7 Best Day Hikes In White Mountains, Lincoln

hiking in white mountains
| 4 min read

Across north-central New Hampshire and a small part of western Maine, the majestic White Mountains that extend for 87 miles (140 km) can be found. As one of the definitive places to see and experience the American great outdoors, the White Mountains is a perfect vacation spot with all the splendor and wonder that it can bring. Lincoln, a New Hampshire town in the White Mountains also offers plenty of activities just like any other place in this northern part of the Appalachian Mountains system. Discover the mountains through land and water with a guaranteed panoramic view. Although there are many things to do in the area, hiking is an essential way to spend your time. From worry-free walks to the harder hikes, here are the best day hikes in White Mountains, Lincoln, that you can try.

1. Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail-Kenduskeag Trail junction
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user AlexiusHoratius used under CC BY-SA 3.0

No, it’s not the whole Appalachian Trail that extends from Georgia to Maine with a length of 2,189 miles (3522.9 kilometers). It would take months to complete the trail! In Lincoln, the Appalachian Trail that passes through the White Mountains is a hiking route that only extends from Beaver Brook to South Peak. About 8.6 miles (13.8 kilometers) of the challenging trail will take you to wonderful nature views of the White Mountains. It will take an estimated two and a half hours hike for one way through the trees, mountain elevation, lake, and even waterfalls. Expect cascading trail through waterfalls and a summit with a panoramic view from all sides of the surrounding nature in Lincoln’s very own Appalachian Trail.

Appalachian Trail in Lincoln, New Hampshire

Address: Beaver Brook is at 117 Ridge Rd, Hollis, NH 03049, USA

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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2. White Mountain trails

White mountains new hampshire
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ford used under CC BY 2.0

White Mountain National Forest with its 750,582 acres (303749.759 hectares) length spans from New Hampshire to a little region in Maine. As one of the towns in New Hampshire, Lincoln has access to the forest and also the 100-miles (161 kilometers) long White Mountain Trail. The White Mountain Trail goes from North Woodstock to the Kancamangus highway, Conway and then Lincoln. Some trail parts of the route can be a destination for hiking or trekking. From the Kancamangus highway, Greeley Ponds Trail is accessible as one of the White Mountain Trails in Lincoln. About 7 miles (11.2 kilometers) of forest area leads to two ponds, Upper Greeley and Lower Greeley Pond. Another trail that leads up to a pond is Sawyer Pond Trail with a hike if 3.1 miles (4.9 kilometers). You can have a picnic, fish, or even swim in The White Mountain ponds. For a harder trail, Hancock Loop Trail with 9.8 miles (15.7 kilometers) can offer a memorable hike with brook crossings and a breathtaking view at the end through the dual peaks.

White Mountain trails in Lincoln and nearby

Address: Greeley Ponds is at Livermore, NH 03251, USA. Sawyer Pond is at Livermore, NH 03251, USA. Hancock Loop is at Lincoln, NH 03251, USA

Website: White Mountains

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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3. Forest Discovery Trail

White Mountain National Forest - panoramio (4)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jiaqian AirplaneFan used under CC BY 3.0

In the White Mountain National Forest, lies Discovery Trail or Forest Discovery Trail. A walk through the 1.4-miles (2.2 kilometers) woods will take you through the “working forest” which offers wood, water, wildlife, clean air, and scenic and recreational opportunities. Take the self-guided booklet and hike the forest that can give visitors an education on ecology. Taking it slow by walking, checking out trees such as red spruce and balsam fir or take it up a notch and do some trail running. Gaze upon the forest, from emergent that reach the skies to the lowest part of the trail in the forest floor. You can also find all kinds of animals such as birds, insects, reptiles, deer, fox, and even bears!

Forest Discovery Trail

Address: 71 White Mountain Dr, Campton, NH 03223, USA

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 4:30pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: 5 USD onwards

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4. Lonesome Lake Trail

Lonesome Lake Trail, NH - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user matt.a used under CC BY 3.0

Hiking the 3.25 miles (5.2 kilometers) trail will give you beautiful views of the surrounding area including Franconia Ridge from the famed Franconia Notch with an elevation that pleases the eye. Circling the Lonesome Lake and through the steep uphill trail, an ending in the form of a pristine lake view will be a reward to those who hike and complete. Trail signs and yellow blaze will make navigation easy. Camping can be done beside the lake and of course, plunging in for a swim is allowed. It can get quite crowded, especially on weekends.

Lonesome Lake Trail

Address: Lincoln, NH 03580, USA

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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5. Indian Head Trail

Indian Head
Source: Photo by user Glass_House used under CC BY-ND 2.0

This is a longer hike than Lonesome Lake Trail with a distance of 3.6 miles (5.7 kilometers). Start the journey from an open field, continue through a parkway, and then prepare for a steep and also rocky trail. Follow the creek bed if you can’t find markings as the trail follows the area. Hikers will be rewarded by the view of the beautiful forest with streams and cool wind blowing across the face to keep you motivated. Rest or have a picnic at the summit slab while enjoying the view from the Indian Head including Mount Lafayette as a background of your triumphant hike.

Indian Head Trail

Address: 664 US-3, Lincoln, NH 03251, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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6. Greenleaf Trail

Greenleaf Hut and Old Man of the Mountain
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Andrew Weinert used under CC BY-SA 3.0

With Franconia Range that spread across Lincoln and beyond, three remarkable summits of the range can be accessed through the Greenleaf Trail. Little Haystack (4840 feet or 1475.2 meters), Mount Lincoln (5089 feet or 1551 meters), and Mount Lafayette (5260 feet or 1603.3 meters) are the big three. The trail, along with Greenleaf Hut was named after the hotel proprietor Colonel Charles Henry Greenleaf. If you want to reach one of the mountain summits, it can be done through the Greenleaf Trail. For example, to reach Mount Lafayette a 6 miles (10.2 kilometers) hike must be made to reach the top. You will pass a river, and walk through the evergreens, encounter an open field before you reach the summit. With three mountains to choose from, you can hike a challenging 8.9 miles (14.3 kilometers) trail, that will make you cross all the three mountains, and therefore, experience all.

The Greenleaf Trail

Address: Franconia, NH 03251, USA

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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7. Franconia Ridge Trail

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

With almost 9 miles (14.4 kilometers) of the wonderful loop trail, the challenging Franconia Ridge Trail is a hike around the 3 summits that include Little Haystack, Mount Lincoln, and Mount Lafayette. Yes, this great White Mountain trail passes through the Greenleaf Trail and also the three summits. From Old Briddle Path and Greenleaf Trail that leads to Little Haystack summit, continue north through a tree-lined path.

Franconia Ridge Trail

Address: Franconia, NH 03251, USA

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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Heed the call of White Mountains

Majestic White Mountains in Lincoln calls you. Get a glimpse of the Appalachian Trail, learn about nature through the forest, conquer trails and mountains, find a lake to relax by, and view the natural wonders of the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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A freelance journalist and writer currently based in Bali, Indonesia with a keen interest on timeless pieces and globally relevant issues. Writing everything and doing odd jobs is my means of living.

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