Nature September 23, 2019
10 Of The Greatest Scenic Hiking Trails In New Hampshire For Beginners
Hiking in New Hampshire means access to some of the best sights and sounds in New England. From mountain vistas to babbling brooks to majestic waterfalls, there might not be a better place to explore the great outdoors than in our beloved Granite State. If you’re new to the world of hiking, don’t be daunted. There are plenty of ways to start hiking without putting yourself in danger. Try these trails that are perfect for beginners.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Sabbaday Falls Trail, Campton
Located in the White Mountain National Forest, this route is well maintained and great for folks who want to meander through the woods rather than work up a sweat going uphill. It's full of boardwalks which lead closer and closer to the waterfall. Be sure to keep an ear out for the sound of rushing water. Though, you can't miss it. That's how close you'll be! You can learn more about it in
Address: Sabbaday Falls Observation Site, Kancamagus Highway, Campton, NH, 03223.
2. Ripley Falls, Crawford Notch State Park
Another great waterfall hike, this 1.2 mile out-and-back route is great for both beauty and reward. You'll find it in Crawford Notch State Park, which is probably a place you've already been. Start with this one and then consider trying some of the more challenging ones in the park.
3. Echo Lake Trail, North Conway
Less than a mile long, this route takes hikers (okay, walkers in this case) around Echo Lake. It's wonderful for catching up with friends or simply taking in the views without worrying about anything uphill or challenging. It's really considered a walk and we love it!
4. Mount Kearsarge, Warner
Mount Kearsarge is actually easily accessible if you take the shortest trail of the bunch. That's this one! At two miles, this one is slightly longer than some of the others on this list. But it's relatively flat and easy to navigate. Take it to see wonderful views of the Sunapee region of the state.
5. Pitcher Mountain, Stoddard
This trail is a simple out and back leading through the woods. The entirety of the route is about a mile, one half each way. Be prepared for some lovely panoramas. If you have a friend who's been hesitant to get outside, this might be a great entry trail. You can learn more about it in
6. Lockes Hill Trail, Gilford
With just 418 feet of elevation gain, this is a great hike for people who want to make a dent in their hiking experience but don't want to work up too much of a sweat. Kids love it! Get to the top and you'll see Lake Winnipesaukee from a whole different vantage point. The looped trail is about 1.8 miles and it's located in the Kimball Wildlife Forest.
7. Glen Ellis Falls Trail, Gorham
If you have friends (or kids!) who like to have a reward at the end of their (minimal) effort this is a great hike. The trail is a short .4 miles and ends with Glen Ellis Falls. Take the hike, view the falls, remember how much you love New Hampshire! Easy!
8. Chesterfield Gorge State Wayside Trail, Chesterfield
This hike is more walkable than hikeable. It's just over a half mile and the trail is well-maintained making it even better for folks who are worried about tripping over roots. This might be a good one for the older people in your life who might be a little unsteady. The views are of a lovely gorge and on a fall day the peaceful feeling is palpable.
9. The Sweet Trail, Durham
This trail might be one of the longest on this list, but the 4-mile route through Crommet Creet Conservation Area in Durham is totally worth it. It's flat and offers an intro to local marsh ecology.
10. Old Bride Path, Center Sandwich
And lastly, you might want to consider something a bit more challenging once you've done the others on this list. While this trail isn't hard, it does go uphill which adds a different level of challenge. The trail is 1.7 miles out and back and it's located in the West Rattlesnake Natural Area. Get to the top and see some lovely views over Squam Lake.
After you’ve tackled all of these trails, hop in the car and
drive yourself to this beautiful waterfall. We all deserve a break sometimes!