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

360 views can't be beat

Tough in the winter but still a great hike! We left the lower parking lot (sawyer river rd is un-plowed) at 9am and got up to the trail head at 10:15am. Made it up to the switchbacks right before the ridge around 2:30pm and decided to turn back. Got back down to the parking lot at 6pm. The snow made it very strenuous and we definitely made the right choice to turn back. We will definitely be back in the spring to get to the summit!

In the winter Sawyer River Road is generally closed, adding 2 miles each way to the hike. Pretty challenging ascent in snowshoes, will definitely be feeling it tomorrow.

Great cold hike, definitely not as cold as it could have been but there were some extraordinarily windy spots. The trail was VERY Wet and saturated with water throughout the entire hike. There were a few rainy days beforehand that probably didn't make it better.

One thing I noticed no one really mentions is how many bridges there are, I counted over 90 from the beginning of the trail to the summit of Zealand. Most are after the hut. Nothing wrong with the amount of bridges but based on the other peaks I have hiked it was the most I had ever seen. The bridges around the Zeacliff outlook are loose and SINK when you step on them. There are parts of mud that are pretty much unavoidable, jumping with a heavy pack is pretty exhausting lol.

We actually started before sunrise so we had to use our headlamps for the first 40 minutes or so which was pretty cool. The bridges around the pond area were a bit icy but nothing crazy. We did experience a moose on the trail, luckily it looked like we spooked him more than he did us and we saw him run off into the marshy area.

The trail was a bit busy especially on our way back. Overall a fun hike, obviously with how wet the trail is it is very slippery especially the logs. No bug issues thanks to the temperature, I would imagine it would be pretty miserable during summer with how much water is around. Beautiful trail, definitely would fall hike this again maybe even early spring when the snow has begun to melt.

side note we did get chased down the mountain for a little bit by a bird, definitely a 1st and hopefully the last

We went throughout the notch to the Desolation Trail and Ascended the back side, then down the Signal Ridge Trail for 13.4 miles. There was quite a bit of mellow hiking, but you pay for it on the way up the back side!

Signal ridge trail is great; beautiful scenery and clearly visible. The desolation trail is cool because it’s technical toward the top, but once you leave the alpine zone there are trees down, no blazes, and lots of spur trails leading nowhere, so pay close attention if you make a loop of this. Very cool trail, though. 360 panos from top make it worth the push!

Great hiking with a fabulous fall foliage bonus! No view from the peak but the views on the hike in made up for it. The hut is so cool! Great croo with answers to all your questions.

Hike up was pretty tiring for me. I was quite sore by the end of the day. But not so much that I couldn't move my arms and legs the next day. Not to many insects trying to eat you thankfully. However I did go fully covered head to toe with insect repellent on me. It wasn't busy at all. For 85% of the hike up my husband and I were the only people hiking. We met a few people on the way (about 10 total up and down). There is a watch tower like construction built all the way to the top where you can see EVERYTHING ! It's so so so quiet. Couldn't even hear birds or insects singing. Weather was amazing so we spent about 20mins soaking up the sun and silence. I expected the view to be better though. Wasn't disappointed but not as amazed as I wanted to be.

it was a good hike .it was beautiful hike

One of the best in the whites!

one of the best in the whites!

Tougher hike than 'Easy'. The hike is awesome though and the hut is a cool stopping point. Views were cool at the top too

Nice trail. Passes by beaver ponds. Half way, there is a hut. They sell food, like soup, cake, tea. Z-cliff view is very beautiful.

hiking
7 months ago

We had a nice hike that we ended up bushwhacking from Black Pond. The hike/walk in was pretty flat and you pretty much gained elevation going under the slide. Overall I’m glad this hike is over.

Great trail. A 3mile hike to camp ground.

Outstanding trail albeit be careful with footing

This is listed as moderate but which must be due to the distance (7.2 miles round trip from the parking area) it is an extremely easy walk in the woods. 5.4 miles of this trip in walking a very level old railway. Good views. Easy trail but long for children.

I lost my Solomon sneakers on Owls Head path on 8/17/2017! About half way up the slide to the Owls Head summit. Blue and green, size 8, Solomon speed cross 3 trail runners.

Please email me if you find them and are willing to bring them down the mountain. Thank you! metzmn6@gmail.com

Decent hike. First two miles are flat and easy and the remaining three miles, while a fair grade, were along a narrow and rocky trail, which was difficult to navigate at times.

hiking
8 months ago

Oh owl's head. The first eight miles are a breeze but the water crossings are plentiful and require a lot of attention to be paid. The 1.5 mile ascent from the base of the mountain is extremely steep, loose, and dangerous. The trail is unmaintained so after the rock scrambling, the trail is overgrown and seems more like a bushwhack at times.

Definitely tested my newbie stamina!! Way fun. Camped overnight at Guyout.

I'll start off by saying the sights at the top make everything worth it. Absolutely breathtaking-- 360 degrees of beautiful views of mountains while you gaze on top of a fire watch tower. 5/5 experience once you reach that ridge and up to the summit. However, the path there is a SLOG. The first mile is a stroll through the forest with beautiful views of creeks and waterfalls (we even dipped in at the end of the hike). The next three miles are a long, steep journey mostly on broken rocks with very little to no views because of the thickness of the surrounding forest-- this really detracted from our experience. Despite this, though, we could hardly be angry with how gorgeous the view at the top is.
We also brought a medium sized dog who handled the trail very well.

No view at the summmit very pissed off . But the view at the cliff is amazing so if you see the sign that says view just go there

Great hike. Not strenuous but has some minor stream crossings and rocky path requiring sure-footedness. Go to the hut for a nice view.

Breathtaking views !

Great, great loop. Can really kick your butt if you aren't prepared for the level of intensity, but you'll be rewarded with great views and some great campsites.

Did this one last September as a solo day-hike. One of my favorites of the 4000'ers. Not a difficult hike but it is long. The first couple miles are very easy and wind through various types of terrain. There's also a brief but steep portion maybe 3/4's up. No views from the top but the cliff view is one of the best I've seen. I spent a good bit of time there. Stopped in at Zealand Falls hut to rest and use the restroom on the way up and back.

Completed my last 48 4000 footer on Carrigain. Beautiful hike! There's an awesome ridge prior to the summit and a fire tower at the very top. There is a small creek towards the bottom to cool off in afterwards. Great 360° at the top and an awesome way to finish this epic list!

backpacking
Thursday, April 13, 2017

A few friends and I thought this would be a good first attempt at an overnight trail. Boy were we in over our heads. Had a blast and took in some breathtaking views. It was worth the sweat, aches, and pains!

hiking
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

November 9, 2016: I started at 0500 and ended at 1900. It was cold, windy, and rainy. There's still some snow on the Lincoln/ Lafayette Ridge. It's a pretty tough climb, but once you're on the ridge top it's pretty easy to get some big miles in.

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