13 Best Hikes in New Hampshire

If you’re on the hunt for some of the best hikes in New Hampshire, you’ve landed in the right spot. From challenging mountain treks to leisurely walks through stunning landscapes, New Hampshire offers something for everyone.

Let’s lace up our boots and dive into the top trails you absolutely need to explore!

Mount Willard New Hampshire
Mount Willard

New Hampshire Hiking

Hiking in NH

New Hampshire is a hiker’s paradise. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started, the state’s diverse trails offer a variety of experiences. 

Picture yourself on top of a mountain, taking in panoramic views, or walking through lush forests with the sound of birds chirping around you. That’s what hiking in NH is all about.

Best Time to Hike in New Hampshire

When is the best time to hit the trails? Honestly, any time of the year! Each season brings its own charm. Spring and summer are perfect for wildflower spotting and enjoying warmer weather.

Fall? Oh, fall is magical with its vibrant foliage! And if you’re up for a winter adventure, many trails offer fantastic snowshoeing experiences.

Best Hikes in New Hampshire

Best hikes in New Hampshire

1. Mount Monadnock

  • Google Map Location: Mount Monadnock
  • Trail Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
  • Trail Length and Duration: 4.4 miles round trip, 3-4 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1,800 feet
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring to Fall
  • Parking Information: Large parking area at the base, $5 fee

First up, Mount Monadnock. This gem is one of the most hiked mountains in the world. The 3,165-foot summit offers incredible views of the surrounding area. The trails vary from moderate to challenging, making it perfect for both families and experienced hikers.

Mount Monadnock best hike in NH
Mount Monadnock

2. Franconia Ridge Loop

  • Google Map Location: Franconia Range
  • Trail Difficulty: Hard
  • Trail Length and Duration: 9 miles round trip, 6-8 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 3,900 feet
  • Best Time to Visit: Late Spring to Early Fall
  • Parking Information: Lafayette Place Campground parking, $3 fee

Looking for a challenge? Franconia Ridge Loop is calling your name. This 9-mile hike offers some of the best views in New Hampshire. The ridge walk is absolutely breathtaking, especially during sunrise. Just be ready for a tough climb – but trust me, it’s worth every step.

Franconia Ridge Loop
Franconia Ridge Loop

3. Mount Washington

  • Google Map Location: Mount Washington Trailhead
  • Trail Difficulty: Hard
  • Trail Length and Duration: 8.4 miles round trip, 6-10 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 4,280 feet
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer to Early Fall
  • Safety Tips: Be prepared for severe weather changes, and bring extra food and clothing.

You can’t talk about hiking in New Hampshire without mentioning Mount Washington. Known for its erratic weather, this trail is not for the faint-hearted. However, those who brave the climb are rewarded with some of the most spectacular views in the Northeast. Make sure to check the weather and come prepared!

Mount Washington one of the best hikes in New Hampshire
Mount Washington

4. Arethusa Falls

  • Google Map Location: Arethusa Falls Trailhead
  • Trail Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Trail Length and Duration: 2.8 miles round trip, 2-3 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 800 feet
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring to Fall

For a change of pace, Arethusa Falls is a must-visit. This relatively easy hike leads you to one of the tallest waterfalls in New Hampshire. It’s a great spot for a picnic, and the falls are a sight to behold, especially after a rainy spell.

Arethusa Falls
Arethusa Falls

5. Welch and Dickey Loop

  • Google Map Location: Welch-Dickey Trailhead
  • Trail Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Length and Duration: 4.4 miles round trip, 3-4 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1,800 feet
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring to Fall

If you’re looking for a moderate hike with stunning views, the Welch and Dickey Loop is perfect. This 4.5-mile loop offers panoramic views and is particularly beautiful in the fall. The rocky terrain can be a bit challenging, but it’s a great way to spend a day outdoors.

Welch and Dickey Loop
Welch and Dickey Loop

Family-Friendly Hikes in New Hampshire

6. Mount Willard

  • Google Map Location: Mount Willard Trail Head
  • Trail Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Trail Length and Duration: 3.2 miles round trip, 2-3 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 900 feet
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring to Fall

Mount Willard is a fantastic family-friendly hike. It’s only 3.2 miles round trip and offers breathtaking views of Crawford Notch. The trail is relatively easy, making it a great choice for families with kids or anyone looking for a shorter hike.

7. West Rattlesnake Mountain

  • Google Map Location: West Rattlesnake Mountain Trailhead
  • Trail Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Length and Duration: 2 miles round trip, 1-2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 450 feet
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring to Fall
  • Parking Information: Free parking is available along Route 113.

For a quick and rewarding hike, check out West Rattlesnake Mountain. The trail is short, only about 2 miles round trip, but the views of Squam Lake are spectacular. It’s perfect for a quick morning or afternoon outing.

West Rattlesnake Mountain
West Rattlesnake Mountain

8. Diana’s Baths

  • Google Map Location: Diana’s Baths
  • Trail Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Length and Duration: 1.3 miles round trip, 1-2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 200 feet
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring to Fall
  • Parking Information: $5 fee for parking at the trailhead.

Diana’s Baths is another great family-friendly destination. The hike is very easy, and the series of small waterfalls and pools are perfect for a relaxing day out. Kids love playing in the water, and it’s a wonderful spot for a picnic.

Diana’s Baths
Diana’s Baths

Scenic Hikes in New Hampshire

9. Artist’s Bluff

  • Google Map Location: Artist’s Bluff Loop Trailhead
  • Trail Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Length and Duration: 1.5 miles round trip, 1-2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 450 feet
  • Best Time to Visit: Fall
  • Parking Information: Free parking at the Echo Lake Beach parking lot.

Artist’s Bluff is a short hike with a huge payoff. The views of Echo Lake and Franconia Notch are postcard-perfect. It’s only about 1.5 miles round trip, making it a quick but unforgettable experience.

10. Mount Chocorua

  • Google Map Location: Mt. Chocorua Liberty Trailhead and Parking
  • Trail Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
  • Trail Length and Duration: 8.4 miles round trip, 5-7 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 2,600 feet
  • Best Time to Visit: Late Spring to Fall

Mount Chocorua is one of the most photographed mountains in New England, and for good reason. The 8.4-mile round-trip hike offers stunning views from the summit. It’s a bit of a challenge, but the rocky peak and surrounding scenery are absolutely worth it.

Mount Chocorua hike
Mount Chocorua

11. Mount Kearsarge

  • Google Map Location: Mt Kearsarge Trailhead
  • Trail Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Length and Duration: 6 miles round trip, 3-5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring to Fall

Mount Kearsarge offers a moderate hike with fantastic views. The 6-mile round-trip trail is popular for its ease of access and the rewarding panoramic views from the top. It’s a great hike for a sunny day.

Mount Kearsarge
Mount Kearsarge

Best Day Hikes in New Hampshire

12. Bald Mountain and Artist’s Bluff

  • Google Map Location: Bald Mountain
  • Trail Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Trail Length and Duration: 2 miles round trip, 1-2 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 450 feet
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring to Fall
  • Parking Information: Free parking at the Echo Lake Beach parking lot
  • Safety Tips: Be cautious near cliff edges, bring a camera for the views!

For a perfect day hike, try the Bald Mountain and Artist’s Bluff loop. It’s about 2 miles and offers some of the best views in Franconia Notch. The trail is relatively easy and great for a leisurely hike.

13. Lonesome Lake Trail

  • Google Map Location: Lonesome Lake
  • Trail Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Length and Duration: 3 miles round trip, 2-3 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring to Fall
  • Parking Information: Lafayette Place Campground parking, $3 fee.

Lonesome Lake Trail is a beautiful 3-mile hike that takes you to a serene mountain lake. The trail is moderate and very rewarding. It’s perfect for a day trip and offers plenty of spots for a picnic by the water.

Hiking Gear and Safety Tips

Essential Hiking Gear for New Hampshire Trails

Before you hit the trails, make sure you’re prepared. Here’s a quick checklist of essential gear:

  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Plenty of water
  • Snacks and a packed lunch
  • GPS device
  • First aid kit
  • Layered clothing (the weather can change quickly!)
  • Sunscreen and bug spray

Safety Tips for New Hampshire Hikers

Safety first, always! Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Check the weather forecast before heading out.
  • Let someone know your hiking plans and expected return time.
  • Stay on marked trails to avoid getting lost.
  • Carry a whistle for emergencies.
  • Be aware of wildlife and know what to do if you encounter it.

FAQs About Hikes in New Hampshire

What Are The Best Hikes In New Hampshire?

Some of the best hikes include Mount Monadnock, Franconia Ridge Loop, and Mount Washington.

Are There Any Easy Hikes In New Hampshire?

Yes, there are plenty! Try Mount Willard, West Rattlesnake Mountain, and Diana’s Baths.

Which New Hampshire Trails Are Family-Friendly?

Mount Willard, West Rattlesnake Mountain, and Diana’s Baths are great for families.

What Are The Most Scenic Hikes In Nh?

Artist’s Bluff, Mount Chocorua, and Mount Kearsarge are some of the most scenic trails.

Can You Hike In New Hampshire Year-Round?

Absolutely! Each season offers a unique hiking experience. Just be prepared for the weather conditions. 

What Are The Best Day Hikes In New Hampshire?

Bald Mountain + Artist’s Bluff and Lonesome Lake Trail are perfect for day hikes in New Hampshire.

How Difficult Are The Hiking Trails In Nh?

New Hampshire offers a range of trails from easy to challenging, so there’s something for everyone.

Are There Any Hiking Trails Near The White Mountains?

Yes, trails like Franconia Ridge Loop and Mount Washington are in the White Mountains region.

What Gear Do I Need For Hiking In New Hampshire?

Essential gear includes sturdy boots, water, snacks, a map, a first aid kit, and layered clothing.

What Are Some Must-See Sights While Hiking In New Hampshire?

Don’t miss the views from Franconia Ridge, the waterfalls at Arethusa Falls, and the summit of Mount Washington.

Wrap-up to The Best Hikes in New Hampshire Guide

New Hampshire’s hiking trails offer something for everyone, from challenging mountain climbs to easy, scenic walks. 

So grab your hiking boots, pack some snacks, and get ready to explore the natural beauty of New Hampshire. Happy hiking!

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