New Hampshire Nature April 29, 2022
If There Are Only 5 Family Hikes You Ever Take In New Hampshire, Follow These Easy Trails
Hiking is one of the greatest, if not
the greatest outdoor activities. Why? It’s affordable, it promotes physical and mental health, it offers access to beautiful scenery and wildlife, and, best of all, it’s family-friendly! To get a taste of all the beauty New Hampshire has to offer, we recommend you follow these five easy, family-friendly trails.
1. Lake Hike: Old Bridle Path
This 1.7-mile out-and-back trail leads to a sweeping panoramic view of Squam Lake. The trail begins with a bit of an incline and requires hikers to march up a number of stairs to reach the top, but it’s worth every heavy breath! The trail typically takes hikers an average of 50 minutes to complete and is best hiked between April through October. Fun fact: Squam Lake is where the movie On Golden Pond, starring Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fond, and Jane Fonda was filmed.
2. River Hike: The Flume Gorge Trail
This 2.2-mile loop trail is located in Franconia Notch State Park and typically takes hikers an average of one hour to complete. The park charges a fee of $16 - $18 depending on age but is free for those five and under. Pro tip: dogs aren’t allowed, so you’ll have to leave your four-legged fluffy companion at home.
But, the hike’s boardwalk will distract you from missing your pup as it provides up-close access to the surrounding flowers, ferns, mosses, granite walls, and waterfalls.
3. Mountain Hike: Bald Mountain
This trail is located near Marlow, New Hampshire, and will give the family a taste of New Hampshire mountain hiking. It’s a 2.8-mile loop trail that takes hikers an average of just over one hour to complete. The trail is well marked and offers various ledge look-outs, wildflowers, wildlife, and stone thrones at the summit for you to kick back and bask in your achievement. Pro tip: bring bug spray to fend off the flies and mosquitos!
4. Waterfall Hike: Arethusa Falls
Arethusa Falls is an absolute must-hike for…well…everyone! Located in Crawford Notch State Park, this 2.8-mile hike leads to one of New Hampshire’s tallest waterfalls. Standing and flowing at more than 100 feet, this waterfall showcases the headwaters of Bemis Brook thundering over the granite cliff and splashing below. This is an out-and-back trail and takes hikers an average of one and a half hours to complete. Pro tip: get there early to avoid crowds and overflowing parking lots!
5. Ocean Hike: Odiorne Point Loop Trail
This 3-mile loop trail is located in Odiorne Point State Park and offers access to one of the most beautiful natural settings along New Hampshire’s coastline. It takes hikers an average of just over one hour to complete and is almost entirely flat, with a modest elevation of 114 feet. The park is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and charges $4 for adults and $2 for children.
Pro tip: pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic with one of the most stunning ocean views New Hampshire offers.
With over 90 state parks and terrain of mountains, coastlines, lakes, waterfalls, and rivers, it’s no surprise that so many hikers flock to New Hampshire each year.
Have you ever done a family hike in NH? What was your favorite trail?
Address: West Rattlesnake Mountain Trailhead, Center Sandwich, NH 03227, USA Address: Flume Gorge Visitor Center, Lincoln, NH 03251, USA Address: Elizabeth Burns McIntire Forest, Forest Rd, Marlow, NH 03456, USA Address: Arethusa Falls Road, Arethusa Falls Rd, Hart's Location, NH 03812, USA Address: Odiorne Point State Park, 570 Ocean Blvd, Rye, NH 03870, USA