New Hampshire Nature January 30, 2023
by Ken MacGray The One Incredible Trail That Spans The Entire State of New Hampshire
The Appalachian Trail is the longest footpath in the world, stretching 2194.3 miles from Georgia to Maine. Each year, thousands of hikers attempt the trail in one trip, while others hike sections of it. 160.9 miles of the AT pass through New Hampshire, providing plentiful opportunities to walk this historic route and see some of its spectacular sights.
The AT begins its journey into New Hampshire on the Ledyard Bridge over the Connecticut River. The trail winds about on the streets of Hanover for a bit before taking to the woods.
Smarts Mountain is the first 3,000-footer encountered while hiking northbound. Its 40-foot fire tower affords spectacular views above the trees in all directions.
Mt. Moosilauke is one of the most impressive mountains in the state, and is the first alpine summit that hikers reach after leaving Vermont.
In Franconia Notch State Park, the AT traverses the iconic Franconia Ridge. The New Hampshire section of the trail has more miles above treeline than any other state that it passes through.
Aside from the scenic summits, the AT also runs through quiet forests and past tranquil lakes and ponds. Ethan Pond near Crawford Notch is the site of a popular shelter used by both day and thru-hikers.
While the AT passes over Mt. Washington, the highest summit in the northeastern U.S., it runs just shy of its highest point. The side trip to the summit sign, however, is only a short detour.
The New Hampshire section of the AT is rugged to say the least. One of the roughest spots is the very steep descent into Carter Notch, the deep cut between the Wildcat and Carter-Moriah ranges.
Mt. Success in the rough-and-tumble Mahoosuc Range is the last peak along the route in New Hampshire. From here, the trail continues northbound for about 2.5 miles to the Maine border on its way to Katahdin.
It should be noted that this entire section of the AT does not have to be done all in one go unless you want to of course! All of the destinations mentioned above can be done as day or overnight hikes. For more information, grab a copy of the
AMC White Mountain Guide and visit the Appalachian Trail Conservancy website.
If you’re looking for hikes, New Hampshire has you covered!
Take a walk to see some great waterfalls or check out these 12 hikes around the state, one for each month of the year.
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Address: New Hampshire, USA