New Hampshire is covered in large expanses of untouched wilderness. The White Mountains in the north cover more than a quarter of the state and most of New Hampshire’s 48 peaks over 4,000 feet high are in the White Mountains. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the region and is a popular and challenging hiking destination.
4.Mount Kearsarge North
7.North Peak Kinsman Mountain
10.Bald Mountain (Antrim/Hancock)
20 of the Most Beautiful Mountains in New Hampshire
- Lion Head, Photo: Courtesy of Eurico - Fotolia.com
- Mount Success, Photo: Courtesy of iava777 - Fotolia.com
- Mount Chocorua, Photo: Courtesy of straystone - Fotolia.com
- Mount Kearsarge North, Photo: Courtesy of deemwave - Fotolia.com
- South Baldface, Photo: Courtesy of Tom - Fotolia.com
- Mount Crawford, Photo: Courtesy of elrepho - Fotolia.com
- North Peak Kinsman Mountain, Photo: Courtesy of schankz - Fotolia.com
- Moat Mountain, Photo: Courtesy of littleny - Fotolia.com
- Bondcliff, Photo: Courtesy of elrepho - Fotolia.com
- Bald Mountain (Antrim/Hancock), Photo: Courtesy of FotoIdee - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of littleny - Fotolia.com
The Northeast Cannonball is a 3,769-foot-high mountain on the narrow ridge between Cannon Mountain and the North Kinsman, and is the highest point in the area. You can get a view of Cannon Mountain from a unique perspective from the wide-open space close to the Cannonball’s summit. The best view of the Cannonballs is from Lonesome Lake. The Lonesome Lake Trail starts at the Lafayette Campground in Franconia Notch and offers a direct route to the mountain summit. It takes 1.2 miles to reach Lonesome Lake and it is 1.1 miles more to the Kinsman Ridge Trail. The trail climbs steeply to the summit, making an 8-mile loop.
West Bond is a 4,540-foot-high mountain, a part of the Twin Mountain range northwest of Bondcliff and Mount Bond, the 19th highest peak in New England. It is not very popular among hikers, but its summit offers fantastic unobstructed view of the Pemi Wilderness, South Twin, Galehead, Owls Head, and the Franconia Ridge's major peaks on the east side. There is a spur trail off the Bondcliff Trail leading to the West Bond summit, so count on at least 7 miles of hiking from the nearest trailhead. There are a few more trails you can take if you want to reach the summit in one day.
Starting in a historical cemetery in the village of Swanzey in southwest New Hampshire, Mount Caesar is a perfect mountain to hike with kids on Halloween. It is only a mile long and heads up the mountain in a double track path, not technically marked but easy and pleasant, winding through dense, shady forests. Once you come to the summit, the view opens up to the Monadnocks, Franklin, and Gunn Mountains. The trail is not used much, so you might be able to enjoy it on your own, or with the kids. There are plenty of spaces in the forest to spook them if the cemetery trailhead did not do the job. It also might help to tell them that the summit was used by the local Native Americans as a lookout.
East Osceola, the 4,156-foot-high eastern peak of Mount Osceola in the White Mountains, is one of the New Hampshire’s 4,000-footers but it is less famous and less popular than Osceola’s main summit. It is also harder to reach and offers less interesting views, but if you are trying to bag all peaks, it is worth the effort. In the summer, you should hike first to Osceola and then follow the trail eastward along the ridge. The trail is steep and has a short scrambling part known as the Chimney. Another trail that reaches the East Osceola summit goes up the mountain from Mad River Notch just north of Greeley Ponds, along its northeastern ridge.
Mount Shaw is a 2,900-foot-high mountain in the Ossipee Mountains in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. It is part of the Lakes Region Conservation Trust property, better known as the Castle in the Clouds estate. The most popular trail to the summit of Mount Shaw is the Shaw Trail, a 6.6-mile-long out and back trail near Melvin Village. This trail starts just off Route 171, heading up to the mountain carriage roads that link to the summit. Both Shaw and Black Snout peaks of Mount Shaw offer fantastic unobstructed views in all directions. In the winter, you can get to Mount Shaw on a snowmobile.
Green Mountain, Effingham
Green Mountain is a 1,907-foot-high mountain located near Effingham, New Hampshire. It is part of the Green Mountain State Forest and has a semi-active fire watchtower at the summit, your best chance for a nice view since there are no clear views from the ground. The most popular trail to the summit is the High Watch, a 3-mile round-trip hike with 1,200 feet of elevation gain. While fairly pleasant and not too steep, it is eroded in places and, besides wildflowers along the trail, there are no views except from the tower. The Dearborn Trail from the southeast is a little longer but goes through wonderful hardwood forests and has some ledges at higher elevation.??
Faraway Mountain is a 2,782-foot-high mountain near Lake Winnipesauke in New Hampshire. It is the second highest summit of the Ossipee Range, a volcanic ring-dike that offers great views from the top. Mount Shaw is the highest. The easiest access to Faraway is by using the Roberts Trail, with great views from the ledges along the way. Its trailhead is on the grounds of the Lake Region Conservation Trust's Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough. Start with the High Ridge Trail going east. There is a utility trail to the Faraway summit.
Mount Percival is a 2,212-foot mountain overlooking Squam Lake in southern New Hampshire, on the border with the White Mountain National Forest. This small mountain is popular for hiking, even with kids, with some good scrambles and great views of the lakes in the Lakes Region as well as the Belknap Mountains and the White Mountains. The most popular trail is the Mount Percival Trail, a 1.9-mile hike with 1,419 feet in elevation gain, steep and rocky. It is exposed in places and considered difficult. It starts to climb very gradually until 1.6 miles, when it becomes steep and rocky. There is an interesting side path through a boulder cave that is even steeper and rockier.
South Uncanoonuc is a small 1,312-foot mountain located on the outskirts of New Hampshire’s largest city, known for a road that goes up to the top of the mountain and for the huge number of antennas and cell phone towers. Of course, you can hike up the mountain if you wish and South Uncanoonuc has two nice trails going up. The Uncanoonuc Nature Trail is a mile-long trail that starts by Uncanoonuc Lake. It runs through a lovely evergreen forest that is peaceful and left undeveloped, not preparing you for the destruction at the top. The trail continues along the summit road until the summit, with its antennas. There is a more challenging and steeper trail that follows the route of an old cable car.
Big Bickford Mountain is a 3,255-foot-high mountain in Grafton County, New Hampshire. The closest peaks are Scarface Mountain, Priest Hill, and Flat Top Mountain. Hiking up to the summit means bushwhacking through open woods until you get to the few hundred feet of ledges covered in pines, spruce, and oak and open vistas to the east and north. There are no really defined trails, but because the mountain is fairly small, as long as you keep going up you will reach the summit. The “trailhead” is about a half a mile north from the parking lot for the Skookumchuck Trail. From there, continue on a snow mobile road.