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Top Hikes in New Hampshire

My personal favorite hikes in all of New Hampshire
Philip Ostrowski
Mount Lafayette scenery

Hiking is one of my favorite activities to do year round. The struggle of climbing a mountain and getting to the summit pays off well. You get to enjoy all of nature’s gifts, and see amazing views. You might even meet some friendly hikers along the way.

Generally speaking, my favorite time to go hiking  is late August, September, and early October because it’s warm enough for minimal clothes, but cool enough to not overheat. Otherwise, you should plan accordingly to the weather.

Here are my top hikes in New Hampshire:

Mountain Monadnock:

Overall this mountain is fairly short, and an easy hike for many. I like to start at the Halfway House Trailhead, continue up the dirt road till we reach White Arrow trail, continue up the trail towards the summit.

Monadnock Trail Map with trail highlighted

The first half of this hike is all on a dirt road, which makes it easy for many. It could be great for people with younger kids. The second half continues upwards through the pine forests, so be sure to look out for some waterfalls and rivers.

Towards the end of the hike, we reach the primarily rock terrain where trees often fail to grow. At this point, be sure to take in the views, but the best is yet to come. Continue up to the summit, and enjoy your achievement.

Fun fact: Monadnock means “mountain that stands alone” when translated from Abenaki. It is the only high peak in the area for miles!

On days with good weather, you might be able to see Boston on the horizon. Also at the top, there are many engravings and emblems on the rocks. This mountain is teeming with history, such as the “Halfway House” hotel that had opened all the way back in 1858. If you’re interested, I recommend looking into it.

Mountain Lafayette:

As we move further up north to the White Mountains, a notable peak is Mount Lafayette. It is the highest peak and the northernmost mountain of the Franconia Ridge. The home of Greenleaf Hut and Eagles Lake, there is a lot to see here. You can also get a good view of the Presidential Range at the top.

Bruce and Andrew looking out at Mount Lafayette (Philip Ostrowski)

After heading north up I-93 (a road with lots of beautiful scenery), park at the Old Bridle Path Trailhead. Begin your path down towards the Falling Waters Trailhead (look for the river!), then continue hiking along the Old Bridle Path.

The first section is generally forest, and the path is quite an easy hike. Once you get to the foot of the smaller ridge leading to Lafayette, it gets a lot more vertical and difficult to climb.

Once you have surpassed much of the upwards climb, there are a couple brief moments of rocky outcrops along where you can see the whole Franconia Ridge clearly. This section is a tad less vertical, but still demanding at times.

Continue along the trail and you will reach Greenleaf Hut! Take a break to go inside, enjoy the history, and take in views of Eagle Lake plus the peak.

You’re very close to the top, and the finish line is in reach. Once there, you can see the Presidential Range, Mount Garfield, Mount Bond, and many others!

I hope you find one of these interesting enough to visit, or if you have climbed these before, let me know how it was by leaving a comment.

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About the Contributor
Philip Ostrowski
Philip Ostrowski, Staff Reporter
My name is Philip Ostrowski and I am a senior at Sutton High School. I run cross country, track, and I am a Boy Scout. I have learned many new skills and have experienced many new things as a scout. A hobby of mine is programming, and I often use it to make video games. I also appreciate the outdoors, and love to go biking, hiking, and camping.

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