10 Best Hiking And Trekking Spots In New Hampshire, USA - Updated 2021

hiking in new hampshire

Unleash the inner explorer in you when you visit New Hampshire. This state, which is located in the New England region in the northeastern part of the United States, is famous for its natural landscapes such as rivers, lakes, islands, serene valleys, and mountains. All are begging to be visited and explored. It’s also quite common for locals and international visitors to travel across the nation to pay a visit to this place and fulfill their mission to hike or trek on one of the nature parks here. If you think you’re one of those people, then you might want to keep reading this article to find out about the best hiking and trekking spots in New Hampshire, USA. Take out your hiking boots and plan your next holiday here!

1. Mount Monadnock

Mount Monadnock - New Hampshire
Source: Photo by user Doug Kerr used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Meet one of the most frequently climbed mountains in the world and find out what previous hikers have raved about when you get to the top. The 360-degree view over New Hampshire’s scenery is the perfect reward after the effort of climbing Mount Monadnock. Due to its popularity among outdoor enthusiasts, there are several hiking trails that you can try such as the 110-mi-long (180-km) Metacomet-Monadnock Trail and the 50-mi-long (80-km) Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway. You don’t have to hike the whole way - Section 7 is only 10 mi (16.09 km) long. The hike is pretty challenging as it’s rocky, so you might want to be careful when traversing the trail.

Mount Monadnock

Address: Jaffrey / Dublin, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States

2. Holts Ledge via Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail, Newfound Gap Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee-North Carolina Border
Source: Photo by user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This 3.4-mi-long (5.5-km) hiking trail is quite popular for those who are fans of outdoor activities. The track is considered moderate, and as you hike the path, you can look around and admire the wildlife you will see along the way. Holts Ledge via Appalachian Trail has also become a popular place to do activities all year, from hiking to snowshoeing. If you’re planning to visit Holts Ledge, you can also take your dog with you - just always make sure that they’re on a leash for their safety.

Holts Ledge via Appalachian Trail

Address: 4-22 Grafton Turnpike Rd, Lyme, NH 03768, United States

3. Champney Falls Trail

This location got its name from the famous White Mountain landscape painter, Benjamin Champney. A background that looks like a painting is what you will see when you hike Champney Falls Trail. Many people love to come here since the path is considered easy and you can finish it with minimal effort. The distance is also short, only around 3.6 mi (6 km) for a round trip, and you will be surrounded by lush nature and end up at the magnificent waterfalls.

Champney Falls Trail

Address: Kancamagus Highway, North Conway, Conway, New Hampshire

4. Mount Willard Trail

Prepare to see a magnificent view of Crawford Notch when you go on a hike to Mount Willard. It is a 3.2-mi (5-km) round trip hike and it is not that difficult. Plus, there will be so many photo opportunities as you hike up to the top because the views get more beautiful the higher up you go. As you reach the summit, you will feel that all of your efforts are rewarded because you will catch sight of Mount Willey and Mount Webster in front of you. As a bonus, you will also see the magnificent Crawford Notch.

Mount Willard Trail

Address: Crawford Notch State Park, near Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

5. Franconia Ridge Trail Loop

AT - Franconia Ridge
Source: Photo by user Paulbalegend used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The hike here will go through Mount Lafayette, Mount Lincoln, and Little Haystack. A cemented path will show a sign that will provide you with useful information about the journey. Then the 9-mi (14-km) hike starts, so you need to make sure that you are ready since the journey will be quite difficult, although doable even for those planning to bring their dogs. The elevation of the path can be quite steep in some areas. Still, the view is very rewarding, not only from surrounding areas that you will see at the top but also because you will pass through Cloudland Falls - a pleasant place to cool down and relax.

Franconia Ridge Trail Loop

Address: White Mountain National Forest, near Lincoln, New Hampshire

6. Basin-Cascades Trail

There are two options for Basin-Cascades Trail. A short, 1.6-mi (2.5-km) loop or a longer one that starts at Pemi Trail and goes for 0.7 mi (1.2 km) from the basin, and continues for another 1.2 mi (2 km) along Cascade Brook Trail before winding back to Basin-Cascade Trail. These trails are considered easy, so dogs and children are also welcome to tag along. You might have to be careful with stray roots poking out from the ground and some wet spots. As you hike the trail, you will be treated with colorful nature views and waterfalls galore. Bring your phone or camera, but take note that you might run out of space in your phone storage from all the photos you will be taking!

Basin-Cascades Trail

Address: Franconia Notch State Park, near Lincoln, New Hampshire

7. Thoreau Falls Trail

If you’re planning to hike on Thoreau Falls Trail, you might need to prepare yourself since the trail is considered moderately difficult and runs for 18.6 mi (30 km) long. When you arrive at the waterfalls, you will be able to relax and have a wonderful time cooling down with your group before preparing for the journey back.

Thoreau Falls Trail

Address: White Mountain National Forest, near Bethlehem, New Hampshire

8. Bear Brook Trail

Bear Brook CCC Camp 01
Source: Photo by user Magicpiano used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located inside Bear Brook State Park, Bear Brook Trail is one of the most popular hiking tracks that people go to when in Allenstown. Although it’s more popular among cyclists and running enthusiasts, you can also have a nice hike and immerse yourself in nature. There are 9 different trails that you can do in the park, and the lengths vary from 2.6 mi (4 km) to 7.8 mi (12.5 km).

Bear Brook Trail

Address: Bear Brook State Park, 61 Deerfield Road, Allenstown, New Hampshire

9. Welch-Dickey Trail

Welch Dicky Loop
Source: Photo by user Steven Isaacson used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Welch-Dickey Trail is a well-known hiking destination for the people of New Hampshire and even for the people of New England. Even though the track is quite difficult, visitors still come here to spend a half-day or a full day walking through the lush forests that lead to the top of the mountain. It usually takes around three hours to finish the hike. If you’re familiar with the area and the 4.1-mi (6.5-km) loop, you might be able to finish it in good time. If you want to get to the trail, it starts from the parking area after turning right from Orris Road.

Welch-Dickey Trail

Address: Orris Rd, Thornton, New Hampshire

10. Mount Washington (from USD 350.0)

This is the mountain that requires caution, and it’s not only because of its status as the highest peak in the northeastern part of the United States, with a height of 6,288 ft (1,917 m) but also because of its reputation for experiencing bad weather. You will need proper preparation before climbing Mount Washington to avoid any unfortunate situations or accidents. The distance from the camping area to the peak is around 3.5 mi (6 km) long, and the path is actually quite moderate. But, given the weather, things can turn ugly unexpectedly, so you will need to be careful and remain alert.

2-Day Hiking Excursion: Mount Washington Ascent

Duration: 2 days

Pack your gear and prepare to enjoy the view

Whether you’re a local in New Hampshire or a visitor, it can be quite hard to resist the temptation to see the best of this state’s natural beauty. Especially with some of these hiking trails that can be explored no matter the season. Have you decided which of these trails will be your next hiking destination?

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Elmo believes that visiting (at least) one new place every year would broaden knowledge, or simply makes the heart grow fonder (that if you still have one, of course). Seeing new places and...Read more

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