mountains and forests. A great hike to check out is the Lonesome Lake Trail, which is in the Franconia Notch State Park. This trail is a moderate hike that is 3.8 miles long and it offers magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and Lonesome Lake.
Mount Washington Summit Trail
Another great hike to check out is the Mount Washington Summit Trail, which is in the White Mountain National Forest. This hike is a strenuous hike that is 6.6 miles long, and it offers superb views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Both hikes on Mt Washington are worth checking out if you are looking for a best hikes in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in the state and one of the most popular lakes in New England. The lake covers over 1,600 acres and is surrounded by mountains, forests, and beaches.
With so much to do around this beautiful lake, it’s hard to choose where to hike. Here are some of our favorite hikes in New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee area:
Mount Kearsarge-This hike offers stunning views of Lake Winnipesaukee from the summit of Mount Kearsarge in Gilford, NH. From the top of this easy-to-moderate hike, you can see across the lake to Mount Major and Mount Chocorua in Maine. On a clear day, you may even see as far as Mount Washington!
The Franconia Notch State Park-Located just outside Franconia Notch State Park. This trail offers several options for hiking including an easy loop along the Pemigewasset River. Or a longer hike up Garfield Ridge Trail that takes you to Franconia Ridge where you can enjoy panoramic views of Mt. Lafayette and Mt Jefferson!
Lincoln woods trail
The Lincoln Woods Trail is one of the most popular trails in New Hampshire’s the White Mountains. It’s also known as the Appalachian Trail, or simply “the AT,” and stretches from Maine to Georgia.
The Lincoln Woods Trail is a 2.6-mile walk with an elevation gain of 1,290 feet. Avid hikers can do this moderate hike in less than two hours, but it’s also a great trail for families with younger children. The Lincoln Woods section of the Appalachian Trail offers many scenic overlooks. And photo opportunities along the way.
While you’re hiking along this short stretch of trail, you’ll find several benches along the path where you can take a rest. And enjoy the surrounding scenery. If you continue on past this point, there are plenty more trails available for hikers looking for a longer hike. Or even just another day trip into the woods.
The Flume Gorge is a 3-mile hike along the Wild River that takes you into a canyon with walls of granite. The Wild River, a glacier-fed stream that flows over ledges and falls, formed the gorge, carving out a deep channel through solid rock.
It’s one of the most popular hikes in New Hampshire because it’s so close to major cities like Boston and Manchester. You can also visit during winter when there are fewer people on the trail (although it gets icy).
There you go, these are the best New Hampshire hikes. You don’t need to go camping in Yellowstone, or drive to Lake Louise in Canada to find fantastic nature. All these will lead to the most beautiful areas of New Hampshire. Or go on one of the best hike with your friends and family.
I hope this helped! Which of these best hikes in New Hampshire!