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Appalachian Trail - New Hampshire

Crawford Notch State Park- Crawford Notch State Park lies within the beautiful White Mountains Regions of New Hampshire.
Franconia Notch State Park- Franconia Notch State Park is a spectacular park located in a mountain pass traversed by a unique interstate parkway which extends from the Flume at the south end to Echo Lake to the north.
Mt. Washington State Park- Mount Washington State Park, a 59-acre parcel perched on the summit of the Northeast's highest peak, is surrounded by the extensive 750,000-acre White Mountain National Forest. On a clear day views from the 6,288-foot summit extend beyond New Hampshire as far as 130 miles to Vermont, New York, Quebec, Massachusetts, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean.

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Appalachian Trail - New Hampshire
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Description - The Appalachian Trail is a footpath of more than 2,150 miles with approximately 160 miles lying in New Hampshire between the Connecticut River in Hanover to the Maine state line. Within this state alone there are thirty-five peaks over 3,000 feet. The trail traverses Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia. Primary use is by weekend or short-term hikers. "Thru-hikers" generally start from the South in early spring and hike the entire length in 5 to 6 months.

Attractions - The Appalachian Trail leaves the state of Vermont by crossing the Connecticut River and heading into one of America's oldest college towns where Dartmouth College resides. The path travels west offering views of the Trescott Ridge Wetlands Area. In this area much of the trail remains on a slice of public land with an occasional excursion onto private land. One of the first peaks to encounter in New Hampshire is South Peak which is located in Goodwin Forest. The North Peak is a mile beyond. The trail crosses over Good Pond Road. Hewes Brook must be crossed as well. Bear Hill is due north while Dartmouth Skiway is to the west. As the trail continues it crosses Dorchester Road and Grant Brook while remaining on a slender piece of public land. It reaches Smarts Mountain offering views from an elevation of 2,500 feet. Heading due north to Mt. Cube several more streams must be crossed. Lower Baker Pond and Upper Baker Pond are found along SR 25A where the small town of Gilman's Corner offers accommodations. The trail stretches into Sentinel Mountain State Forest at the base of White Mountain National Forest. The next 100 miles are the most difficult in the state. The Appalachian Trail Conference rates it an 8 - 10. The trail winds around Wachipauka Pond before crossing SR 25 just north of Glencliff. The A.T. and Glencliff Trail overlap for several miles along the ridges of Hurricane Mountain. The first major ascent within the White Mountains National Forest is Mount Moosilauke. It is the Forest's 10th tallest mountain standing at 4,802 feet. The trail continues northwest overlapping Beaver Brook Trail which climbs a steady 2,200 feet in 2 miles. The trail passes through the Kinsman Notch area over SR 112 where Lost River offers sights along a boardwalk leading to a natural gorge with huge boulder caves, rock formations and waterfalls. From here the trail heads north overlapping the Kinsman Ridge Trail. The first mountain in this stretch is South Kinsman which has an elevation of 4,358 feet. Next is North Kinsman, elevation 4,293 feet. From this height hikers may see Kinsman Pond which may be accessed via a small spur trail. The A.T. travels west to the Lonesome Lake Shelter which is 2 miles south of Lonesome Lake. The trail turns south into Franconia Notch State Park. This is one of the most well-known areas of White Mountains National Forest. Many natural features attract thousands of visitors. Interstate 93 cuts through the notch. Some of the most well known features of the park include The Basin, which is a glacial pothole measuring 20 feet in diameter; The Flume is a narrow gorge extending 800 feet with massive granite walls; and Old Man of the Mountain which is a massive granite profile that has become a state emblem for New Hampshire. Overnight camping, fresh drinking water and supplies are may be found in the area. The Appalachian Trail heads west to ridges of Mt. Flume, 4,328 feet, then onto Mt. Liberty at 4,459 feet. Little Haystack's summit is reached at 4,760 feet then onto Mt. Lincoln at 5,089 feet. Next is Mt. Lafayette which towers at 5,260 feet. These 5 ridges and summits are encountered in under 5 miles of rugged path. From Mt. Lafayette northwest to South Twin Mountain are considered three of the most consecutively difficult peaks in White Mountains. They all range above 4,500 feet. An A.T. shelter is found before the summit of South Twin Mountain. Zealand Mountain, 4,260 feet is found several miles to the west and considered less impressive than the previous peaks. Zeacliff Pond is found about 1 mile south of Zealand Falls Shelter. The trail heads into the Crawford Notch State Park area overlapping the Ethan Pond Trail, Webster Jackson Trail and the Webster Cliff Trail as it heads into the Presidential Range. Before entering the state park, the trail passes Thoreau Falls and Ethan Pond which are known for beautiful views and excellent trout fishing. The pond is at the southwestern tip of Mt. Willey. Beyond Webster Cliff Trail is Crawford Path which is the oldest continuous trail in America. This region has some of the most spectacular scenery offering southeastern views of The Presidentials. To the north stands the impressive Mt. Washington which is the highest peak in the Eastern United States, 6,288 feet. This scenic area includes an impressive 7-mile toll road to the peak, a cog railway, a museum and several well-known hiking trails including Ammonoosuc Ravine and Davis Path. Nearby is Alpine Garden which offers sights of Lapland rosebay and alpine azalea which are floras normally found in arctic regions. The trail then heads north to loop around the Great Gulf Wilderness. A number of ranges are crossed including Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Sam Adams and Mt. Quincy Adams. The trail loops south onto Osgood Ridge and into the Pinkham Notch Scenic Area. It crosses SR 16 heading south for approximately 1 mile until it turns northeast to cross Wildcat Ridge. Carter Notch Shelter is found at the intersection with Wildcat River Trail. The next peak to encounter is Carter Dome, then Mt. Hight. The trail overlaps with Carter Moriah Trail as it heads north to South Carter, Middle Carter and North Carter Mountains. Several more peaks, ridges and streams are negotiated before reaching US 2 and the wide Androscoggin River. North Road does cross over the river allowing dry passage for the hiker. The trail heads northwest into the Leadmine State Forest where it travels the ridges of Mt. Hayes, Cascade Mountain and Wocket Ledge. This is now the Mahoosuc Range area which extends over into Maine. The first developed area encountered in Maine is Grafton Notch State Park which is approximately 8 miles northwest of the state line.

Recreation - Day and overnight hikes are possible along New Hampshire's portion of the A.T. that has thirty-five peaks over 3,000 feet. . Trail amenities include: trout fishing, camping, picnicking, wildlife viewing, rock climbing and more.

Climate - New Hampshire residents experience four distinct seasons. Winter can be cold with average temperatures reaching 25 degrees F in December, January and February. The cold temperatures humidity bring heavy, water-laden snow to all parts of the state. Spring begins in mid-March and lasts through May. Most people enjoy hiking the White Mountains section of the Appalachian Trail during July and August. The higher elevation still experience temperatures cold enough for a year-round snow fall. High winds are common above the tree line. Trail preparedness is necessary. The other section of trail from the Vermont state line to Glencliff experiences more normal New England summer temperatures which lengthens the hiking season from June to September. Summer day temperatures rarely get above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer nighttime temperatures range in the 60's.

Location - The Appalachian Trail enters New Hampshire at the college town of Hanover along the Vermont state line. The trail heads northeast into the White Mountains National Forest and exists at Grafton Notch near Bethel, Maine. Franconia Notch State Park and Crawford Notch State Park, both of which are in the White Mountains National Forest, offer easy access to day hiking.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Michael Beam (New Port Richey, FL)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: On May 31, I met my father (trailname "Grandpa Bob") in Hanover for a week's hike together before he went on alone toward Maine (he's been section hiking every year since '98.) We started out on a rainy morning, June 1. That day's hike was a good starter to get the leg and back muscles acclimated - went approx. 12 miles to Moose Mountain Shelter. After a chilly, wet night, we hiked on past Holt's Ledge (Great view) and up Smart's Mountain & stayed in the fire warden's cabin. The maps understate the distance AND difficulty of this segment, I suspect. The last pull was almost vertical and went up over smooth, slick flow stone. However, once we attained the summit, the views were spectacular from the fire tower. On the third day we hiked up over Mount Cube and down to Gilman's Corner. We were sore, tired and the black flies were HORRIBLE,(HINT: take a heatnet and 100% DEET) so we hiked nearly two miles up Hwy, 25A to the Mt. Cube Sugar House, where we were fortunate to get a ride down to Warren. We called the Shuttle Connection (a very valuable 800 number in this region) and rode to North Woodstock for a hot shower and a soft bed. While in Woodstock, we suggest Peg's Restaurant for breakfast (open at 5:30 a.m., breakfast & lunch all day) and Woodstock Station, a local brew pub, for dinner. The town of Lincoln is a 20 - 30 minute walk, and has numerous outfitters for resupply & equipment. After two days rest (it rained all day on June 5) we slackpacked up over Mt. Moosilauke (4802 ft.). Three hours to reach the summit from Glencliff (and we're slow movers) - and, unfortunately, the cloud cover obscured any possible view from the top. CAUTION - the Appalachian Trail is POORLY marked on this mountain, and there are several trails once you reach the summit. In fact, due to the fog and poor trail markers, we mistakenly took the Gorge Brook Trail down from the summit. It was an easier route than Beaver Brook, from what we heard, but it was a needless loss of trail mileage that is not easily regained. Notwithstanding this one annoyance, the hike was beautiful, and there are numerous vistas and streams that make for great photo ops. We called the Shuttle Connection from the Ravine Lodge and got a ride back to Woodstock. This was a great section of the trail, and I recommend it to hikers with intermediate experience. We each carried between 30 and 35 pounds, (except up Moosilauke, when we cut back to 10-15 pounds) and I think that's the limit of comfort and pleasure for this stretch. Any heavier pack, and the up & down would NOT be much fun.

More Information

Contact Information:
The Appalachian Trail Conference, P.O. Box 807, Washington & Jackson Streets , Harpers Ferry, WV, 25425-0807, Phone: 304-535-6331

Additional Information:
Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Travel Region - The Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Travel Region is world renowned for being the keystone of education. Education history abounds dating back to 1649.
Great North Woods Travel Region - The Great North Woods Travel Region boasts having 97% of its land forested. Timber companies own sixty to seventy percent of the land, many of which allow recreation on their land.
New Hampshire - New Hampshire is characterized by its spectacular beauty, rich heritage, and the strength of its people. The gorgeous landscape ranges from the Atlantic Ocean, White Mountains, rolling farmland, glorious lakes and rivers and quaint New England villages. New Hampshire also holds the distinction of having the longest wooden covered bridge in the country, the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge (built in 1866) spans the Connecticut River.
New Hampshire State Parks - The state of New Hampshire has over 65 state park facilities ranging from historic sites and woodland picnic groves to beautiful sand beaches. There is one National Park facility, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site and one National Forest, White Mountains.
Wapack National Wildlife Refuge - Wapack National Wildlife Refuge, located in southern New Hampshire on North Pack Monadnock Mountain, is managed as a wilderness area. The Refuge is entirely wooded upland and exposed rock.
White Mountains Travel Region - The White Mountains Travel Region lies in the mid section of New Hampshire offering spectacular scenery of White Mountains National Forest. State Parks abound with the most well known being Franconia Notch offering sights of New Hampshire's symbol "the Old Man of the Mountain."

Appalachian Trail Association - Local non-profit information.


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