10 Best Hikes In New Hampshire

Blessed with the White Mountains range, the state of New Hampshire is the go-to destination amongst many adventurers. Featuring miles and miles of trails, hiking in New Hampshire is the best way to take in all of its wilderness. From rocky trails for the experienced ones to simple trails for family hiking, New Hampshire lets everybody enjoy its outdoors. Hiking with kids in New Hampshire is made easy by the likes of West Rattlesnake Mountain trails and Pitcher Mountain Trail. While you will have to sweat out hiking along paths like Presidential Traverse Trail, you may bask in serenity at the end of Arethusa Falls trail. Take a look at these 10 best hiking trails in New Hampshire that will make you lace up your boots to enjoy some adventure.

1. Mount Willard Trail: The family-friendly trail of NH

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Mount Willard is one of the best White Mountains day hikes in New Hampshire. It is an out and back trail, measuring 3.2 miles long. Although it has an elevation gain of just 905 feet, it is considered to be moderate for beginners since the path is quite rocky throughout. However, it is worth walking the rocky trail, for the views as seen from the top are simply breathtaking. The trail also features a lovely waterfall. Under proper guidance, kids can also enjoy hiking along the Mount Willard Trail. You may even get your four-legged friend along the hike as the trail is dog-friendly.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Time taken to complete the hike: 1-2 hours

Best time to hike: April to November

2. Presidential Traverse Trail: A challenging hike in NH for the adventurers

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Making its way through 11 of the highest peaks in New Hampshire, the Presidential Traverse Trail is a long and strenuous trail. The point-to-point trail is 39.7 miles long, has an elevation gain of more than 16,800 feet, and is highly recommended only to experienced hikers. While the trail is favorable for a backpacking trip, it is famous for a one day hike. Start off as early as 4:00 AM and you will be able to complete the hike in a day. As the name of the Presidential Traverse Trail suggests, it covers all the peaks named after a US President in the White Mountains. Since most of the trail is above treeline, you are treated to panoramic vistas at every step of the Presidential Traverse Trail.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Time taken to complete the hike: 1 day

Best time to hike: May to September

3. Arethusa Falls via Bemis Brook Trail: A hike to the highest fall in NH

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If you are looking for hiking trails in NH with waterfalls, then the Arethusa Falls trail is your best bet. Take the Bemis Brook Trail and you will have the privilege of viewing two more lovely waterfalls, besides the Arethusa Falls along the hike. Measuring around 2.7 miles, the Arethusa Falls via Bemis Brook Trail has an elevation gain of more than 850 feet. Although it is a rocky trail featuring tree roots, this moderate trail can be hiked by even kids with little assistance. It is one of the best hikes in New Hampshire to venture into the wilderness of the state.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Time taken to complete the hike: 1-2 hours

Best time to hike: June to October

4. Mount Chocorua via Piper Trail: A trail that gradually gets challenging

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Featuring many trails that lead to the summit, Mount Chocorua stands amongst the best hiking spots in New Hampshire. The Piper Trail, in particular, is a favorite amongst many when it comes to hiking the summit of Mount Chocorua. Laced through tall trees on either side, this out and back trail is about 8 miles long and has an elevation gain of more than 2,400 feet. The trail starts off on an easy note and then becomes challenging as you start approaching the top. Upon reaching the peak, you will be greeted with mesmerizing vistas. While hiking along the trail, you may even spot a variety of wildlife.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Time taken to complete the hike: 4-5 hours

Best time to hike: April to September

5. Mount Monadnock via White Dot and White Cross Trails: A steep scramble in NH

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Mount Monadnock is a great option to go hiking in Southern NH. Hiking along the steep scramble of the White Dote and White Cross Trails, you get to enjoy the best of climbing to the bald summit of Mount Monadnock. It is a loop trail in the Monadnock State park, about 3.7 mile long, with an elevation gain of around 1,760 feet. Being steep in nature, it is considered to be a difficult hiking trail. Featuring lovely wildflowers, the trail also offers the opportunity of rock climbing and spotting different species of birds.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Time taken to complete the hike: 4-5 hours

Best time to hike: April to November

6. West Rattlesnake Mountain via Old Bridle Path and Ridge Trail: A scenic hike in NH

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The West Rattlesnake Mountain hike is amongst the best easy hikes in New Hampshire. Stretched for a total distance of about 2 miles, this trail overlooks the beautiful Squam Lake and offers picturesque views of the many islands that are nestled at the foot of the West Rattlesnake Mountain. Starting from the Old Bridle Path, you then traverse along the Ramsey Trail, the Pasture Trail, and then the Ridge Trail to reach the summit.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Time taken to complete the hike: 30-60 minutes

Best time to hike: Year-round

7. Pitcher Mountain Trail: The most kid-friendly hike in NH

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The Pitcher Mountain Trail is another one of the easy hikes in New Hampshire. The loop trail is just 0.6 miles long and hardly has an elevation gain of about 240 feet. The short hike leads to stunning 360-degree views. Pitcher Mountain Trail is beautified by lovely wildflowers and surrounding lush greenery. Being favorable for all skill levels, it is ideal to get your family for hiking along the trail. You may even walk your dog here provided you keep it on a leash.

Difficulty Level: Very easy

Time taken to complete the hike: 30-45 minutes

Best time to hike: Year-round

8. Lonesome Lake Trail: Hike along a lovely lake in NH

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The Lonesome Lake Trail is in the Franconia Notch State Park - a place known for lovely vistas. Considered to be one of the best lake trails, this one cannot be missed when hiking in New Hampshire. It is a 3.1 mile loop trail, that is not only favorable for hiking but also lets you enjoy camping in the wild and snowshoeing in the winter. With an elevation gain of about 1,000 feet, the trail is considered to be moderate for beginners. Wildflowers and wildlife are common sightings at the Lonesome Lake Trail.  

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Time taken to complete the hike: 2-3 hours

Best time to hike: May to October

9. Mount Washington via Tuckerman Ravine: A muse of the experienced hikers

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The Tuckerman Ravine Trail to Mount Washington is about 7.9 miles long. Although the loop trail is said to be heavily trafficked, it is recommended only to experienced adventurers. With a significant elevation gain of more than 4,000 feet, the trail leads you to Mount Washington which is the highest point in New England. Besides hiking, this trail also lets you enjoy rock climbing, snowshoeing, as well as skiing in winter.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Time taken to complete the hike: 6-7 hours

Best time to hike: March to October

10. Red Hill Fire Tower Loop Trail: The hike with gorgeous views

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Tucked away in tall woods and verdant forest, the Red Hill Fire Tower Loop Trail places you right in the heart of nature. Measuring 3.3 miles long, with an elevation gain of about 1,300 feet, it is a trail that sees moderate traffic. The trail features a lovely lake and is dotted with scenic views. Being well-maintained, the Red Hill Fire Tower Loop Trail is good enough for hikers of all skill levels. Not to miss are the vistas as seen from the fire tower.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Time taken to complete the hike: 2-3 hours

Best time to hike: April to November

Which hiking trails in New Hampshire do you love the most? Let us know in the comments

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Usually lost in a reverie, Ketki is someone who absolutely refuses to live in the practical world. While she has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, she should be honored mastery in procrastination ...

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