Best Hiking Trails in the White Mountains National Forest of New Hampshire

by on January 18th, 2011
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Spring is here, and the weather is slowly getting better in New England. If you’re planning a vacation to the White Mountains National Forest of New Hampshire this spring for hiking or camping, right now is the best time to start making plans for your adventure.

Plan a fun day of hiking and taking in the beautiful scenery surrounding the White Mountains. If you have children, this would be a great chance to plan a family getaway to family-friendly destinations in the White Mountains. Hiking is an environmentally educating experience for children, as well as a healthy way to spend time together as a family.

The White Mountains are also a great place for couples, groups, or solo hikers to get away and enjoy nature.

You will find some of the oldest hiking trails in the Northeast in the White Mountains National Forest and a rich history along the Appalachian Trail. You will also find plenty of places to camp out if you plan to turn that day hike into a weekend getaway. With temperatures remaining cool to mild during the spring, the weather is perfect for a trip to the mountains.

Always remember to check your local weather reports for the area before venturing out on a hiking trip for the day or the weekend. Know where the local ranger stations and district offices are for the area you plan to be in, and stay up to date with any weather or animal alerts. The information you can find with local authorities can help you prepare for problems in wilderness areas.

Boulder Loop Trail

Boulder Loop Trail is a 3.1 round-trip loop that takes you deep into the woods of New Hampshire and perfect for a day hike or camp out if you plan to camp along the trail. The average time for this hike is two to four hours, and it’s rated as an easy to moderate hike. Elevation in this area can reach 1750 feet.

This hike offers amazing views from the top of the ledges – views of Mount Passaconaway, Mount Chocorua, and Middle Sister. You can get an excellent view of the valleys surrounding the mountains on a clear day.

The Boulder Loop trailhead is located on the Kancamagus Highway. Be careful with this area when you venture out on your hike, as the Kancamagus is a heavily traveled highway for tourists and locals. If you plan to camp out here, follow the signs to designated camping spots or to the Covered Bridge Campground. Remember to keep the trails of New Hampshire clean and carry out anything you bring in.

Lincoln Woods Trail

The Lincoln Woods Trail is considered to be the easiest hiking trail in the White Mountains National Forest and also the most popular with hikers. The trail itself is 2.9 miles in length and takes about two and a half to three and a half hours to complete. This area reaches an elevation of about 1157 feet and is considered an easy hike.

The trail is a main route for the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River. Not only is the area popular with hikers, but fishermen and mountain bikers also enjoy the access to the river and biking trails in this area. This is also a family-friendly trail and a good walk for young hikers. Due to its popularity, be sure to be aware of others on the trail and make room for bikers.

Glen Boulder Trail

Glen Boulder, which is visible to travelers along Route 16, is a trail along the mountainside in Pinkham Notch. The trail is 1.6 miles in length and makes its way up to Glen Boulder. The trailhead has an elevation of 1975 feet, and the top of Glen Boulder is at 3729 feet. This trail should take about three hours to complete for an inexperienced hiker and is considered moderate.

The trail is a steep climb to the top and leaves Route 16 from the Glen Ellis Falls Parking area. While hiking, you will make your way above the treeline at a low elevation. Along the way, you will also pass two trail junctions, cross brooks, and walk along open rocks on your way to the top. The views along this trail alone are worth the trip.

Be cautious of frequently changing weather the higher you go on this trail. Even in the summer, the weather can get really bad quickly. Exercise caution, wear proper clothing and shoes, and make sure you turn around if you think the weather is too bad to continue.


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