New Hampshire Hiking Trails

northern presidential rangeThe Presidential Range. Mt. Washington. The White Mountain National Forest. Franconia Notch State Park. The Pemigewasset Wilderness. The list goes on and on. Fact is, New Hampshire is a tiny state with enormous hiking opportunities. The only problem here is deciding which hike to do next. Hopefully our selection of New Hampshire hiking trail reviews can help you decide. If there’s a trail you’d like to see us cover, please drop us a line and let us know — we have trouble picking too!

9-winslow-trail-lookout

Winter Hike Mt. Kearsarge Via the Winslow Trail

Mt. Kearsarge via the Winslow Trail is the perfect beginner trek for those new to winter hiking. Whether young or young at heart, it’s the right combination of short and sweet with a few strenuous steep sections mixed in to test those snow legs and acclimate to winter traction. The open summit offers outstanding views with the opportunity to experience harsh winter winds without prolonged exposure. For experienced winter hikers, Mt. Kearsarge offers a quick getaway and a good early season hike.

Hancock Overlook View

The Mt. Hancock Loop Trail Hike

The Hancock mountains, named after our nation’s forefather with the infamous signature, offer an enjoyable day hiking adventure with dual peaks on the White Mountain 48 list of 4,000 footers. Due to numerous brook crossings, this hike is best served after the snowmelt swell has subsided and at times of low precipitation. I found it fits nicely as a fall foliage excursion.

Osceola Summit View of East Osceola

Hike Mount Osceola from Tripoli Road

Despite being hard to spell, Mt. Osceola features two peaks on the White Mountains Four Thousand Footers list, a moderately challenging trail filled with rock-hopping fun, trance-inducing views of the Sandwich Range Wilderness, and a steep chimney climb to get the heart pounding. What’s not to love about this hike?

First glimpse of the fire tower atop Mt. Cardigan.

Hike Mt. Cardigan Via the Holt Trail

The short, ominous option to the right was the class three Holt Trail, and it was the reason we came. Under the Yosemite Decimal System, class three is characterized by scrambling, necessary handholds, and falls that could “easily be fatal.” Hey, if we were going to drive three hours to a mountain we’ve already hiked once before, we might as well make it worth our while.

Kinsman Ridge Trail Sign

Spring Hike Cannon Mountain

Cannon Mountain marks our first spring hike in the White Mountains, and I was pretty excited about it. The warmer weather, the sunny skies, the ditching of snow pants: I couldn’t wait to get out there. There had been some tales of somewhat difficult spring trail conditions tossed about, but how bad can a little melting snow be?

Webster-Jackson Trail Viewpoint

Winter Hike Mt. Jackson via the Jackson-Webster Trail

5.2 miles round trip 4-6 hours Weekend Warriors Ben and I pulled off Rt. 302 just south of the AMC Highland Center at 9:45 am. Even in the dead of February with a winter storm watch going into effect later

New Hampshire’s Top Ten Peaks

New Hampshire's ten highest peaks (elevation in feet) using the AMC's rule where each peak must rise at least 200 feet from the low point of a connecting ridge to a neighboring summit are:

1. Washington, 6,288
2. Adams, 5,774
3. Jefferson, 5,712
4. Monroe, 5,384
5. Madison, 5,367
6. Lafayette, 5,260
7. Lincoln, 5,089
8. South Twin, 4,902
9. Carter Dome, 4,832
10. Moosilauke, 4,802

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