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Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England

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08.01.18

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Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England

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  • The summit of Camel's Hump.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Looking north along the summit ridge from the top of Camels Hump.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • The junction of the Dean and Monroe trails en route to the top of Camels Hump.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • The route through the trees on Mount Mansfield.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Nearing the top of Mount Mansfield and looking out.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Approaching the alpine zone on Mount Mansfield.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Overlooking Stowe Mountain Resort from the summit of Mount Mansfield.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • One of the perks of taking the Long Trail route to Mount Ellen is getting to hike through Mad River Glen.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Rungs to assist hikers ascend steep portions of the trail along the Long Trail.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • A view west toward Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains of New York from the Orvis Lookout.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • The chairlift marks the unofficial top of Mount Ellen. The actual summit is wooded with no views.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • View north from the top of Mount Ellen to the peaks of Camel's Hump and Mount Mansfield beyond.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • A view west from Mount Ellen toward the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • A cascading waterfall just off the Hedgehog Brook Trail.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • A view south to Mount Ellen near the summit of Burnt Rock Mountain.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • One of the steeper inclines on the Long Trail en route to Burnt Rock Mountain.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Cannon Mountain ski slopes as seen from Artists Loop and Bald Mountain hike.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Heading up the Mount Major Loop Trail above the first view.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Lake Winnipesaukee from the summit.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Be sure to make frequent stops to enjoy the views to the south from Cadillac Mountain.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Pack a lunch to enjoy at the top of Cadillac Mountain, you won't regret it!- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Gorgeous Maine forest.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Mount Katahdin.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • View from Hamlin Peak.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Pamola Peak.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Baxter Peak.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • The trail up to Mount Wachusett passes along the edge of the ski area.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • The Orange Vista Trailhead.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • A bent tree at the lookout trail intersection along the Orange Vista Trail.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • The southern lookout on the Vista Trail.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Devil's Oven in the mountain along the Vista Trail.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Chapman Falls on the Vista Trail.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
  • Sunrise over the Mad River Valley from the Long Trail.- Outdoor Project Staff Picks: 10 Favorite Hikes in New England
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Team

Anyone who has laced up their hiking boots in this corner of the country knows that there's a charm to this region unlike anything else out there. Small towns, rich history, welcoming communities, miles and miles of trails, and some incredibly beautiful seasons make this region a hiker's haven in the truest sense. From the peaks of the Green Mountains and the Presidential Range to the rugged coast and many pristine state parks scattered throughout, I believe that New England should be on every outdoor enthusiast's to-do list, especially for those with an affinity for exploring nature by foot. 

As a kid growing up in Vermont with an addiction for skiing, hiking was originally a way to explore my favorite ski slopes once the snow melted, so you'll notice that most of my hiking picks below are close to or even within resort boundaries. Hiking quickly blossomed into a passion that's followed me wherever I go, but I will never forget those first family hikes up to Camels Hump every spring or trekking up Mad River Glen and Mount Ellen every fall for some unparalleled leaf-peeping adventures with friends.

Here are 10 of my favorite hikes in New England. Happy trails, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! If you need me, you know where I'll be. 

1. Camels Hump via the Monroe Trail (Vermont)

At 4,081 feet, Camels Hump is the third highest peak in Vermont and one of the most recognizable due to its shape and proximity to both Burlington and Montpelier. This 6.8-mile round-trip hike gains 2,583 feet of elevation and is quite steep in places, so be ready for a scramble.

2. Mount Mansfield via Sunset Ridge Trail (Vermont)

At 4,393 feet, Mount Mansfield is the highest point in the Green Mountains and Vermont, and it is home to Stowe Mountain Resort and local-favorite Smuggler's Notch. The Sunset Ridge Trail is a 3-mile exposed route to the peak with incredible views of the surrounding valleys that reach all the way to Burlington, Lake Champlain, and New York.

3. Mount Ellen via the Long Trail (Vermont)

Mount Ellen, home to Sugarbush Ski Resort, is one of only five peaks in Vermont to surpass 4,000 feet in elevation. Near its summit, great views can be had of the Green Mountains, Mad River Valley, Lake Champlain, and New York’s Adirondack mountains. 

4. Burnt Rock Mountain via Hedgehog Brook Trail (Vermont)

Standing at 3,168 feet, Burnt Rock Mountain is a smaller but beautiful peak in the Green Mountains just south of the more prominent Camels Hump. The trail offers a little bit of everything, from stream and small brook crossings and steep rocky climbs with wooden stairs to granite scrambles and grand vistas in all directions. 

5. Artists Bluff and Bald Mountain (New Hampshire)

Artists Bluff is a moderate, beginner and family-friendly hike in Franconia Notch State Park that rewards hikers with a gorgeous view. There are a few options for hiking here, including an out-and-back hike to either Artists Bluff or to Bald Mountain, or a loop to do both.

6. Mount Major Loop (New Hampshire)

Mount Major rises up on the south side of Lake Winnipesaukee and is part of the Belknap Range. This is a popular hike for families and beginners, though some will still find it to be a moderately strenuous hike due to some steep grades. 

7. Cadillac Mountain via the South Ridge Trail (Maine)

Cadillac is the tallest mountain in the Acadia region, and it is one of the first places in the United States to receive light during the sunrise. It's a beautiful hike in Acadia National Park that gives you great views of both rolling hillsides and the harbor.

8. Mount Katahdin via the Knife Edge and Hamlin Ridge Trails (Maine)

Looking for the best hike in the Northeast U.S.? Look no further than Katahdin, the roof of Maine. Tree line is reached quickly, and all trails leading to its seemingly endless summit ridge and plateau are great. This classic loop takes you to Baxter Peak (5,267 feet) and Hamlin Peak (4,756 feet) via the scenic Knife Edge and Hamlin Ridge Trails.

9. Mount Wachusett (Maine)

Mount Wachusett is the highest peak in Massachusetts east of the Connecticut River and a well loved hiking spot for those nearby. From the summit you can see Monadnock to the north, Boston to the east, and Mount Greylock to the west.

10. Orange Vista Trail (Connecticut)

The Orange Vista Trail is an approximately 2-mile trail loop of moderate difficulty that gives visitors a great introduction to the park and a fantastic valley vista lookout to the south. It is a popular hiking destination for visitors throughout the year, and it offers a variety of trail options for all levels of experience. 

 

The 10 hikes above are just a sampling of the adventures to be found throughout New England. Although these are a great starting point, I highly recommend taking a look at the full array of hikes in each of New England's states to get a full taste of what this region offers:

 

#WhyIHike Photo Contest with Eddie Bauer

You can get involved by taking photos and videos from the trail all summer long and posting them to Instagram or Twitter and tag @eddiebauer #contest #whyihike through September 30, 2018.

Each month, Eddie Bauer's panel of judges will select 25 semifinalists who will receive a $100 Eddie Bauer gift card and be entered into the competition to win the grand prize.

At the end of the contest period, one grand prize winner will choose between a trip to Kauai, Yosemite or Whistler, BC, for an all-expenses paid hiking adventure of a lifetime. Read the full details and rules here.

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Published in collaboration with Eddie Bauer

Innovation, quality and an appreciation of the outdoors: The passions of our founder, Eddie Bauer, remain the cornerstone of the Eddie Bauer business today. In conjunction with innovative design and exceptional customer service, Eddie Bauer offers premium-quality clothing, accessories and gear for men and women that complement today's modern outdoor lifestyle. Whether it's classic outerwear, legendary down or casual denim and khakis, Eddie Bauer offers a full range of styles to complete the casual wardrobe. Rediscover Eddie Bauer, a legend in American sportswear, at one of the approximately 370 stores throughout the US and Canada, through seasonal catalogs or by visiting eddiebauer.com.

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