The White Mountains of New Hampshire, sometimes known as the Whites, have long been regarded as one of the region’s most renowned hiking locations. It’s no surprise that these peaks are treasured by residents and tourists alike, since they are home to White Mountain National Forest, the Presidential Range (locally known as the Prezi’s), a huge hut system, and a uniquely New England atmosphere. Though the Whites are worth seeing all year, seeing a sea of magnificent red, orange, and yellow leaves from one of the Whites’ numerous peaks in the fall is absolutely inspirational. While keeping that in mind, let’s go through the list of easy hikes in White Mountains.
1. Diana’s Bath Out and Back
Make your way to the Moat Mountain Trai and continue west down the broad, dirt and gravel trail to Diana’s Bath if you’re looking for a quick afternoon stroll. While the route to the cascade is a little tough in the south, the last 0.6 miles are easy and accessible to hikers of all levels, making this trip one of the most popular in the area. If you like to take your time, there are even seats for pit breaks. In addition to being easily accessible, Diana’s Bath’s braided streams, plunges, pools, and natural slides are a fun to explore despite the expected crowds. Please note that although the pools and cascades may be attractive and soothing for most of the year, they can be unsafe to enter when the water level is high. Before you plunge in, be sure you know what you’re doing.
2. Ammonoosuc River Falls Trail
The natural, water-carved stairs of the 40-foot-tall Lower Ammonoosuc River Falls, located on the northern fringe of White Mountain National Forest, are another gorgeous spot suited for a fast excursion. The Lower Ammonoosuc River Falls Trail is broad and simple to navigate, making it ideal for families and hikers of all levels. The trailhead is close beyond the Zealand Campground entrance, which is a good spot to stay if you’re in the region. The trail is quite flat, although it does ascend a little on its approach to the cascades. The falls are located in a rocky cove where the water has formed a pool that is used for swimming and fishing. If possible, bring a picnic.
3. Conway Common Lands State Forest
On the outskirts of North Conway, the 908-acre Conway Common Lands State Forest is next to the Green Hills Preserve. Trails and peaks to climb abound in this popular leisure region, including the famed Peaked Mountain Trail). Black Cap Trail is an excellent alternative for those wanting for a longer day out, albeit being somewhat more difficult than its neighbors.
To get to the trailhead on Hurricane Mountain Road, go north from town. The main path climbs directly up the slope of Black Cap Mountain, although the gradient is moderate, making this a manageable hike. A break in the route occurs at 0.8 miles from the start, when a tiny path, the Black Cap Summit Spur, leads left to the top. It’s simpler to remain on Black Cap Trail, which takes you to the peak and offers vistas of North Conway and the Mount Washington Valley on a larger, less rocky path. Take in the scenery for a while before returning the way you came.
4. Crawford Notch State Park
Crawford Notch State Park provides convenient access to the White Mountains National Forest, as well as excellent camping, hiking, mountain biking, picnics, and other activities. Although Crawford Notch is open all year, it is usually unstaffed during the off-season, and the gates may be locked. In the summer, though, the cooler air and falling water surrounding the falls provide a welcome respite from the heat.
For this trek, there are two parking spots. If you can, park in the top lot; nevertheless, parking in the lower lot will just add a few steps to your trek. The Arethusa Falls Trail runs over Bemis Brook, following blue blazes. While the route is steep and rocky for the first 0.6 miles, it becomes easier for the following mile or so until you reach the Arethusa-Ripley Falls Trail intersection.
Keep left at the crossroads to continue on the Arethusa Falls Trail, which climbs a few steep stairs before returning to the falls. The location may become busy on good days, but it’s definitely worth the brief hike since it’s one of the state’s highest waterfalls. Take a right about a mile down the main path to follow Bemis Brook Trail for a different return route. This route follows the brook via Coliseum Falls, Bemis Falls, and Fawn Pool before connecting to Arethusa Falls Trail only a short distance from the trailhead.
5. Welch-Dickey Mountains
This loop up Welch and Dickey Mountains, located in the southern part of the White Mountain National Forest, is less popular than some other treks in the area. Take a right at the trailhead to go counterclockwise through the deciduous woodland. After approximately a mile, the route bends south to ascend up the crest, emerging from the dense woodland onto a rocky outcropping with views of the Mad River below. The path is steep at places, and in rainy weather, you should be cautious of slick terrain.
The path descends into a saddle from the peak of Welch Mountain before ascending to the top of Dickey Mountain. Traverse the top rim of the bowl before sliding down through the rocky outcrops on the western side of the ravine after taking in the beautiful views of the Welch, Sandwich, and Tecumseh mountains that surround it. The trail’s last section follows the ridgeline through the woodland before returning to the trailhead.
6. Mount Chocorua
Mount Chocorua, a prominent 3,442-foot summit near North Conway, is accessible by a number of paths, the most popular of which being the Champney Falls Route, which is readily accessible via the Kancamagus Highway. Cross the footbridge across Twin Brook and continue down an old logging road until you reach Champney Brook, where the route swings south and follows the brook for nearly a mile. You may continue up the creek and beyond Pitcher Falls by turning left at the intersection of the Pitcher and Champney Falls Extension route.
From here, the route diverges from the mainstream and ascends a minor branch to Champney Falls before rejoining the main track. The track starts to switchback and rise in earnest around 2.5 miles into the walk. A right left up Piper Trail at the saddle climbs up to Mount Chocorua’s summit across rocky outcrops. Simply retrace your steps back to the trailhead after you’ve had your fill of the surrounding lakes, peaks, and valleys.
7. Franconia Ridge Loop
Franconia Notch State Park is one of the most activity-dense, family-friendly recreation areas in the White Mountains, with hiking in the rugged Franconia Range, fly-fishing on Profile Lake, camping in developed sites, boating and swimming on Echo Lake, and even an aerial tramway to the 4,080-foot summit of Cannon Mountain.
Head out on this famous loop if you’re looking for a good leg-burner. Take the Old Bridle Path for about 1.5 miles from the parking area immediately off I-93 to reach a ridgeline viewpoint. The route then climbs towards Mount Lafayette. As you ascend, the ridgeline becomes steeper, but there are various rocky outcroppings with magnificent views that are ideal for resting.
You’ll reach the Greenleaf Hut three miles into the climb, where you may rest and replenish your water bottles. After leaving the hut, follow Greenleaf Trail east, which steepens as it emerges from the forest. The path is fairly rough, with talus and steep stairs leading to Mount Lafayette’s peak.
8. Mount Washington Summit to Pinkham Notch
Pinkham Notch is often regarded as the center of the White Mountains, with access to some of the most popular and scenic areas of the White Mountains, including the Presidential Range and Mount Washington. If you don’t want to camp, the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Joe Dodge Lodge provides lodging, meals, and a variety of activities, such as events, treks, and family adventure programs.
This hike up Mount Washington begins at the lodge’s Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, where you may park your car or ride an Appalachian Mountain Club-run shuttle to multiple trailheads leading to the Appalachian Trail and the club’s alpine huts. Remember that the weather on Mount Washington may be quite different from what you’ll find down below, and it can change fast, so dress appropriately and check the forecast before venturing out.
Ascend the Tuckerman Ravine Trail along the Cutler River from the visitor center. There is a good view of Crystal Cascade Falls around 0.2 miles in, when you pass a bridge above the river. Even if you’ve only just begun your journey, resist the impulse to keep going without pausing to take in the scenery.
9. Presidential Traverse
The Presidential Traverse, one of the most famous walks in the White Mountains, is recognized for its rough terrain and breathtaking vistas. This roughly 19-mile above-treelined walk, which follows the Presidential Range’s summit line, is rugged, windy, and frequently rather chilly, even in July. The route may be completed in a single day by really fit hikers, but you can also stay in one of the AMC huts to make it an overnight adventure.
Day hikers should expect to begin before sunrise, since the trail is often traveled north to south. Remember to bring a flashlight and be prepared for sun exposure, low temperatures, strong winds, lightning, and all types of precipitation. Because this is a traverse, you’ll need to find out how to get around. Some groups park a vehicle at either end or transport themselves, but you may also utilize the AMC shuttle depending on your schedule.
Anyone can go ahead with these 9 easy hikes in New England. Just pay your attention to the hikes and you will end up with securing the best possible experiences that are coming on your way.