Walking and hiking are a pleasure in many settings and locales
From strolling in a historic downtown to hiking up a steep mountainside, New Hampshire offers more places to enjoy the state on foot that you can imagine. Most of the state parks
, including in rugged and mountainous areas, welcome hikers and walkers of every level of skill and strength. Besides mountain walks, there are easy walks near beaches and salt marshes, and walks in historic downtown neighborhoods. Enjoy a nature walk or rigorous hike with the family lodging
to see New England beauty up close.
185 Chase Hill Road
Albany, NH, 03818
The perfect base for exploring New Hampshire's mountain wilderness
Let Darby Field Inn near Conway, NH, be your White Mountain retreat. We're located just minutes from the 800,000-plus acre National Forest, and our staff can recommend local hikes for every ability. Why not start with our onsite wooded nature trails? They're perfect for hiking or just walking off breakfast. Our area offers hundreds of miles of mountain roads and trails to cover by bicycle. Area stables offer horseback riding along riversides. Learn to climb to new heights at some world class locations in our area with one of the country's oldest climbing schools. In winter months try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. After your workout, why not sooth those tired muscles with a therapeutic massage by one of our massage professionals.
105 Haverhill Road
Salem, NH, 03079
Hike in the footsteps of the continent's ancestors
A visit to America's Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire, is a great activity for those who enjoy hiking and walking. You'll find yourself wandering among boulders and pines in a wild but beautiful spot, about which fantastic tales might be woven. About 30 acres of these woods are an archaeological site, where you'll find ancient megaliths, stone chambers, and a weird maze of stone markers. Who built these structures? Were they colonial farmers, Native Americans, or, as some suggest, visitors from the Old World prior to Columbus who lost their way in the Atlantic Ocean and found themselves on New England's shores. Through the years scholars have suggested Phoenician mariners, ancient Druids, Vikings, or Irish wanderers. Tour the site, and give us your opinion.
Route 16 at Pinkham Notch
Gorham, NH, 03581
Outdoor Fun That's Just Right for The Entire Family
At the Great Glen Trails in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire, we offer adventures in all shapes and sizes - Your adventure is up to you. During the spring and summer you can set out on a hike, run, or bike ride on any of our scenic trails through New Hampshire's White Mountains. Or join us for a guided bird watching tour or a paddling trip on the Androscoggin River. In winter, the cross country skiing and snowshoeing is absolutely glorious. Our trail system of easy and rolling terrain allows skiers of all abilities to find the right level of activity, challenge, and fun. The trails are groomed with both double tracks and a skating lane and run through the forests at the base of Mt. Washington. And the SnowCoach makes everything accessible to all, with or without skis. It's the natural vacation plan for you and your family.
1251 Eaton Road (Route 153)
East Madison, NH, 03849
Bring your gear and head out on Purity Spring’s trails
Purity Spring Resort offers clean mountain air and varied terrain for walkers and hikers to explore New Hampshire on foot. Take the whole family on an easy hike of 15-90 minutes on Audubon Trails on the eastern lakeshore that pass through farm pastures that have evolved into old growth forests. With a bit more effort, a variety of moderate hikes on well maintained trails lead you to great views of Maine mountain ranges and the Green Mountains. The Nordic Ski trails have 22km of well-marked trails around Lake Purity. Easy to trek you’ll find the occasional incline for a good cardio workout. One favorite trail leads from the resort to Sunset Beach. Trail maps are available at the Main Office.
852 Daniel Webster Highway (Route 3)
Franconia Notch, NH
The Flume is a natural gorge extending 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty. The granite walls rise 70 to 90 above the gorge and are about 15 feet apart. You may walk through just the Gorge or do a two-mile loop or trails and stairs. Prepare for uphill walking and lots of stairs. The boardwalk allows you to examine the flowers, ferns and mosses found here.
A trip into the Flume begins and ends at the Flume Visitor's Center.
A 15-minute movie at the Visitor Center provides an introduction to Franconia Notch State Park and the Flume Gorge. Kids are invited to explore the Wolf's Den. Open mid-May to late October. Check for seasonal changes in hours.
1212 West Route 26
Dixville, NH, 03576
Dixville Notch State Park spans 127 acres. Within the park is a scenic gorge and waterfalls on two mountain brooks. Hiking trails lead to Table Rock and nearby mountains. The park is also a great spot for picnicking. Pets allowed.
Beaver Brook Falls Wayside Park
Off Route 145
Beaver Brook Falls Wayside is 7.3 acres in size and is a popular place for hiking. The park has a scenic picnic area with picnic tables and small picnic shelters. A group use area is available. Beaver Brook Falls Wayside is unstaffed but is Open to the public year-round at no charge. No restrooms are available and all items (including trash) must be carried out with you when you leave. Pets allowed. Information: www.nhstateparks.org
Mead Base Camp
This is a point-to-point hike running across seven named peaks of the Squam Range in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. There are ample opportunities for views and lots of walking (and scrambling) on open ledges. The elevation gain is
The starting point for this hike is Mead Base Camp in Sandwich, New Hampshire and the ending point is the Cotton Mountain Trailhead located in Holderness, New Hampshire.
See trail website for specific driving directions and walking directions. A few trailheads allow you to shorten the walk if you wish
Peirce Island Road
Peirce Island, part of the city of Portsmouth, is in the Piscataqua River near the south end of Portsmouth. It has salt marshes, tidal pools, rocky cliffs, and meadows. The island has several easy walks on trails that lead to five waterfront overlooks. The overlooks give you views of the Naval Shipyard, the historic south end of Portsmouth, and the three Piscataqua bridges. The island’s Pine Grove area has a wooden bridge, stone benches, picnic tables and a beautiful water vista.
Dover Walking Tours
299 Central Avenue
The Dover Chamber of Commerce offers three self-guided walking tours of historic sites: The Pine Hill Cemetary, the Old Mill and the Riverfront, and a tour of Dover's historic homes.
1464 US Route 302
Harts Location, NH, 03812
Mountain vistas, waterfalls, rivers, mountain hiking, campground
This is a place of spectacular mountain views, hiking trails, and waterfalls. Hikers can expect to see magnificent views.
See full listing
for Crawford Notch State Park
61 Deerfield Road
Allenstown, NH, 03275
Full service park has water sports, camping, archery, horseback riding
This giant park has 40 miles of trails through forest, hilltops, and marches. Trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.
See full description
of Bear Brook State Park
116 Poole Road
Jaffrey, NH, 03452
Hiking on Mount Monadnock; camping; cross country skiing; open year-round
Monadnock State Park is famous for its many miles of hiking trails; it is sometimes called the most-oten hiked peak in New England. Monadnock State Park is open year-round. Hiking map.
See full listing
for Mount Mondanock State Park.
Hanover Center and Dartmouth College
A sweet walk through a New England college town, including a short trip around a recreational pond, is yours in the center of Hanover, home to Dartmouth College. You are surrounded by both traditional and modern college building and sites, among with stores and eateries that serve the student community.
From Dartmouth Green, which is bracketed by North Main Street, East Wheelock Street and College Street, walk northward on Main Street and take a left onto Webster Street, moving through the frat house neighborhood and past the college president's house. Turn right onto Occom Ridge and pass between Occom Pond and the Connecticut River. At the end of Occom Ridge, a right turn onto Hilton Field Road and another right onto Rope Ferry Road will return you North Main Street and the center of town.
4 Christmas Lane
A natural preserve, this area features hiking trails, picnic areas and educational programs. The Rocks Estate has an extensive trail system open every day from dawn to sunset. Maps are available at our information kiosk, located adjacent to the parking lot. Dogs are welcome on leash. Here are some of the trails:
Scrapbook Memory Trail
. The Scrapbook Memory Trail meanders past the Tea House and Formal Gardens, the Carriage Barn, and the Tool Shed, with a winter stop at the fire pit, and great views in all seasons. (0.8 miles/easy).
Christmas Tree Trail
The Christmas Tree Trail leads visitors through The Rocks Christmas tree farm, past wetland, and artfully crafted stone walls, with views of the White Mountains along the way.
. The Heritage Trail leads wanderers through woods and meadow, pausing at 20 sites along the way to tell the history of The Rocks as a summer estate. (1.5 miles/easy)
Michael A. Gozzo Trail
This trail meanders through The Rocks Estate, crossing managed woodland and overgrown apple orchards, and skirting beaver ponds and wetland habitat.
Hikers may explore this trail as one long loop or by selecting one or more of the various spurs. ( 4.6 miles/varied)
Ocean Blvd. (Route 1A)
This is a sidewalk stroll along the seacoast of Rye Beach. Stroll and enjoy views of the offshore Isle of Shoals; Rye Harbor Marina, where fishing boats trundle in and out of the granite breakwater; the small Rye Harbor State Park sticking into the ocean; Wallis Sands State Beach; and the many tidewater inlets on the west side of the road. Check a map and decide where you want to start the walk. It is out-and-back along the shore; not a loop.
Meriden Bird Sanctuary
This nature center is set on 30 acres, and features trails through woodlands and fields. Admission is free, and the sanctuary is open year-round.
68 Echo Lake Road (Route 302)
Conway, NH, 03818
Swimming, picnicking, scenic trails to Cathedral Ledge, rock and ice climbing
The park has a scenic trail around the lake for views of Cathedral Ledge and also trails to take visitors to the top of the ledge itself, with expansive views of the White Mountains. Trail map.
See full description
of Echo Lake State Park
Off First Crown Point Road
Blue Job Mountain has one of the best views in southern New Hampshire, encompassing Mount Washington, Mount Monadnock, and the Atlantic Ocean. It is a short -- one mile -- and easy walk to the fire tower. There are two routes to the summit and they both start from the same parking area.
Directions: From Route 202A head north on First Crown Point Road. Take First Crown Point Road 5.3 miles north. The trailhead parking area will be on your right just beyond the height of land.
89 Depot Road
Located at the south end of Great Bay, Sandy Point offers mixed habitats and wide open views of the Bay. The site includes a 1,700 foot wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. The area is good for see migrant birds as they pass through to their wintering or nesting areas. Open June - October.
Newfound Audubon Center, 290 N Shore Road
Located on the northern shore of Newfound Lake, the Newfound Audubon Center is comprised of three wildlife sanctuaries, the Paradise Point Nature Center, Ash Cottage at Hebron Marsh Sanctuary and the Bear Mountain Sanctuary. Trails in each of the three sanctuaries are open year-round to bird watchers and hikers, Nordic skiers and snowshoers. Paradise Point and Hebron Marsh extend to the water’s edge, allowing visitors to experience more of Newfound Lake’s habitat, while Bear Mountain’s hillside habitat exhibits New Hampshire’s woodlands.
More about Paradise Point Nature Center and trails.
More about Hebron Marsh and trails.
More about Bear Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and trails.
Harris Center for Conservation Education
Nature center offering nature programs kayaking, hikes,and walks. Open year-round.
Access at Adams Hill Road and Greenville Road / Route 31
This two-mile trail begins on the East side of Route 31 in Greenville and ends 2.2 miles east in Mason. The trail provides beautiful views of small ponds fed by the Souhegan river. This is part of the longer, 7-mile Mason Railroad Trail
from Townsend, MA, to Greenville, NH.
Uses: Hiking biking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, mushing ATV riding and mountain biking.
There is no designated parking, but some parking is available at road crossings. See trail map
Nansen Wayside Park
Phone: 603-823-7722 Ext - 75
Located near the banks of the Androscoggin River, Nansen Wayside Park is a popular place for picnicking, fishing, and boating. The park spans 14 acres and is the site of the 170-foot steel-framed Nansen Ski Jump, seen towering over the area. Nansen Wayside Park is unstaffed but is open to the public year-round at no charge. There is no winter maintenance. A boat launch is available. Information: www.nhstateparks.org
117 Ridge Road
Beaver Brook Association is a protected area of 2,187 acres of forest, fields, and wetlands in Hollis, Brookline, and Milford. Thirty-five miles of trails provide lots of room for hiking. The trails are designated by blue rectangular markings for “multi-use” which allows horse and bicycle traffic and yellow triangular markings denoting “single-track” on more fragile trails which only allow hiking and cross-country skiing. Trails are open year-round, daily, dawn to dusk.
Nesting Box Trail
BBA Hollis Trail Map
Education Corridor Map
Burns/Holland Farm in Milford
Orienteering Course Map
Wild Flower Trail
Sibley Road and Red Hill Road
Center Harbor, NH
Red Hill, in the Lakes Region, is a popular hiking spot due to the stunning panoramic views from the fire tower. Hikers can see Lake Winnipesaukee to the southeast and Squam Lake to the west. This is a short hike of 1.7 miles to a fire tower; elevation gain is 1,370 feet. Low to moderate difficulty. Distance is a total of 3.5 miles.
455 Old Mountain Road
The Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area, of 5,000 conserved acres with 45 miles of hiking trails, is managed by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. Trails can take you to spectacular waterfalls, views from mountain summits and outlooks, signs of wildlife, historic sites, and interesting geological features of the Ossipee Mountains.
This landmark property is part of the Ossipee Mountain ring, a circular formation of volcanic origin nine miles in diameter. Seven of the Ossipee Mountains’s most prominent peaks are on the Castle property, including two of the most popular hiking destinations in the region, Mount Shaw and Bald Knob, with its view of Lake Winnipesaukee to the southwest. The trails are well maintained, marked, and mapped, with options for every hiking ability.
LRCT maintains two trailhead parking areas that are free and open to the public for accessing the trails during daylight hours, one on Route 171 and one at the end of Ossipee Park Road.
A helpful resource is the Trust’s hiking trail map,
available for purchase
Wapack National Wildlife Refuge
This preserve offers ample opportunity for wildlife observation, particularly of migrating hawks. Hiking trails lead past forested land, a bog, a swamp and a rock cliff. These trails are available in the winter for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing as well. Camping and open fires are not permitted.
Little Monadnock Mountain Hike
Via Rhododendrom State Park, 424 Rockwood Pond Road
You can reach the apex of Little Monadnock through Rhododendron State Park.
The hike is about 1.2 miles starting from the park entrance. Elevation is 700 feet.
Enter Rhododendron State Park between the two stone pillars at the edge of the parking lot. Travel straight ahead on a well-graded trail for about 0.2 of a mile to a trail junction with a sign indicating the trail to Little Monadnock. Bear right at this sign and follow the orange blazes. Long white blazes that also indicate the trail. The Trail climbs through old fields overgrown by the woods. The trail is steep at times but easily traveled except for one short climb over a rocky ledge. At the summit, you will see views of Mount Monadnock to the northeast.
See hike 1 on this map.
Belknap Carriage Road near Belknap Mountain Road
This 2-mile climb, rated moderate-to-difficult, takes the hiker to a magnificent view of Lake Winnipesaukee and the Ossipee Mountains from Belknap Mountain from the fire tower at the summit. Elevation is 740 feet. You have a choice of well-marked red-blazed or blue-blazed trails. See website for trail descriptions.
To reach Belknap Mountain, turn off Route 11A at Gilford and drive south through Gilford Village. Stay on this road past the high school (road makes a sharp left turn) and you’ll begin your climb up Belknap Mountain Road. Follow the road up until you see signs and a parking area on the left.
East Side Trails from the Harris Center
Harris Center for Conservation Education, 83 King's Hwy.
The East Side trail system from the Harris Center offers easy hiking to huge glacial boulders through cool hardwood and hemlock forests. Trail lengths vary from 0.4 to 1.6 miles. You may cobble together a loop hike of up to 4.5 miles via Old King’s Highway and the Dandelyon, Boulder Train Loop, Babbitt, and Channing Trails.
614 West Shore Road (Off Route 3A)
Bristol, NH, 03222
Fresh water swimming, hiking, boat launch, picnicking, beautiful lake and island views
This park on the shore of Newfound Lake has nice nature trails and hiking trails inside and outside the park. A nature trail offers a picnic grove and plant identifications. Another exterior hiking trail from the park leads to the Sugarloafs Mountains, Bear Mountain, Welton Falls, and Mount Cardigan.
See full description
of Wellington State Park.
475 Kearsarge Valley Road
Wilmot, NH, 03287
Winslow State Park is on the northwest slope of Mount Kearsarge. The picnic area is on a high plateau with outstanding views of the White Mountains and the peaks of Vermont peaks. A one-mile foot trail leads from the picnic area to the summit of Moutt Kearsarge. A two-mile trail offers a loop walk
From Adams Point Road
This is a pleasant and easy 1.5-mile loop hike into a peninsula jutting into the Great Bay tidal estuary, with views of the bay and sea life all around as you traverse meadows and woodlands. you can see Great Bay almost every where along the trail. Piscataqua River feeds Great Bay from the Atlantic, creating a tide-influences variety of salt marsh and tidal creek environments.
40 Pawtuckaway Road
Nottingham, NH, 03290
Lake beach with boat launch, canoe & kayak rentals; campground; hiking trails
Extensive hiking trails to elevated lookout, marsh, glacial field.
See full description
of Pawtucketaway State Park.
Portsmouth is a picturesque colonial-era town on the bank of the Piscataqua River with wonderful views, shops and restaurants. The trail passes more than 70 points of scenic and historic significance, including ten buildings on the National Register of Historic Buildings, ten National Historic Landmarks, and three historic homes.
Walking tours of the Portsmouth Harbor Trail from June through October can be arranged by calling 603-610-5518. Three separate walks take you through or past Market Square, the heart of downtown; Prescott Park on the river; Strawbery Banke; and historic churches and mansions.
Hours: Tours offered July 4 through Columbus Day, 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday; and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Stonedam Island Road
This island is 112 acres with 2.7 miles of undeveloped shoreline. Come to enjoy a peaceful walk on a network of trails. One trail leads to the highest point on Lake Winnipesaukee. Docking for power boats is available at a dock on the northeast shore of the island, across Sallys Gut from the mainland. The island also can be reached by paddle, canoes, and kayaks. The trails, which are signed and blazed, extends from the dock to points of interest elsewhere on the island. The walking loop around the island is 1.5 miles long. Open July - Labor Day.
John Wingate Weeks Historic Site
Off Route 3
The Mount Prospect estate was built by John Wingate Weeks, conservationist, congressman, senator, and Secretary of War. Set at the top of Mount Prospect, the house and grounds on this 420-acre estate provide a 360-degree panorama of mountain splendor, including the Presidential Range, the Green Mountains of Vermont, and the upper Connecticut River Valley.
Hours: Late June to early September, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursdays, noon to 5 p.m.; mid-September to mid-October, Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: New Hampshire residents admitted free of charge; non-resident adults, $7; children ages 6-11, $3. Information:
570 Ocean Blvd
This walk through several habitats along the Gulf of Maine traces the geological history of this coast. In ancient times, Odiorne Point was covered by dense cedar forests. After the last glacier retreated it left a jumbled beachfront deposit of quartz, sandstone, shale, and lime rock. An extensive network of trails wind through the dense vegetation and traverse the park. Not far from the trails, you can picnic on the shoreline and enjoy sweeping views of the ocean. Trail map.
Please be aware that many State Park areas and trails are not staffed during the off-season, and day-use fees ($2-$4 in season) are not collected.
Lincoln Woods/Wilderness Trail
Four miles east of Lincoln off Kancamagus Highway (Route 112)
The Lincoln Woods Trail follows an old railroad grade. It starts at the Pemigewasset River suspension foot bridge. The trailhead has a ranger station and visitor center, bathrooms, and updated information about weather and walking conditions on the trails. The trails includes Lincoln Woods Trail, Pine Island Trail, East Side Trail, Osseo Trail, River View Loop, Pemigewasset Wilderness, Flume Slide Trail, Black Pond Trail, Franconia Brook Trail, the Wilderness Trail, Cedar Brook Trail, Lincoln Brook Trail, Bondcliff Trail, and others. The Franconia Brook Campsite is located on the East Side Trail.
Distance: 3 to six and a half miles of easy walking conditions.
Directions: Lincoln Woods trailhead parking lot GPS coordinates are: N44° 03.811 | W071° 35.306
Off Route 110 to Emerson Road to nash Stream Road
More than just one stream, this is actually 40,000 acres of undeveloped land. It's available for public use for hiking, fishing, paddling, hunting, snowmobiling, ATV riding, and cross-country skiing. Camping is not permitted. Information: www.nhdfl.org.
1066 Kearsarge Mountain Road
Warner, NH, 03278
Rollins State Park is on the south slope of Mount Kearsarge. A three-mile scenic auto road rises from the park entrance through woodlands to the parking and picnic areas. The picnic area has views from Mount Monadnock to the state’s coastal plain. A one-half mile trail to the summit of Mount Kearsarge leaves from the picnic area.
1823 Route 9
This gorge lies deep into the area's bedrock. There are walking paths along the gorge as well as picnic areas. A short distance from the Visitor Center is trail which is 0.7 mile and follows Wilde Brook through Chesterfield Gorge.
Boulder Loop Trail
Dugway Road off Kancamagus Highway
Boulder Loop Trail is a 3.1-mile loop trail in the forest, with lots of big boulders for kids to climb. The trail may be used from May until October. Dogs may this trail. The loop has good views from the top. Some rocky surfaces may be slippery when they are wet. In the spring or after a heavy rain, certain areas may show small washouts. See map.
Distance & Elevation:
3.1 miles; 1750 feet
Moderate; fine for kids and teenagers