best-day-hikes-in-new-hampshire

20 Best Day Hikes in New Hampshire That You’ll Absolutely Love

Trails in New Hampshire offer a wide range of opportunities for hikers of all levels, from the novice to the seasoned explorer.

In Southern New Hampshire, you can find a variety of trails to explore, from easy to more challenging hikes. The best day hikes in New Hampshire will provide stunning views and unforgettable experiences.

So, grab your camera, grab your water bottle, and get ready to explore the majestic trails of New Hampshire.

Can a beginner do a moderate hike?

Hikes in New Hampshire are an enjoyable way to refresh your mind, get some exercise, and take in the breathtaking scenery. Whether you are looking for an easy stroll or a challenging summit, there are plenty of trails to explore, including those in the Southern New Hampshire region. Here are some of the top day hikes in New Hampshire:

1. Mt. Monadnock

Monadnock is reported as the most frequented mountain in the globe, with its rugged summit offering 360-degree panoramas as far as Boston on a clear day. Depending on your preferences, there are various paths. Generally referred to as Monadnock State Park, it is a 4-hour roundtrip through moderate terrain. It starts off Highway 101 at Monadnock State Park in Jaffrey, located in southern New Hampshire. The longer Pumpelly Trail, more challenging yet more interesting, climbs on opposite sides of Dublin Lake off US 101.

  • Trail: The Pumpelly.
  • Trail Length: 3.2 miles.
  • Altitude Gain: 860 feet.
  • Difficulty: moderate.
The Pumpelly Trail

2. Mt. Chocorua: Champney Falls Trail

New England’s most photographed mountain stands almost alone, with its distinctive peak reflecting as a mirror in Chocoru Lake. Trails are generally climbed — the pips Trail runs on the 16th Avenue, not far north of the lake, with the best views. But on Kancamagus Highway (Route 112) the path leads into Champney Falls, which is a longer route that is more varied, allowing you to make an out and back loop to within 100 yards of the original route point.

Champney Falls Trail
  • Trail: Champney Falls Trail.
  • Length: 2.6-mile.
  • Lift Gain: 1,000 feet.
  • Difficulty: moderate.

3. Mt. Washington: Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail

Traveling along the Ammonoosuc River, the climb up Northeast’s highest summit offers an array of stunning waterfalls and panoramic views of all sides of Mount Washington. The nine-mile roundtrip trail, which begins at the Mount Washington Cog Railway Base Station, is the most gratifying trail of the Presidential Range. From the trailhead, you’ll trek through the picturesque forest, enjoying the majestic beauty of the Presidential Range and its cascading waterfalls. Finally, you’ll reach the top of the summit, where you can bask in the awe-inspiring vistas of the majestic mountain range.

  • Trail: Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail.
  • Length: 9 miles.
  • Altitude Gain: 6,288 feet.
  • Difficulty: moderate.
Mt. Washington

4. Mount Monadnock

For those seeking a lesser-known hike from South New Hampshire with similar views of Mount Monadnock. Though it lacks 360° views, the view looks south toward Boston. The most popular trail is the Wapack Trail, which has around 1,000 feet of elevation over 1.6 miles. Mount Monadnock is an excellent alternative to Mount Monadnock if you need something quieter or if you can’t make a reservation!

  • Trail: Wapack Trail.
  • Length: 3.2 miles.
  • Altitude Gain: 1,000 feet.
  • Difficulty: moderate.

5. South Ridge Trail

The South Ridge Trail in New Hampshire is a challenging, yet rewarding hike. Enjoy spectacular views of the White Mountains from this 3.2 mile out and back trail, with an elevation gain of 1,500 feet. Perfect for experienced hikers looking for a day-long adventure.

  • Trails: South Ridge Trail.
  • Length: 3.2 miles.
  • Altitude gain: 1,500 feet.
  • Difficulty: difficult.

6. Southern New Hampshire Hiking Trails

Southern New Hampshire is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for amazing hiking trails. With a stunning landscape of rolling hills and lush forests, Southern New Hampshire offers a variety of hiking trails for all levels of hikers, such as Crawford Notch State Park often get neglected. From easy nature walks to more challenging mountain treks, Southern New Hampshire hiking trails have something for everyone. So come explore the great outdoors in Southern New Hampshire!

  • Trails: Dry River Trail (2.2 miles), the Crawford Connector Trail (1.5 miles), and the Arethusa Falls Trail (1.4 miles).
  • Length: 10 miles of trails.
  • Altitude gain: 2,000 feet.
  • Difficulty: from easy to difficult trails.
Crawford Notch State Park

7. South Mountain Lookout Tower

South Mountain Lookout Tower is located within Pawtuckaway State Park. Pawtuckaway State Park is the most beautiful park in Vermont and hosts several wonderful hiking trails. South Mountain Lookout Tower has an incredible panorama of the region. The summit provides wonderful views, although the best views can be seen from the fire tower.

  • Trails: Mount Trail > South Ridge Trails.
  • Length: 62 km.
  • Altitude Gain: 800 feet.
  • Difficulty: easy or moderate.
Pawtuckaway State Park

8. Lincoln Woods Trail

The Lincoln Woods Trail, considered to be a gate into the Pemigewasset wilderness, takes 10 kilometers and the journey can easily be shorter. It runs mostly flat along a riverbed along the Pemigewasset Valley. Start your walk along the Franconia Falls trail and, if lucky, catch a falls in an unusually freezing free fall!

  • Trails: Lincoln Woods Trail.
  • Length: 3.9-miles.
  • Altitude Gain: 576 feet.
  • Difficulty: moderate.
Lincoln Woods

9. Arethusa Falls

A short three-mile roundtrip New Hampshire hike from Crawford Notch State Park will take you to the most stunning waterfalls in the state. After seeing the 140ft drop from the falls above rock faces, head downstream and relax at two small waterfalls and a swimming pool. It’s one of those New Hampshire hiking trails that is quite steep and small.

Trails: Arethusa Falls Trail.

Length: 0.8 miles.

Altitude gain: 590 feet.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Arethusa Falls

10. Franconia Ridge Trail

Franconia Ridge is an 8-mile loop on the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire. This popular trail features stunning views of the surrounding White Mountains, as well as challenging ascents and descents. Hikers can experience a wild and scenic journey, with a variety of terrain, from lush forests to open rock slabs. Enjoy a full day of hiking on this classic, rewarding trail.

  • Distance: 8.6 miles round-trip.
  • Time duration: Approximately 8–9 hours, including breaks.
  • Difficulty: Difficult – Challenging and technical.

Hiking New Hampshire’s 8 AMC Huts

Experience the thrill of an amazing adventure by hiking all eight Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) huts in New Hampshire. Take in the breathtaking natural beauty and make lasting memories as you traverse the region’s stunning trails.

Appalachian Mountain Hut

11. Boulder Trail


The Boulder Trail in New Hampshire is an excellent hiking trail for adventurers of all skill levels. This scenic trail offers breathtaking views of the White Mountains and is filled with outdoor activities such as fishing, swimming, and camping. With its diverse terrain, Boulder Trail is sure to provide an unforgettable experience for any outdoor enthusiast.

  • Trails: Boulder Trail.
  • Length: 3.2-mile.
  • Altitude Gain: 1,000 feet.
  • Difficulty: moderate.
Boulder Loop Trail

12. Rocky Glen Falls

Come explore the breathtaking beauty of Rocky Glen Falls located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Take in the stunning views of the cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush green forests and rolling hills. Whether you are looking for a peaceful stroll or an adventurous hike, Rocky Glen Falls offers something for everyone. Enjoy activities such as fishing, swimming, and camping while taking in the natural beauty of this special location.

  • Trails: Rocky Glen Falls.
  • Length: 2.6 miles.
  • Altitude gain: 500 feet.
  • Difficulty: moderate.

13. Barlow Trail

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the White Mountain National Forest and explore the picturesque Barlow Trail. Take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside, while also enjoying plenty of natural wildlife and flora. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced hiker, this scenic trail has something for everyone, offering a range of difficulty levels and terrain to explore. So, grab your camping gear and get ready to experience the great outdoors like never before!

  • Trails: Barlow Trail.
  • Length: 5.4 miles.
  • Altitude Gain: 2,400 feet.
  • Difficulty: moderate.

15. White Cross Trail


The White Cross Trail is a scenic hiking trail in New Hampshire that winds through the White Mountains. This trail offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside, as well as a chance to experience the unique beauty of the White Mountains. From easy flat hikes to steep ascents, this trail has something for every hiker. Whether you’re looking to take in the views or challenge yourself on a more difficult trail, the White Cross Trail is the perfect place to explore.

  • Trails: White Cross Trail.
  • Length: 1.8 miles.
  • Altitude gain: 1,800 feet.
  • Difficulty: easy/difficult.
White Cross Trail

16. Lafayette Campground

The Lafayette Campground is situated in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, offering stunning views of Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge. With its excellent facilities, beautiful surroundings, and convenient location, Lafayette Campground is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking to camp in a tent, RV, or cabin, Lafayette Campground has something for everyone!

  • Trails: Lafayette Campground.
  • Length: 2.3 miles.
  • Altitude gain: 2,500 feet.
  • Difficulty: easy to difficult.
Lafayette Campground
Lafayette Campground

17. Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee, located in New Hampshire, is a popular destination for visitors looking to enjoy the beauty of the lake and its surrounding area. Boasting over 300 islands, a variety of recreational activities, and a rich history. Enjoy the stunning views, pristine beaches, and a variety of outdoor activities. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an action-packed adventure, Lake.

Lake Winnipesauk

18. Winslow State Park

Winslow State Park is a scenic outdoor destination in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including camping, fishing, kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking. Explore the park’s trails and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Come experience the natural beauty of Winslow State Park!

  • Trails: Winslow State Park.
  • Length: 2.9 miles.
  • Altitude gain: 1,200 feet.
  • Difficulty: moderate.

19. Rollins State Park

Rollins State Park is a scenic, family-friendly destination located in the center of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. This 1,800-acre park offers a variety of outdoor activities such as camping, swimming, hiking, and fishing. With its breathtaking views and abundance of wildlife, Rollins State Park is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway.

  • Trails: Rollins State Park.
  • Length: 4 miles.
  • Altitude gain: 800 feet.
  • Difficulty: moderate.

20. Crotched Mountain

Crotched Mountain is a premier destination for outdoor adventure and relaxation in the heart of the beautiful Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. With its stunning mountain views, miles of trails, and access to outdoor recreation activities, Crotched Mountain is the perfect place to explore nature’s beauty and enjoy time with family and friends.

  • Trails: Crotched Mountain.
  • Length: 1.4 miles.
  • Altitude gain: 1,200 feet.
  • Difficulty: moderate.
Crotched Mountain

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