HOME » RECREATION
» HIKING HOME
would you like to hike up the mountains shown in the photo to the
left? Just imagine the view from up there, just imagine the cool
breeze, imagine the peace and quiet. Provided that you are
willing and ambitious enough, you can climb to the top of several
peaks in the Lakes Region, where the view will blow you
away. Most peaks are under 3,000 feet and can be done easily
in a day. Although the definition of easy is subject to opinion,
the Lakes Region offers a such a variety of trails that it would
be difficult for one to not be able to find a climb suitable
for your skill level. The trails we mention on this page are
actively maintained and well marked, you should have no troubles.
Major: One of the most popular and fantastic views of
the lake can be had from the rocky flat top of Mt. Major,
which will give you an elevation gain of about 1,100
feet. Most of the hike is pretty easy, as it follows old
logging roads. Toward the end as you near the summit, it
becomes steeper. The last stretch can be very steep and
potentially slippery when wet. The summit is wide, flat, and
offers panoramic views of the entire Lakes Region. This
climb is especially stunning during the fall foliage season.
Total trail is about 3 miles in length and is located on Route
11 between Alton and Weirs Beach. More
A smaller and gentler version of Mt. Major, the Lockes Hill
loop offers several places to stop and rest, picnic, or just
relax and take in the scenery. If you're in search of the rare
and beautiful Lady Slipper flower, there is almost always one
set slightly off the trail on the wooded backside of the loop.
Lockes Hill can be easily found right off of Route 11 on the
way to Alton Bay from Weirs Beach. This is an easy trail
and one that is an excellent choice for a beginner hiker.
Mountain: This trail runs about a mile and a
half long and can take up to an hour and a half to complete.
You'll climb 740 feet to the summits peak elevation of nearly
2400 feet, you get to drive up most of it. It's a climb of
moderate difficulty, however it's fully worth the effort, as
the the view from the summit is stunning. You can find
the trailhead off Belknap Mountain road from Gilford Village.
If you climb in May, Early June, or September, and it's clear,
you'll will be able to see brilliantly snow capped Mt.
Washington way off in the distance. More
Mountain: Gunstock offers several trails located in
the Belknap Mountain range on which you can hike. As you enter
gunstock, you can pick up a trail map at their camp store.
They have recently added a new trail, which comes out to a
overlook. Stay on that trail as it dips and then back up and
eventually intersects with trails to the summits of Belknap
and Gunstock mountain. A good trail for an intermediate hiker.
You get more information from Gunstock by calling
and Percival: Located in Holderness, this will take
you over two peaks in the Squam range, which of course offer
views of New Hampshire's most heavily protected body of water,
Squam Lake. Coming in at five miles, this trail is best
left to the experts or the difficult to tire. Over the
course of about four or five hours, you'll gain over 1,400
feet as you reach the summits, which stand at a maximum of
2,212 feet above sea level. More information: Mt.
Morgan or Mt.
Hill: By Lakes Region standards, Red Hill is bigger
than some mountains. It's summit rises 2,029 feet above
sea level, you however, will only have to climb 1,370 of those
feet. Red Hill is a long flat-topped ridge, rising up from
nearly flat ground at it's base. At it's top sits a fire
tower, which makes spotting Red Hill easy, even from great
distances. Located off a market dirt road from Bean Road
in Center Harbor, Red Hill offers moderate hiking and
unsurpassed views. More
Nature Walks: The Lakes Region Conservation Trust
owns 70 properties totaling over 10,000 acres, most of those
acres are open to the public. Some of their properties offer
hiking trails and nature walks, and are a outdoor lovers dream
come true. Some of the properties the trust owns are
Islands, Stonedam Island is one of our favorites. For more
information you can call the Lakes Region Conservation at 603-
279-3246 or visit their website at http://www.lrct.org.
Mountains: The Squam mountain range located in
Holderness offers several trails that are maintained by the
Squam Lakes Association. Call 603-968-7336 for trail and guide
information or visit http://www.squamlakes.org.
- Are the trails
well marked and in good condition?
All of the trails listed
on this page are maintained as best as possible. Hiking early in
the season shortly after the snow has melted will likely yield the
poorest of conditions, as those who maintain the trails have the
daunting task of clearing away downed trees and branches from
winter snow and ice storms. In the summer, heavy rains can cause a
lot of mud and slippery surfaces and the occasional strong
thunderstorm winds can drop many trees which may take a while to
clear away. It's always a good idea to check the weather for
the past few days before setting out.
- What are the
dangers of hiking alone?
In the Lakes Region, the
dangers are few. Hiking alone is viewed as being careless in
some places, but not here. Unless you hike in the winter
when there are few people around, insist on trying to create new
trails by straying from the marked path, or have to sprint all the
way up, there is not much that can happen to you. If you're
hiking Mt. Major and you happen to fall and break both legs, both
arms, and your back, just wait a while. These are very
popular trails, and you are never alone for long. Most likely,
someone will be along with a cell phone in a few minutes.
- Are there wild
animals or plants I should be wary of?
Unless you count
Mosquitoes as wild animals, not really. There are bears in
these woods, especially around the northern perimeter of the lake,
near Moultonboro, but they tend to avoid the high traffic trails and
remain deep in the woods. To the best of our knowledge, there has
never been a bear attack. It's not out of the question to
encounter a skunk or raccoon if your hiking late in the evening,
but they would much rather run away than come gnaw on your
leg. If you encounter a skunk, raccoon, fox, or other
nocturnal animal during the day, never approach: rabies is very
rare, but it does exist. There are no poisonous snakes or
dangerous spiders in the Lakes Region, although we do have some
snakes that will amusingly try to strike at you if
provoked. As for plants, poison ivy does grow in the Lakes
Region, but it's not overly widespread and just about impossible to get
if you stay on the trail. If you happen to see a Lady Slipper
flower, leave it be, picking them is bad luck.
- What are the
general rules, guidelines, and supplies of hiking?
- You've heard it before, always
carry out what you carry in.
- Lightning is the greatest
danger on the trails, always check the weather before heading
- Bring sunscreen if the
mountain you are climbing has a bald peak and you plan to hang
out for a while. The slightly cooler temperatures and
stronger winds found at mountain summits often mask the
feeling of your skin burning.
- Don't drink and hike.
Not only does alcohol make you think it's all right to throw
the empty can or bottle on the ground, it pretty much triples
your risk of tripping over a root and into a pile of mud.
- Prevent noise pollution.
Hiking up with 20 of your friends and telling jokes and
stories is great for you, but not everyone else. You
would be astounded how far voices can carry in the woods. For
most people, escaping the general noise of society is one of
the main reasons for taking to the trail.
- Bring plenty of water.
- Take a long a sweater, it may
be a comfy 72 degrees at the base, but at the summit it may be
64 degrees with a gusty 35-45 mile per hour wind. It can often
get colder than anticipated.
- Bring your camera, with an
extra roll of film or memory cards if it's digital. Nothing will send you into a rampage
like getting to the top and not being able to prove it to your
2000-2011. Reproduction, whether in print or in digital media
without permission is prohibited.
Listed | Contact Us