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Destination:
The Mt. Washington Valley
New Hampshire

Hiking

photo of lake beach in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire
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Introduction

Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 2300
North Conway, NH 03860
(603) 356-5701
Fax: (603) 356-7069
Email

There are all kinds of hiking opportunities in the valley. Some are little more than walks. Others require intermediate to expert skills. Many follow old logging roads, rivers and streams that pass by rapids, cascades, and waterfalls. Trails also lead to bogs, beaver ponds, and other areas where travelers may trace for themselves evidence of wildlife. At times, deer, elk, and other animals may actually cross the path of hikers in the forest.

Trails may not always be blazed but are easy to follow on well-trodden footpaths. Many are signed and distinguishable to even first time hikers. Grades vary, but generally there is good footing, and a little effort is well worth the magnificent mountain and ledge vistas that come into view just around the next bend. Hiking here is a three-season activity, and visitors are cautioned that trail and weather conditions may change quickly in the mountains, especially in the spring and fall. The White Mountain National Forest contains 1,200 miles of hiking trails, 45 lakes and ponds, 650 miles of streams and more than 20 campgrounds.

Hiking Contacts

Appalachian Mountain Club
(603) 466-2727
Saco Ranger Station
(603) 447-5448

Recommended Hiking Trails

Artist's Bluff:
Located off Rte. 18 in Franconia Notch State Park north of Echo Lake. Great views for very little effort. 1-1/2 miles; about 1-1/2 hours, depending on your pace.
Basin-Cascades Trail:
Off Rte. 3 in Franconia State Park. Starts at the Basin and ascends along beautiful Cascade Brook. 2 miles; about 1-1/2 hours.
Boulder Loop Trail:
Great views with relatively little effort. On Dugway Road, just off the Kancamagus Highway. A brochure keyed to stations along the trail is available. 2.8 miles; about 2 to 3 hours.
Dana's Baths:
Here's an easy, almost flat, path leading to rocky cascades. The trail begins on a dirt road located off West Side Road, about 0.7 mile north of Cathedral Ledge Road in Bartlett. 1/2 mile; about 40 minutes.
Ripley Falls:
The beauty of a 100-foot waterfall is only one-hour away. Located on a side road off Rte. 302 in Crawford Notch (1 mile south of the Wiley House site), this trail starts on the Ethan Pond Trail, then branches out on its own. 1.2 miles; about 1 hour.
Lonesome Lake:
Lafayette Place in Franconia Notch. Very good footing on an old bridal path with an easy to moderate grade. 3-1/4 miles.
Old Bridal Path:
An easy route up west Rattlesnake for views of Squam Lake. Just off Rte. 133 between Holderness and Center Sandwich. 1.8 miles. Allow 1-1/2 hours.
Sabbaday Falls Hike:
An easy 0.4 mile walk to a picturesque series of cascades in a narrow flume. Descriptive Forest Service signs point out rock formations. There's a picnic area at the trailhead. Drive 15 miles west of the Saco Ranger Station. A 20-minute to 1-hour trip.
Mt. Hedgehog via The UNH Trail:
Here is a loop hike via the UNH Loop Trail to Mt. Hedgehog. The trail is moderate as it ascends to the 2,500 foot summit of Mt. Hedgehog with its spectacular vista of the Swift River Valley in every direction. Count on 4 to 5 hours roundtrip. 13-1/2 miles west of the Saco Ranger Station on the Kancamagus Highway, opposite the Passaconaway Campground.
Mt. Potash Hike:
Here is a more difficult trail that involves some ledge climbing to the 2,660-foot summit of Mt. Potash. Great views of the Swift River Valley and surrounding mountains in all directions. Located 13-1/2 miles west of the Saco Ranger Station on the Kancamagus Highway (Rte. 112). Begin on the Down's Brook Trail across from the Passaconaway Campground and follow the trail to the summit. The Mt. Potash Trail then takes a sharp right and soon crosses Downes Brook. The route over ledges is marked with yellow paint. A more difficult 4 miles; allow for a 4-hour roundtrip.

For information on weather and trail conditions, contact the Appalachian Mountain Club on Rte. 16 at the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center (466-2727) or The White Mountain National Forest, Saco Ranger District Station at the intersection of Rte. 16 and the Kancacmagus Highway (447-5448), just south of Conway Village.

Ice & Rock Climbing Skiing: Downhill & Cross Country
Golf Walking Fishing

Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 2300
North Conway, NH 03860
(603) 356-5701
Fax: (603) 356-7069
Email: info@mtwashingtonvalley.org

Location .... Calendar ..... Lodging ..... Restaurants ..... Recreation ..... Attractions
Shops & Stores ..... Climate & Seasons ..... Introduction

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