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Destination:
The Mt. Washington Valley
New Hampshire

Walking

photo of view in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire
Beautiful Country - Peaceful Walks
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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

As a favorite pastime for over 150 years, walking in the Mt. Washington Valley offers participants a rich array of sweeping vistas and scenery. Just a quick glance up from the sidewalks and trails of Jackson Village reveals ponds, waterfalls, forests, and the other nooks and crannies of the surrounding New England mountains and foothills. A brisk walk is a great opportunity to not only breathe in the clean mountain air, but to observe the sights and sounds of the unique natural world that surrounds the Mt. Washington Valley and White Mountains National Forest.

Walking here is a four-season experience. In spring, visitors can see the forest unfold and come alive. In the summer, the area's lakes and ponds invite visitors to stroll barefoot along their shores. In autumn, fiery foliage flares up throughout the valley in a brilliance unequaled anywhere else in the nation. And during the winter, the landscape takes on a stark, new dimension where the forest and its animals adapt to a frugal, hardy lifestyle. All these sights and experiences are a joy, and all are within easy walking distance.

Recommended Walks

Jackson Loop
A scenic walk around Jackson Village, all on sidewalk. About 1 mile; 30 minutes. The loop runs along Rte. 16A and Rte 16 in the village. Park behind the Jack Frost Shop.
Whittaker Woods:
An easy walk to a quarry, all over flatland. At the stop light just north of the Eastern Slopes Inn, turn east and park under the pines away from the buildings in the John Fuller School parking lot. The entrance is by the playground. The route curves to the right through a sprinkling of red and white pines, goes over the old Portland and Ogdensburg railroad tracks, then past a four-way junction. At the next junction, bear right and continue 0.6 mile to the quarry. 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Puddin Pond:
An easy walk, on sometimes wet land, around the pond. About 1-1/2 miles; allow for 1 hour. In North Conway, turn east off of Rte. 16 at Locust Lane (just north of the Red Jacket Inn). Continue 0.2 mile to the end of the road and park by the old barn. The trail travels eastward from the parking area.
Rail 'n River Interpretive Trail:
This self-guided trail is enhanced by a free brochure, which explains the natural features of the area and how they relate to man. An easy walk on a modestly flat trail with few steps. 1/2 mile; 20 to 60 minutes. The trail begins at the Russell-Colbath House on the Kancamagus Highway.
Lovequist Loop Trail:
An easy walk through a pine needle forest and then around Falls Pond near Rocky Gorge. The pond was formed during the last ice age, when a narrow ridge of gravel and sand drift was deposited by a retreating glacier. Brook trout abound on the Swift River and in Falls Pond. (There are license fees and restrictions on fishing.) The trail commences at Rocky Gorge, 9 miles west of Conway Village on the Kancamagus Highway. Accessible restrooms, parking, trash dumpsters, and hand-pumped drinking water available. 0.7 mile; 30 minutes or so.
Rob Brook Road:
An easy walk that features great views and a forest boggy area. Includes many "watchable wildlife opportunities," according to officials from the White Mountain National Forest. Spend as little or as much time as you want. From Rte. 16, take the Kancamagus Highway 9 miles to Bear Notch Road. Rob Brook Road is located 0.8 mile on the left.
Deer Brook Road:
A part of the famous Nanamocomuck cross-country ski trail, this path parallels the Swift River and is known for its many side loops. The Forest Service says this one is also known for its "watchable wildlife opportunities." From Rte. 16, travel west 6 miles on the Kancamagus Highway at the Covered Bridge. Walk over the bridge, and the trail will be to the left. The length and time of the walk depends on the amount of exploring you do. Arm yourself with binoculars, a camera and, especially in the summer, lots of bug spray.
Lost Pond and Square Ledge
This trail's a "double whammy." A short walk on the Lost Pond Trail runs past beaver ponds, along a stream, and through the forest to a scenic pond. About 1 mile. Allow 30 minutes. Then, starting from the Lost Pond Trail, the Square Ledge Trail diverges left to reveal spectacular views of Mount Washington and the Pinkham Notch area. About 1/2 mile; 20 or 30 minutes. Begin your travels at the pond across from AMC's Pinkham Notch Camp on Rte. 16.
Pine Mountain:
A short hike along a wooded path leads to a former fire lookout station area with great views of the northern White Mountains. 1.8 miles; about 1 hour. From the Dolly Copp Campground on Rte. 16 in Pinkham Notch, take the Dolly Copp/Pinkham Notch B Road, 2.3 miles to the trail head.
Jackson Circuit:
A 5-mile jaunt from the center of Jackson Village on Rte. 16B along the Wildcat River and Jackson Falls, through farmlands and past mountain views. About 5 miles; allow 2 to 3 hours. Steep in certain areas. Park behind the Jack Frost Shop in the village or take the shorter route that starts at Jackson Falls and take the cutoff road that avoids the steep hills by the Christmas Farm Inn and the Falls.
Prospect Trail:
Explore or picnic in the 500-acre preserve owned by the town of Jackson. Look for old cellar holes and foundations, an apple orchard, and the other remains of a once-active farm. Becomes moderately difficult when the trail ascends a hillside. About 2-1/4 to 4 miles; allow 2 to 3 hours. From Jackson, take Carter Notch Road (the road becomes dirt about 4-1/2 miles ahead), then continue 1/2 mile further to the fork. Park on the left and follow the Prospect Trail.
Doublehead Ski Trail:
The trail ascends North Doublehead from the east, and at the summit has views to the east and toward Mountain Pond. 3.6 miles; about 3-1/2 hours. Steep in some places. From Rte. 16A in Jackson, take Rte. 16B to Black Mountain and bear to the right over the bridge on Dundee Road. The parking area is clearly marked.
Mountain Pond Loop Trail:
An easy loop around the pond. 2.6 miles; allow for 1-1/2 hours. Take Rte 16A in Intervale to Town Hall Road, then 6.8 miles to the trailhead.
Boulder Loop Trail:
The Saco Ranger Station (just off Rte. 16 on the Kancamagus Highway) offers a brochure for this self-guided nature trail. It tells of the formation of the soil and the origin and growth of the forest. A gradual climb with some steep pitches, the path offers spectacular views of Mt. Chocorua and the Swift River Valley. 2.8 miles; allow yourself plenty of time, anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. The trail begins near the Covered Bridge Campground on the Kancamagus Highway.
Greeley Ponds:
The grades to these beautiful mountain ponds are easy. 5.8 miles; allow 3-1/2 hours. The trailhead is 9-1/2 miles this side of Lincoln on the Kancamagus Highway. A bit of a drive, but worth it.
Mt. Wilard:
A popular trail with easy grades, good footing, and superb views of Crawford Notch. 2.8 miles; allow for around 3 hours. The trailhead is located near the railroad depot on Rte. 302 in Crawford Notch.
Black Cap Path:
This trail leads through a forest of spruce and beech to the bare summit of Bear Cap. Great views of the Green Hill range at its end. 2.4 miles; about 2 hours. From Rte. 16 in Intervale, turn onto Hurricane Mountain Road. The trail head is 3.7 miles to the right.
Rocky Branch Trail:
The Rocky Branch Shelter #1 is 2 miles up the trail, making for a pleasant spot for a rest or a picnic. The walk here is an easy one on a smooth trail. Round trip to the shelter is 4 miles; about 2 to 3 hours. From Glen, go west on Rte. 302 for 1 mile to Jericho Road, then 4.3 miles to the trailhead.
Conway Scenic Railroad:
This walk starts in the Victorian Station next to Schueler Park, where the railroad offers visitors a walking tour guide. There are plenty of cars, as well as locomotives on display throughout the station and property. Guests are cautioned that the area is a working train yard, and that they are not to climb on any railroad equipment or enter any buildings other than the station and Model Railroad Room. However, they are encouraged to ask questions of railroad employees who wear official name badges. Look for a water spout, an old-fashioned mail bag stand where speeding trains once picked up mail "on the fly" without stopping, and an electric "wig-wag" crossing signal, among other sights.
Oliveran/Downes Brook:
Walk cross-country ski trails. There was logging activity here recently, so you can look for new growth. 2 miles round trip; about 2 hours. The Oliverian Trail parking lot is located 12.7 miles west on the Kancamagus Highway from the Rte. 16 intersection near Conway. Add extra distance when you take the cross-country ski west loop intersecting at the University of New Hampshire trail.

Ice & Rock Climbing Skiing: Downhill & Cross Country
Golf Hiking 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

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