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20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire

05.22.18

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20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
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  • Ice and snow linger well into the summer in Tuckerman Ravine.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Above the clouds on Mount Washington. - 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Above treeline on Mount Washington, also part of the Presidential Traverse. - 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Looking down on Mount Madison from the top of Mount Adams on the Presidential Traverse.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Wide, well-maintained trail on West Rattlesnake Mountain.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Panoramic view from the overlook on West Rattlesnake Mountain. - 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Arethusa Falls.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Trail to the Pitcher Mountain fire tower.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • View of a pasture from the Pitcher Mountain Trail.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Picnic table with a view on Mount Kearsarge.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • The water is stained a rust color by tannins at Kinsman Falls.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Rapids below Kinsman Falls.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Pondicherry Rail Trail.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • The northern Presidential Range from the Shore Path at Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • A rocky section of trail on Mount Chocorua.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Chocorua towering over the cabin. - 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Several lakes can be seen from the top of Mount Chocorua.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Stone steps on the trail to Welch Mountain.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • One of the many viewpoints along the Welch-Dickey Loop.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • The boardwalk along the southern edge of Lonesome Lake.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Mount Willard summit.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • View from the Red Hill fire tower.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Mount Monadnock in the distance, as seen from Pack Monadnock.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Nearing the top of the Holt Trail on Mount Cardigan.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Looking down the steep slab on the Holt Trail on Mount Cardigan.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Summit plateau of Mount Moosilauke.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • View from South Carter.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • The first view along the Signal Ridge.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • Surrounded by mountains in the Mount Carrigain fire tower.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • The 4,459-foot summit of Mount Liberty with Mount Lincoln in the background.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
  • View from the summit of Mount Liberty.- 20 Must-Do Hikes in New Hampshire
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Contributor

New Hampshire is a pretty spectacular state when it comes to outdoor recreation, especially when you consider there are over 4,000 miles of hiking trails to choose from! The Granite State provides opportunities for all ages and fitness levels, from family-friendly strolls to waterfalls to full-day climbs to the highest points around. It’s hard to beat the beauty and thrill of a day in the White Mountain National Forest or the scenery and serenity of the state parks and other preserves. If you’re looking for a New Hampshire hike you won’t soon forget, choose your experience level and check out these 20 must-do adventures! The easier hikes are family friendly and great for all ages and abilities, whereas the challenging hikes should only be attempted by those with proper experience, fitness, and gear.

Choose your hike, pack the essentials, and recreate responsibly!

Easier Hikes

  • West Rattlesnake Mountain: 2 miles | 450 feet of elevation gain | Panoramic view overlooking Squam Lake
  • Arethusa Falls: 2.8 miles | 827 feet of elevation gain | More than 140-foot waterfall with beautiful fall foliage
  • Pitcher Mountain: 0.7-mile loop | Gradual ascent on an old road | Blueberry picking along the trails
  • Mount Kearsarge: 1 mile | Moderate, rocky terrain | Fire tower and bald summit with 360-degree view
  • Kinsman Falls: 1 mile | Beautiful waterfall with a deep pool | Popular swimming hole
  • Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge: Variable mileage | Mostly level terrain | Incredible views of the northern Presidentials, wildlife viewing, bike path
  • Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain: 1.5-mile loop | 300 feet of elevation gain | Family-friendly hike with views of Cannon Mountain and Franconia Ridge

Moderate Hikes

  • Mount Chocorua via Liberty Trail: 7.8 miles | 2,502 feet of elevation gain | Hike and scramble your way to a lower elevation summit that feels like a high peak
  • Welch-Dickey Loop: 4.5 miles | 1,807 feet of elevation gain | Two summits, rock scrambling, and many viewpoints
  • Lonesome Lake Trail: 3.2 miles | 1,040 feet of elevation gain | Some steep terrain to a beautiful lake with view of Mount Lafayette
  • Mount Willard: 3.2 miles | 985 feet of elevation gain | Steady, moderate ascent leads to a dramatic view in Crawford Notch
  • Red Hill Fire Tower: 3.4 miles | 1,350 feet of elevation gain | Gorgeous 360-degree view from the fire tower overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee
  • Pack Monadnock: 2.8 miles | 840 feet of elevation gain | Steep, rugged terrain on Wapack Trail | Summit picnic area and views, nearby raptor-viewing
  • Mount Cardigan’s Holt Trail: 5 miles | 1,800 feet of elevation gain | Rock scrambling and rugged terrain lead to an open view

Challenging Hikes

  • Mount Washington via Tuckerman Ravine: 8.2 miles | 4,238 feet of elevation gain | New Hampshire state highpoint and alpine summit
  • Presidential Traverse: 26 miles | 4,989 feet of elevation gain | A challenging, full day above treeline that traverses 11 of New Hampshire’s highest mountains
  • Mount Moosilauke: 7.8 miles | 2,342 feet of elevation gain | Scenic hike to an open, alpine summit
  • The Carters: 14.4 miles | 3,305 feet of elevation gain | Three peaks, views, and option to stay at Carter Notch Hut
  • Mount Carrigain via Signal Ridge: 10 miles | 3,257 feet of elevation gain | Fantastic views from the ridge and fire tower
  • Mount Flume + Mount Liberty Loop: 9.8 miles | 3,099 feet of elevation gain | Hit two 4,000-footers for great views of surrounding peaks and fall foliage 

Looking for more New Hampshire adventures? Visit NH is a great resource to learn about this beautiful state and how to best explore all that it has to offer!

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156 Adventures Explored
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Published in collaboration with Visit New Hampshire

For a truly authentic New England experience, come to New Hampshire. We are a four-season, year-round vacation destination ideal for every type of traveler, whether on vacation, on holiday or living right here. Visit our quaint shops and galleries, scenic state parks and historic sites, sparkling lakes and sandy beaches, the tallest mountains in the Northeast, three National Scenic Byways, and traditional festivals and open-air markets. There is so much to see in the Granite State, you'll want to visit again and again.

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