The sun is out and the White Mountains’ natural beauty in the season deserves to be explored. The Granite State is home to some scenic and sometimes challenging hiking trails, so grab your water bottle and your friends and hike New Hampshire’s peaks. We have refreshing suggestions for you to explore from a Waterville Valley Basecamp:
Welch Dickey Loop
A 4-mile loop trail that will surprise you by the number of open ledges and scenic views you encounter during the walk. Pick some blueberries along the way or maybe gather some wildflowers along the trail, summer does have its perks. Right in our backyard and one of the best in all of New England!
Formed by a glacial waterfall, the Basin is the kick-off for this 2-mile hike. Spend a little time viewing beautiful waterfalls and there are large rocks, perfect for family picnics. The trail leads you to Lonesome Lake, with a great view of Mount Lafayette.
Cascade Brook pumps the water running down the small cascades and waterfalls you’ll find on your way. This is an easy 1-mile hike that you can also take from the Basin Cascade Trail and end up with a nice swim in the Falls natural pool. They’re not very high so it should be calm enough to relax and enjoy!
A 3.2 mile hike, this is a kid friendly trail. It begins at Crawford State Park, behind the train station, and most of it is covered by the trees. It features a waterfall and a stunning view of Crawford Notch at the summit. Dogs are more than welcome on this trail!
Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
Embraced by the Ammonoosuc River and its waterfalls, this 4-mile trail takes about 7 hours round trip to do. You can either point towards the Mount Washington summit or Mount Monroe, the first being the most popular (it is, after all, the highest peak in the State).
The adventure begins at the end of Arethusa Falls Road. You can either choose to take the Bemis Brook Trail, a longer side loop, or the Arethusa Falls Trail. A simple 3 mile round trip hike, once you get to the base of the Cascade you will understand why this is usually referred to as the tallest accessible waterfall around. It’s also a perfect option for starters.
Franconia Notch Ridge Trail
One of National Geographic’s nominated best hiking trails in the world, this loop is one of the most popular in the State. You start off with a steep rock staircase beside the water. After crossing stunning waterfalls with breathtaking views reaching above the tree lines make it worth the physical effort of the 9 mile hike. Once up there, you’ll find three mountain ranges to cross: Mount Little Haystack, Lincoln and Lafayetteand looking down will make you feel amazing.
Red Hill Fire Tower
The Red Hill Fire Tower is located in Moultonborough and owned by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. The trail gives you a steady climb through a forest setting. A 3.3 mile hike, it is not as steep as other trails and its family friendly. Keep an eye out for wild life including moose, deer and many species of birds. The summit provides a 360-degree view of Lake Winnipesaukee and Squam Lake as well as other mountains.
Appalachian Trail across the Presidential Range
Among 48 4,000 footers, this is an overwhelming 23 mile hike with an elevation that leads you to the clouds. It’s a great challenge for adventure seekers, who must be in good shape and aware of the weather and terrain conditions they might be facing. However, the reward is crossing 10 peaks, from Mt. Adams, to Eisenhower and Mt. Jackson, and having intimate contact with nature.
The most western of the 4,000-foot summits in the White Mountains, Moosilauke is the tenth highest peak in the White Mountains. Its 4,802 feet allows hikers on the top to have a 360-degree view of Vermont’s Green Mountains, Franconia Ridge and the Kinsmans. It’s a 7.5 mile relatively steep hike and you should get an early morning start.