Explore the most popular trails in Appalacian Mountain Club with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
icy
muddy
13 days ago

Beautiful day on the Mt, as is all days on any mountain, many slippery spots with wet leaves on both the AT and Ranger trails. Some icy areas towards the top of the AT trail. I can see why it is rated as best used until October.

Very wet and muddy yesterday. Slipped a few times on the wet rocks ascending. Beautiful weather at a nice 45 degrees. Clear view from the tower. Lambert up and Rangers down.

We went point to point on Appalachian trail from north. Fine hike but going over smarts is not worth it given rickety viewing tower (with dog it is impossible). I recommend just hiking up to ledges from south on AT one of the two sets of great ledges with gentle views. One is about 30 min up trail, the other maybe 15-20 further. Don’t bother to go further.

Wonderful. Did point to point on Appalachian trail from north over smarts then down. Summit is not great; no view. Wonderful views from rock ledges about 30 min up from Dorchester road and about an hour from same trailhead. Don’t bother with smarts summit.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

This is certainly a hard trail with some easy to moderate sections. The views from the fire tower were amazing! I clocked in a total of eight miles today.

hiking
muddy
washed out
3 months ago

Very nice view at the top. The hike is what I would call moderate, not hard. Much of the Ranger Trail on the way down was like walking through my local woods, pleasant and very easy.

Ranger trail was easy to follow going down. It did have more small rocks and was muddier than taking the Appalachian.

This trail was a bit strenuous for us, and the ranger trail had lots of little ankle-Turner rocks. Took us about 6 hours and we got back to the car around dusk...I reccomend leaving yourself more of a window as the wildlife was quite rambunctious around that time! Okay view at the top, but if I were to do it again I'd probably just hike up to holt's ledge and back.

Beautiful view from a fire tower on the top of the summit—some steep parts on the way up but they have stairs and rocks placed so that makes the way up more manageable. The way down has some slippery rocks but is easy enough. Fun hike! This recording wasn’t turned off until car stopped in Lyme; actual hike is shorter.

hiking
off trail
9 months ago

This is a moderate loop trail that gives hikers about 8 miles to contend with. I’m sure it is an easy path in summer but the lack of markers make it much more difficult in the winter. Off trail several times which is fine but buyer beware. The ranger trail is completely unmarked beyond the utility shed so follow water downhill. All in all a great experience with wonderful views at the top.

Beautiful views from the fire tower at the top. Did this hike back in November, rainy at the bottom and all snow at the top. Neat cabin at the top that provided a bit of respite from the wind.

Hike to Smarts Mt is an excellent about 8 mile loop going up the AT to the summit and down the old Ranger's trail. Views from Lambert Ridge are very nice but the 360 degree views from the fire tower on top are fantastic. The Ranger trail is an older trail that isn't well blazed but isn't hard to follow normally, but could be in snow. Both trails are pretty steep. I'd rate them strenuous.

Good trail for moderate workout.

We hiked the Ranger Trail at night going north to the tentsite, and wow was it difficult in the dark! The overlook at the tentsite gave way to thousands of stars in the clear sky, and it was nice and quiet.

Not sure why this is rated the way it is, I’d say moderate. Or easy for an experienced hiker. A little steep and rocky towards the top but not too challenging in the slightest. Took around four hours total

I can’t say how this hike is as I didn’t make it. I just wanted to post that on Easter Sunday 2018 there was a road closed sign on the road to the trailhead due to mud. I was told the trailhead was about 4 miles up this muddy road so I didn’t risk it with my little Prius. Just be aware. I ended up doing a nice nearby hike to Holts ledge instead.

Icy surface, micro spike needed. Not as hard as initially thought, took decent 4 hours 40 min to complete the loop. The view at the top/Firetower is very nice. The ranger trail down was following a stream first and then trail. Difficult to see marker but you get a sense where the steam is heading do.

Took us four hours to complete the loop. It was moderately difficult and pretty steep for most off it. Lovely views and many camping spots. Poorly marked at points but we never found ourselves off the trail. Overall we would do it agian, and I defiantly recommend it as long as you pack appropriately.

Smart's is one of the excellent hikes on the western fringe of the White Mountains. The hike wastes no time engaging the hiker in a rigorous four mile hike that is enhanced by many sags of up and down climbing and a relentless climb at the end. Some look outs along the way, the first opens to the south, the second look out affords an unobstructed view of your destination, the full face of Smart's Mountain crowned by the fire tower that, at the end, provides panoramic views. To the west, the full spine of the Green Mountains, from Mansfield to Bromley, to the north, Mt, Cube, Black Mountain and Mount Moosilauke, to the south, Mt. Kearsarge and Cardigan. To the east, many of the southern White Mountains, to the north and east, the Franconia range.

Ranger Trail is less travelled it seems and was very rocky near the top, caution slippery when wet! But over all the loop was great!

Solid hike. Did it pretty unconventional and thus did not make it to the tower... Started up the Smart's Ranger Trail and got along as far as the garage. From that point could not discern where the trail was. There were no markings and no obvious broken trail. I went just after the snow melt and and there were a lot of rotted fallen trees and mud. Plenty of opportunity for marking to have vanished and trails to be obscured. Doubled back to the trail head (3 mi out and back) and continued up the Lambert's Ridge Trail (AT) which also takes you to the Smart's Mountain summit and fire tower. Steep initially. Once you get up to exposed rock on the ridge it evens out a bit and you can get some stamina back. After crossing the ridge it drops into a lowland area before the final push up to the fire tower (this is where the Ranger Trail eventually joins up). This is where I turned back - I was at the three mile mark before the last climb up to the top of Smart's Mountain and pretty tired, and it was getting later in the day. Prudence prevailed. Including the out and back on the Ranger Trail and as far up as I went on the AT and back (about 9 miles) I was at 6:45 total time including some breaks. I was carrying approx. 20lb of gear as practice for some upcoming trips and just good old fashion preparedness. Hiked in late April, very slippery on rocks and. Snow melt created streams down larger parts of the trail, so very muddy. Little snow in spots higher up. Foggy, and misting, temperatures in the high 30s / low 40s depending on where you are on the mountain. Brought ice cleats but did not need them. When moving at a good pace on ascent was down to short sleeves, on descent kept the jacket on all the way.

This is a RUGGED trail. The first section (going up the Smarts ranger trail) is gradual and easy, and then you get to a small building (called the "garage") on the map. If you are not in great shape or not up for a long and arduous hike, stop here! The remainder of the trail is steep, rocky and slick. I would definitely recommend hiking polls and microspikes (if hiking in the spring). We tried once before to hike in the spring and ended up having to turn around because it becomes glare ice at the top. Once you finally reach the top you'll be slightly disappointed to see that there are no spectacular views, but a trip up the fire tower will fix that. There's also a nice tent site to sit and relax at to catch your breath. We met some hikers at the top who said they came up the AT instead of the ranger trail because it has nicer views. So, we took the AT down and they were so right! It was much more up and down and gradual for the first large chunk of the way down though, which through us off a bit. But, there are awesome rock face views and a nicer trail. Eventually it drops right off and brings you back to the parking lot. Beware: if you have a dog with you, know that there are barely any places for them to drink on the AT, which differs from the ranger trail which has a lot of creeks for them to drink from. All in all it was a 4.5 hour hike and we were beat by the time we came down. We'd definitely do it again, but only via the AT next time. Happy hiking!

I don't think we took the "moderate" trail!! The hike was more like a mountain climb. Whewww!! If you want a good workout, I highly recommend it. Wear waterproof boots though. We did this hike in Spring and it was very muddy. All in all it was a good day.

I disagree; I found this hike to be very anticlimactic. The first half of trail is beautiful but after you descend down a while to a somewhat flat and sightless hardwood forest. From there the trail heads upwards through the balsam fir in its steepest fashion where soon you arrive at a somewhat sketchy tower, climbing it appeared to be the only means of taking in any summit views. Marginal views, but overall a beautiful, diverse, and challenging trail that The Dartmouth Outing Club seems to be doing a great job of maintaining.

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