Explore Appalachian Trail: New Hampshire: Best Day Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This month marks the 80th anniversary of the #AppalachianTrail, which passes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia. . With so many access points along its approximate 2,190-mile route, this trail is not only an excellent option for thru-hikers and section-hikers, but also day-hikers and those looking to escape into nature for a few hours. . To honor the Appalachian Trail, we have compiled a list state by state of some of our favorite day hikes along the AT. Check out this list for New Hampshire and help us celebrate the legacy and natural wonder of this trail!

Appalachian Trail: New Hampshire: Best Day Hikes Map

Went with a group of 11 people. It wasn't an easy hike for some of us, but we all made it to the top regardless. Very steep in the beginning, but flat at the lake. Beautiful trails, especially with the foliage. The cabin at the top really made for an awesome experience. Bring cash so you can enjoy a hot coco or tea! Not to mention the fresh baked cookies!! Using a pole or stick is highly recommended, especially on the way down. It rained, hailed, and snowed on us, but it was still a great time.

21 days ago

Just finished before lunch beautiful lake , trail was slippery definitely use your poles makes it easier especially on the way down

Climbed this last Fri. The climb up was moderate to hard for about a mile. I'm not in the best shape at 63, but felt o.k. at the top. Full sunshine but probably a bit below freezing when we arrived at the partially frozen lake. The views were stunning, as there was 4-5 inches of snow on the ground. Mt Lafayette covered in snow. All I could say was praise God for His creation. The hut was really nice. Coming down was tricky, some snow and ice on trail. Poles a must.

26 days ago

Great day, slow hike but totally enjoyed it. Only 2nd hike in 30 years!

27 days ago

Well maintained and a fun moderate trail to do!

Finally came back to finish this hike (came last winter, but didn't have the right equipment so had to turn around after a couple miles.) Overall, a lovely hike. First COLD hike of this season for me, and I again didn't have quite what I needed to stay warm. Cold at the top, muddy and snowy and leaf-covered down below, so the path was slippery - moreso going down than up. Not steep or strenuous - but rocky and rooty (as are many hikes in the Whites.) The rocky summit is beautiful. Took us about 4 hours roundtrip. Oh, one last thing: the mileage reading I got was about equal to what this site states: 6.8m

The high elevation is moderate to climb for sure but the lake at the center of the mountain is breathtaking and the loop around the lake is a nice break with level ground walking across wooden boards. At a fork parkway around the loop we took a right instead of a left around the lake, do not do that! It turns into a hard hike with high elevations. We turned around when the air got thin. Just keep left following the signs to the hut. Our little dog was with us and he loved every minute of this hike just as much as my boyfriend and I did.

Would not do this again. Hardly any views. Glad to check these off the list. What’s up with the mileage? It’s 10.5 miles not 8.8. Another trail that is off on mileage...

Some heavy breathing going up rocks but moderately easy and well maintained, we even ended up coming down an off path water runoff and landed back on one of the cannon trails

1 month ago

The reviews about this trail are pretty fair. Sharing my different experience: The weather forecast for our hike showed rain. It started raining as soon as we got to the lake, so we spent lunchtime in the hut. The lake was completely covered in clouds about half an hour later. We were happy to have seen the lake before the clouds rolled in, because we couldn’t see anything by the time we left!

1 month ago

I’d rate it a harder moderate due to the rocky nature going up in the second half, but it’s so worth it making it to the top. Lake is serene and beautiful, views are fantastic and the hut is a great place to stop for a rest and snack.

Super easy trail up to Zealand Falls Hut. Along this first 2.8 miles you travel gentle grades as it follows an old rail road bed. Upon entering the beaver pond area wildlife is abundant and the landscape is draped it beautiful autumn colors! The next 1.3 miles to Zeacliff is much steeper with many large boulders to work around. There is even a ladder to scale your way up a very steep almost vertical granite wall. The view from Zeacliff is amazing. From here you can see Mt. Washington in the distance with the distinct round hump of Mt. Eisenhower in the foreground. Mt. Carrigain towers into the sky and if you use binoculars you can even see the firetower on the summit. You also get a view of the rugged cliffs of Whitewall Mountain with Ethan Pond just beyond. As I continued on, bog bridges helped keep things dry as I passed through the col between Zeacliff and onward and upward to the summit of Zealand Mountain 1.6 miles from Zeacliff. Although the summit is treed in it is still a great trip, and a cool summit sign! I read where others described the trip from the cliff to the summit as boring or nondescript, I did not find this to be the case. On this final leg of the ascent there is yet another marked view point and you can take a side trip to the shores of Zealand Pond. There are also much rare plant growth and wildlife along the way. Overall a great day out and another 4K conquered!!! Took me 6 hours total with approx. 1-1/2 hours of breaks & exploration.

Great trail well traveled and fun to hike , the hut at the top on the lake is perfect for having lunch before continuing on. The ducks are so friendly on the lake and the views are so gorgeous especially in fall !

Loved this trail. Very challenging but rewarding. We did it on a cool cloudy day so we had no view but we had the trail to ourselves. Took our dog with us and he loved it. The rocks and rooted were pretty slippery so make sure you where proper hiking shoes. We will definitely be back!

We did this trail today and lost a navy blue sweatshirt that says SJP soccer. If you find it please email me. Thanks! LUSKCT@gmail.com

Thank you!

A nice little hike if you don’t want an overly strenuous experience or are limited for time, to get striking views. Still a respectable workout leading to expansive views from a dramatic, precipitous cliff.

1 month ago

We're super slow hikers and this trail took us 3 hours from our camp at Lafayette Place. It's an incline for the first hour and a half and levels out around the lake. Big steps, maybe a scramble or two, but totally worth it. The view of the mountains from the lake was absolutely beautiful. Very chilly late September, so remember a jacket! :)

I'd rate it MODERATE HARD getting lake. EASY around lake and MODERATE going back.

Went on 9/20 with a first timer pup, she did great. There are a couple really steep parts but par for the course. Spent some time at the pond and lake taking in the sights as there were no summit views on this cloudy/ foggy day. Took us about 6 hrs round trip. Would do again with nicer weather at summit
3rd and 4th of 4,000’ers

Super fun and my Australian cattle dog had a lot of fun too. Pretty steep after you go past the hut but it’s well worth the view.

a great hike during the summer months, a better hike during winter! don't forget your microspikes/yak traks

2 months ago

Went hiking with my girlfriend for our anniversary, and she fell in mud, slipped on the way back landing on her butt, and got a really good workout. So all in all, it was a really good day. Long hike for sure, and the lake is pretty small, but really nice.

2 months ago

Great hike. Took two dogs one older and they both made it up. but definitely challenging. Many rocks and some steep inclines. The hike had some challenging parts but since it was a cooler day and dry it was fun! Loved the view from the top. Parking filled up fast to go early. They also have good bathrooms since it’s also the camp site but no trash for the dog poop.

2 months ago

First half is pretty easy, gets a little steeper through the middle and then it levels out once you get closer to the lake. Really nice views all around the lake, didn’t go in for a swim just because it was a little cooler out but look forward to coming back on a hot summer day!

Great hike. Steep at the beginning; good workout. Beautiful lake at the top and a flat loop that goes around it. Plenty of places to stop and admire the beauty. We had a gorgeous day and will certainly do this one at some point in the future, maybe adding the ridge trail.

great time

Took my dog to the North peaks on a gorgeous but moderately hot day. Definitely longer in mileage than the sign says (I used my Nike Apple Watch to track it and it’s very accurate). Overall, very rewarding hike once you get to the summit and see the incredible view

Moderate trail at most. Very enjoyable especially once you reach the lake. Beautiful views at the summit. Circling the lake was awesome on the man-made tree trail. Ascending and descending through the woods didn’t have too many views but the trail was well worth it. Great for a short hike.

Wonderful view at the summit was worth the hike. Definitely expect to get muddy if it has rained recently. We found this hike to be difficult to do with a leashed dog at one spot we had to pass him down some rocks and back up again, good thing he doesn’t weigh that much yet because he’s still young. Definitely bring a suitable vehicle to the trail head parking area, the logging road is quite rough. Would definitely do again to see the crash site now that we know how to get to it thanks to some fellow hikers.

Lonesome Lake to Fishin’ Jimmy to Kinsman Peaks, down the Kinsman Ridge over the Cannon Balls and back down to Lonesome Lake. Maybe 13mi RT from Lafayette Campground. The last push down and over the Cannonballs will shred what’s left of your legs. I thanked my lucky stars I came up Fishin’ Jimmy while I was going down the Kinsman Ridge. Thankfully there is a nice swim awaiting you back down in Lonesome before the last push to the Lot, conversely there is The Basin one exit south down the road if you finish early enough. Awesome kill-your-quads kind of day.

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