With boulder-coated mountains, tranquil lakes, amazing wildlife, and a peaceful seashore, New Hampshire is a playground for the whole family. We know that summiting Mount Washington with a toddler on your shoulders isn't the best plan for a successful family adventure, so we've picked out 20 New Hampshire adventures that everyone in the family, from babies to grandparents, can enjoy!
Mount Kearsarge: Enjoy a scenic car ride (or walk) up Mount Kearsarge, then take your time hiking the family-friendly 0.5-mile trail to the summit. The whole family can enjoy big views of surrounding mountains without breaking a sweat.
Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge: The easy walking trails and abundant wildlife make Great Bay the perfect place for little nature lovers. Walk quietly through a variety of habitats, listening and looking for reptiles, raptors, foxes, and more!
Pitcher Mountain Fire Tower: Looking for a short hike with big views of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts? Pitcher Mountain is the place. Choose between an easy 0.7-mile loop hike or a pleasant out-and-back hike to the 2,153-foot summit.
Arethusa Falls: If you're gonna chase a waterfall, make it the tallest one in New Hampshire! At 1.4 miles, the trail to these spectacular falls is definitely doable for a family day hike.
Mount Willard Hike: With gradually climbing trails, this 3.2-mile hike is a great first ascent for kids. With a visitor center (complete with a gift shop, restrooms, showers, and picnic tables) and a placid lake at the trailhead, you can easily make a day out of this fun adventure.
Zealand Falls: At a little over 5 miles round-trip on generally easy terrain, the hike to Zealand Falls is a great way to enjoy a day outdoors with the whole family. Add an extra tenth of a mile to your trek during the summer and fall months to stop by the AMC hut for a bathroom break and snacks!
Pack Monadnock: Choose your own adventure up Pack Monadnock: a rugged 2.8-mile loop or a more gentle out-and-back hike via the Marion Davis Trail. Either way, the whole family will be able to reach a classic Monadnock region summit with enough wind in their sails to enjoy the view.
Pawtuckaway State Park: With sparkling lakes, rolling mountains, and a 192-site campground, this 5,500-acre state park is an adventurous family's paradise. Hike to the fire tower on top of South Mountain for a bird's-eye view of the entire park.
Odiorne Point State Park: At this seaside park, the family will be able to enjoy so much more than just a day at the beach. Tucked along New Hampshire's coast, this recreation destination features hiking trails, a bike path, picnic areas, a playground, a boat ramp, and The Seacoast Science Center!
Bear Brook State Park: New Hampshire's largest state park boasts 10,000 acres, 44 miles of trails, and loads of opportunities for some family fun. You can hike up Catamount Hill for a scenic view, try for a fish at the kids-only fishing pond, or let loose in the park's playground, softball field, or open play area.
Welch-Dickey Loop: This 4.5-mile loop is an exciting hike for all ages. You'll have the chance to enjoy views from Welch Mountain and Dickey Mountain as you scramble over open granite slabs.
West Rattlesnake Mountain: Enjoy big, sweeping views of surrounding lakes from the wide summit of West Rattlesnake Mountain. The easy 1-mile hike to the top makes this a family-friendly adventure with a big payoff.
Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain: The great thing about this destination is that you can shape your adventure to whatever your family's up to...climb the steep but short trail to Artists Bluff, or Bald Mountain, or both! Have fun scrambling up the rocks and enjoy a picnic and sweeping scenery at either turnaround point.
Lake Solitude via Summit Trail: With 7 miles of scenic hiking, this out-and-back trail is a great way to spend the day enjoying the outdoors with the family. Follow the trail up and over Mount Sunapee and along the White Ledges before descending to Lake Solitude, where you can enjoy a mid-hike family picnic.
Seabrook Dunes and Beach: There's no better way to spend a hot summer day in New Hampshire than splashing in the waters at Seabrook Beach. Locals know that this beach is much quieter than the neighboring Hampton Beach, making this the perfect spot for kids to safely play in the sand and adults to relax and enjoy the sound of the crashing waves.
Pillsbury State Park: Sprinkled with history and loaded with scenic views and chances for wildlife watching, you could spend a whole day or a whole weekend exploring the family-friendly trails and peaceful ponds of this state park.
Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge: Play the quiet game for the chance to see deer, moose, bear, and birds (oh my!) as you creep along the easy, family-friendly trails at this wildlife refuge.
Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center: Have some family fun and an extra special experience at this unique Outdoor Center. In addition to 28 miles of public hiking trails, Great Glen offers bike rentals, mountain bike lessons, kayak and whitewater classes, and guided wildlife kayak tours.
Rainbow Falls: The easy, 0.6-mile scenic walk leading to the 25-foot Rainbow Falls is the perfect way to spend some time enjoying the outdoors with the family. The falls vary greatly with the seasons, so visit during the spring or after a heavy rainfall for a more impressive water show.
Mount Major Loop: Whether you're spending the weekend on Lake Winnipesaukee or just looking for a rewarding day hike, Mount Major is a must for hikers of all ages. The semi-strenuous 3-mile loop offers the chance to burn some energy and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding lakes.