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

nice hike

I've hiked Mt Major 10 times now. Going early week nights are the best to avoid the Disney land line of people. last night 4/23/18 was my first time getting lost in the woods in the dark. To the point we considered calling for help. We lost the yellow trail coming down in the dark. Our hike started before sunset, we finally made it back to the parking lot at 1am. It was a great adventure

hiking
1 month ago

Great little hike, trails and summits well marked with blazes and cairns. There is still snow on most of the trail. Traction is not necessary but definitely makes the hike easier. I drive an old sedan and had no issue with making it to the trailhead parking.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. Very well marked (blue). Panoramic views.

WARNING be careful of where you park for this trail! I got to Wood Rd in Gilford and saw the signs for the parking area, but the road was an icy rocky mess and I decided not to risk it. So I parked along the side of the dirt road, there was one house at the end of the road that looked like it was under construction/not occupied. Man was I wrong. As I was driving away from where I parked I almost got RUN OFF THE ROAD by an angry man in a white truck. He informed me that he had taken pictures of my car/plates and send them to the Gilford and State Police, because no one is allowed to park there, clearly it is only HIS road. He yelled at me for a couple minutes not caring that I was only there to hike, VERY angry. A less than ideal end to a pleasant day.

Other than that the summits were nothing special, not a view at either peak. There were a few good viewing areas along the trails. Round Pond is a beautiful area to stop at as well. The trails were very icy on the way up and very muddy on the way back, I mean that is to be expected on a 70 degree day in February, but pretty dicey in some areas all and all. Not a difficult climb, good for beginners.

hiking
3 months ago

Forget the loop aspect. If you start from the more southern trail (I believe it was the red trail maybe brown. Who knows I'm colorblind) the way up will be a traditional trail I would rate at moderate in Winter conditions. Micro spikes or crampons will be necessary. The second half of the loop back follows the white and orange trails. Problem is the last mile back is a road. I'm not a fan of hiking roads.

Either way the peak had good for the elevation views but they are not 360 degrees. Lots of area on the peak to hang out.

I hiked this with my 10 year old who faired well even in snow and ice. Not sure if I would come back in the summer.

hiking
3 months ago

Was planning to do Belknap going up the white trail but it was closed down. Too dangerous in the winter I’m sure. Kept going up to Piper instead and went down red to make it a loop. Even with spikes the red trail can get very slippery near the summit. Otherwise a gorgeous day and a great hike!

Great hike made it up fine with just spikes, pup didn’t have a problem either. Really nice views at the top!!

hiking
3 months ago

hiked January 14. limited snow cover. trail was well travelled. micro spikes were perfect. good view from the summit. fun Stone throne on top. nice easy hike no steeps but ledges were slippery

Did this April of 2017 with some decent snow on the ground. Got pretty slick on the way down.

What a great and fun loop. Parking at the trailhead is alongside the road which is a bit tight. The trail going up to Straightback Mountain was not very well blazed (at least in the snow). Had there not been tracks ahead of us we would have had trouble finding our way. The connection from the summit of straightback to major (blue blazed Belknap range trail) was well blazed again. We hiked clockwise which was a great idea as to descend the shorter and moderately steep and very well blazed red trail. We had to break the trail through the snow on the way down to complete the loop and not go back the way we came. There was one brook crossing which was maybe a bit tricky but we found a way across without getting wet. Took us a bit under 4 hours in the snow.

we did this in September and loved it. awesome trail that isn't too steep

Nice trail

hiking
6 months ago

The rating should be moderate. While not difficult it does offer some challenges, especially for children I'd imagine.
My best friend and I hiked the Piper Mountain trail (red blaze) to the summit. Neither of us had been hiking in years and I hadn't been to a summit in almost 15. With that said, it was an amazing experience and a perfect re-entry into mountain climbing.
We started at 2:30 and hit the summit at 3:49. That includes a 10 minute stop and a few small breaks to retrieve items from my pack.
The summit offers beautiful views and includes two stone thrones.
With a few nice spots to take a break or just get some nice pictures along the way it's a great hike overall.
We left our walking sticks at the trailhead too.

Also thanks for the smiley face in the mud. Whoever you are. :)

This trail is easy but towards the edge of moderate. There are many options on how you could approach this trail as many other trails meet up at some points.

hiking
6 months ago

Great time on this easy hike today! You see some terrific views with very little mileage. ***We didn't actually take the RED trail. *** Instead, we took the Belknap Mountain White Trail to the Old Piper Trail to the North peak of Piper. Then continued on the Vista Trail to the South peak of Piper. The trail we started on is near the other Carriage Rd parking lot and we missed the white stake for the trail but thankfully another super nice hiker helped us out. Clue: Its right near a yellow narrow bridge sign. :)

This is and all day hike, food & extra water. Parts are very quite except around Mt. Major. Once past this area you won't see more than 2 0r 3 other hikers. Some areas are steep and rocky others are gentle in a forest setting. This is part of the Belknap Redlining Patch Program. 66 MILES AND 15 PEEKS, IT WAS A great TIME ....

hiking
7 months ago

Great short hike. I agree w/ others that the rating is misleading. I'd put it in the low moderate rating.

You will almost miss this trail! But amazing views and a god work out. Parking is adequate and shares the same if you have to go Mount Belknap. Both Piper and Whiteface has amazing views and hiking back to the summit of Piper is a little challenging, but simply worth it.

hiking
8 months ago

As many others have said, giving this trail an easy rating is misleading. Steep all the way up. Often on ledge. Without the app. we never would have been able to figure out where to find the orange trail down. We wanted to avoid taking red trail that we had come up since it was steep and the ledge was sometimes wet. The orange trail lead to a gravel and then tar road down to the parking lot but it was quiet and the surrounding woods were beautiful. We were concerned about how challenging and time consuming the unknown hike down might be but it went quickly and was much easier than the hike up. I thought there were plenty of panoramic views. Loved the mixture of forest hiking and open summit.

hiking
8 months ago

It was a good exercise. The view is ok. I finished the loop following red marks up, orange marks from the top and white marks leading to a paved road (about 1 mi) back to parking.

hiking
8 months ago

Trail head at end of Bickford rd. Small parking lot, also trail head to Round pond and East Gilford trail to Belknap Mt. Trails very from small wood type trails to open trails on the Gunstock Ski Resort Property , for Mt. Bike/ snowshoes. Trail starts out marked (RED ) take right on to Round pond trail still RED for 1.2 miles. Take left on to ( Orange ) Overlook trail 2.2 miles to Saddle .01 to Brook trail, This crosses Gunstock ski slopes in 2/3 places. Comes out above parking lot. Walk across parking lot, pick up (RED ) Trail by bridge, marked. This forms the loop and bring you back to Bickford parking lot.

hiking
8 months ago

This is Piper south ( Vista trail ) yellow . Trail head is at end of Belknap Mt. road, small parking area. Walk up road 200 yds. look left small sign says hiking trail. Don't be fooled you walk between two house's , their backyards only for a short bit. This trail is marked green. Very quit trail.

hiking
8 months ago

If you want to hike Mt. Major without fighting the crowd. Try this back way up. Go to the end of Jesus Valley rd. Park on side of road. You start up Old Stage rd. for .1 of mile and pick up Jesus Valley trail ( red ) sign says to Straightback & Mt. Major. About 1.7 to top of Major. Then come down Boulder loop trail ( orange ) a little over mile and pick up Jesus Valley / Beaver pond trail (red ). this forms your loop.

hiking
8 months ago

The red trail is really nice and rather easy to find from the parking area. I definitely recommend, after getting to the summit, that you keep going along the green trail about 10 minutes (towards whiteface). When the trees part and there's a clear drop marking the edge of Piper Mountain, the view is really wonderful.

hiking
9 months ago

Piper Mountain trail from the carriage road parking are is a great, steep and quick ascent. I wouldn't recommend taking the carriage road down. Hard on legs and not pretty to descend on asphalt. Best to go back the same way (Piper Mt trail). Views are not spectacular but it's a great workout.

We started at the Bickford Rd/Wood Rd trailhead. parking area has only room for 5 cars, so it's good to get there early. The whole loop took us under 4 hours which included a 30 min lunch break with a gorgeous view of Lake Winnipessaukee. Parts of the trail are along a carriage road, others through the woods. It was a gorgeous day, but the temperature differences between sun vs. shade and with vs without breeze were quite noticeable. Tons of blueberries all over around the two peaks. Bring a plastic dish.

Piper and Whiteface are a little small, but this hike is still worth trying out. The trail is very diverse along the way and there are very few people who take this route so it feels very isolated. You can get to the top of Piper from the lower carriage rd parking (red trail) or upper (white trail). Starting towards Whiteface on the green trail also leads to the best view from the top of Piper; I doubt most people know about it or keep walking that way.

hiking
9 months ago

Load More