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

Hiked this loop today counter clockwise. The Falling Waters Trail is as beautiful as ever. The snow and ice are almost completely gone, and no traction devices were needed. The Ridge Trail was a little windy, blowing from the west at about 40 MPH. The views from all 3 summits are breathtaking, with Lafayette the jewel in that crown. Highly recommended, but do your research first. This is known as one of the toughest day hikes in the Whites, and for very good reasons.

It’s a lovely hike, but definitely challenging if you’re a casual hiker. The trail is narrow, steep in places with lots of rocks and roots. We got to the rock surface not far from the summit, having covered 5/6ths of the Mud Brook Trail, but chose to eat lunch and head back down. It took us almost 3 hours to get to that point, and we had read that markings toward the top/end of the trail (headed toward connection with Caribou Trail) were not great. Rather than wander in search, we headed back down, reaching the parking area in 2 hours 15 minutes. Saw only one other hiker (clearly experienced based on gear) who set a good pace. No trail markings, but we were mostly able to follow (strayed off twice - once up, once down - but recovered without wandering too far from trail). Bugs bad at summit, but no problem moving along the trail. Need good footing/balance crossing brook in several places, but lovely surroundings make the terrain and summit views worth the challenge.

Nice trail. Fairly easy. Saw lots of squirrels and chipmunks. Wonderful evening weather.

A great burn. Well-marked trail. No snow or mud left. Bluebird views.

Still socked in with snow knee-deep and even thigh-deep in places between Jackson and the Crawford path if you decide to traverse in that direction. It made for a great 9-mile loop to go up the Crawford path, take a right at the junction before the shelter and then traverse over to the Jackson-Webster trail. Impressive views from Jackson, and a technical and muddy descent. The top of the trail descending from the summit seems to fall right off a cliff, I had to look around for it a little bit. Gorgeous climb. WEAR BOOTS.

A great plug-and-chug hike or mountain run. Very cool and different experience, as there is some borderline rock-climbing at the start of the alpine zone and you are traversing a completely exposed ridge. You can watch your progress behind you for the entire time above the tree line, which is miles. This loop would be quite a challenge in the winter and dangerous in wet or cold conditions. Similar to many of the 4,000-footers, the wind up there is constant but exhilarating. My most important pointer is that I would leave most dogs, especially small dogs, at home. My dog has climbed six mountains with me in the past two weeks and even she was scrambling down the bare rock at some points and came home with her front feet bleeding. Small dogs would have to be lifted over ledges while you maintained your own balance. Beautiful trail, though, not too cold this time of year (t-shirt and flannel even at the summit) and no snow or mud. I even saw two moose!

Hiked this on easter with a couple buddys, great hike almost no snow. A littile ice here and there..

This trail is on the tougher side of moderate. Is is very steep at some areas going up Welch Mountain, but the rest is fairly easy. The views are great and definitely worth it

A lot of great views on the way up + on the way down. Would definitely do again!

Beautiful views from the top, a nice spot to lay in the sun on a blue-sky day. No snow, barely any mud, and a gorgeous stretch of forest near the tree line. My only complaint about this trail is that it is poorly marked at the base of the Caribou trail and at the summit. Otherwise, this is a very manageable hike for anyone in decent shape, and I would not rate it as hard.

Hiked up Short Line trail and back down Air Line trail after summit of Adams. Very windy at summit 50-60 mph. Short Line trail is very difficult for the last mile or so especially with the lingering ice. I hiked alone which I would not recommend on this trail as one misplaced foot can lead to serious injury. Air Line trail would have been a much easier hike up.

First, don’t turn where this tells you to for directions. Go almost a mile past (or before) till you see a sign for Downes Brook Trail Head - turn there. Second, lots of trees down so watch for blazes very carefully. Make sure you have a GPS map. We barely got off trail due to trees and couldn’t see any blazes. Luckily we were able to use our GPS to find our way back. You can tell they have cleared many trees already but winter really did a number!
It took us 2 hours and we are beginner hikers with a dog. Our shepherd struggled in some spots to make a jump or climb over trees. Terrain is lots of roots and large rock face.
Beautiful views! Lots of little spots to break off a few feet and see the views.

Great trail, easy to follow, challenging, not crippling, rewarding. Took piper to Hammond to wematoo, took 6 hours

hiking
2 days ago

Brutal climb.

Started easy enough, nut once you reach the junction, we took left and started with the North peak. It is a gain of over 1100 feet on 0.7 miles. Problem was not the climb but the trail itself. Fallen trees, gnarly roots, eroded trails. So watch your footing. The ridge run b/w the 2 peaks was fun and there were great views from the outlook points on both the S&N peaks. And the then the descent began - same level of steepness, except that there was ice on the trail. What fun. :)

Microspikes are a necessity if planning to climb down the south peak as the ice is pretty slippery at most places. Again, watching the footing.

happy hiking, stay safe.

hiking
2 days ago

The trail is fine except there are quite a few spots where I wasn’t sure where to go, it’s not marked very clearly. Even on the top, remember where you came up because it’s hard to tell where to go. VERY buggy and still muddy in some areas. Awesome view at the top.

Absolutely love this hike! In March/ April we definitely needed micro spikes due to snow and ice, but when we did it again in May, the weather was wonderful.

We hiked up on the Falling Waters trail and across the ridge. Of course we had to stop at the Greenleaf Hut on the way down. The facilities were clean and everyone was friendly.

The view from the top was STUNNING. If you’re anything like me and never want to leave the top, I suggest bringing a headlamp for your journey down. We stayed on top of he mountain so long we had to race the sun. No one wins in a race with the sun.

15/10 would do this again and again. One of my favorites.

This was definitely one of my favorite hiking trips! We took the blueberry ledge to the summit then down passaconway. The ascent was definitely challenging and felt non stop for a while as it's very steep. Lots of scrambling and was really challenging. The loop back was easier but long. Bring plenty of water and leave as early as possible. We stopped to eat lunch at the summit of Whiteface and the whole trip took about 9.5 hours.

Hiked up in glorious sunshine, with dry rocks and no bugs. It is quite a scramble up and down, but when conditions are good it is a blast. If you really are having trouble on the way up you can always get traction in the woods.

There was no snow on the Livermore ascent to the summit, a little bit between the summits (including lots of moose poo, and some blow downs) and nothing on the way down. There is some loose rock on the decent, but more at the bottom of the climb.

Yes, summit views are not the best, but the views going up and down are out of this world!

A great trail, but be prepared for a challenge. Ascending either route up - via the Mt. Morgan Trail or Mt. Percival Trail - has challenging steeps near their respective summits. We chose to ascend Mt. Percival first, which ended up being the better route as the descent via Mt. Percival trail would’ve been much more difficult. “Caves” on Mt. Percival trail should be taken with care, and there are alternative routes up once you’re there but aren’t much easier.

Great payoff views and a nice challenging hike for intermediates, but not recommended for young kids or dogs.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful trail - varied terrain. Lower portion is a smooth dirt path with constant but mild ascent. Upper portion is increasingly rocky, giving way to open rock expanses and views of the surrounding scape. As others have said, the climb is moderate. Some steeper sections but good breaks between. No real scrambling on the way to North Moat. My pup (45lb hound) did this trail easily. Watch yourself on the rock if it's wet - we found it to be very slippery in bareboot. All ice is gone and spring/summer bugs are out in force. :) Can't wait to do this one again all the way to North Moat.

Has anyone used a GPS watch on the Traverse? Wonder what you used and how it went?
Would like to find a good watch / GPS system for this and other trails
Thanks, Ken

Did this trail yesterday 5/16/18 and we started at noon. We made a stop in the beginning for about an hour so my friend could boil water along one of the streams. Closer to the top there are more snow banks than not over the trail but completely doable without crampons etc. We stopped again for lunch once the treeline receded at about 4500 ft. and summited Moosilauke by 5. Going down the carriage road trail we were out just before 8. Beautiful trail great views. I'm not entirely sure but far far out North West I believe you can see Lafayette

Did this trail yesterday. Some great views with some relatively okay spring conditions. Monorail was kind of a pain and caused me to slip in a couple of places. Footbridges that cross the brook need to be fixed because they all feel mostly unstable.

Great hike with nice views along the ridge. We did this hike in December. There was snow but it was a warmer day so it was fantastic. We had the trail mostly to ourselves wish I’m sure isn’t the case in the warmer seasons.

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful hike. Some steeper sections but generally an easy grade. Had some blow down damage but was able to walk around. Didn’t quite make the summit due to icy snow melting. So we didn’t experience the vistas. We passed two other couples who experienced the same. Still a lovely hike.

Hands down my favorite hike in the Whites. Beautiful views from above the clouds on the ridge.

Hiked this in the first week of May. Definitely the prettiest hike I’ve done in the northeast. Highly recommend. Spikes were helpful on the ascent and descent.

Took just under 3 hours with 2 dogs and a 6 year old who loves hiking. Including multiple water stops and prolonged, breathtaking awe gazing. Fun, and challenging rocks (had to lift both small and large dog up in one section where there was no logical work around for them). Just fabulous.

hiking
9 days ago

The weather was absolutely perfect and lucked out that the bugs weren't bad! As stated in the review below mine the trail is not marked clearly...there were several times I was unsure if I was on the trail, but luckily I have good direction and my dog helped keep me on trail. This is definitely one of those trails you need to take note of your surroundings and be attentive as to not go off the trail. The information in the review below mine was a big help...you go over many streams and to my delight the top portion smelled like Christmas trees which was a pleasant surprise. Also, noticed some moose skat in several spots in the top portion (last mile close to the summit). It took approximately two hours from bog road/caribou mt trail to the summit and 1.25 hours on the way down. The views at the top were absolutely stunning, made for a lovely and rewarding picnic spot.

Great hike. Just hiked the loop. There's still snow on the trail up to Little Haystack. Spikes would have been helpful. Some snow also on the way down the mountain after the Greenleaf Hut. Great day for a hike and will definitely do it again!

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