Belknap Gunstock Loop Trail

HARD 53 reviews

Belknap Gunstock Loop Trail is a 6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Gilford, New Hampshire that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1971 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

old growth

over grown

rocky

snow

26 days ago

Nice hike

3 months ago

Another great day. Worth the hike to the Panorama Pub.

hiking
3 months ago

Lots of fun on this sunny February day! Super icy, you'll definitely need micro-spikes because some parts of the trail were glare ice. Everything was melting and some parts of the trail were like rivers. A great day hike!

hiking
4 months ago

I would not rate this as difficult. Even in icy conditions this was not at at difficult. The top third on the way up to Gunstock was pretty icy but manageable.

Bring a map because this is not one single trail but a series of connected trails. We actually didn't complete the "loop". We mistakenly came down the belknap fire tower trail making our own loop.

Hiked this with my ten year old who faired well.

4 months ago

Great winter hike.

hiking
7 months ago

Probably one of my favorite loops so far. Definitely not hard; should be rated moderate. Hiked counter clockwise. Since part of the trail is along the paved carriage road, I decided to hike up on pavement which is easier on knees than down.
Took me 1 hr 45 to get from carriage rd parking to Gunstock summit and 45 min to descend via orange trail. Didn’t take the winter cutoff (in November) because there was no snow, but the leaves were very slippery. Slipped and fell twice. Oops.

hiking
7 months ago

This trail is great!! I'm a somewhat new hiker and found this trail to be good for me. Not too easy, and not hard. Awesome trail!!

trail running
8 months ago

Steep trails with a few decent views close to the lake. Cars were piled up at Mt. Major, but only saw a handful of people at this lot. Everybody that I saw was within shouting distance from the parking area as well. 95% of my run here was totally solitary.

hiking
9 months ago

The Belknap Mountains are great and some of the easiest trails to follow. I went up to Gunstock (orange trail), which is short but constantly steep. Then you follow (I believe) yellow then white to reach the blue trail that leads up to Belknap. You can go up the tower, where the view is really stunning—but it gets chilly up there, even in the summer.

Hiking down white will bring you out near the upper Carriage Rd parking lot, but I don't like hiking down Carriage Rd so where the trail splits I kept left and went up to Piper (another orange trail), then down the red trail back to the lower Carriage Rd parking area. It was in total about 4.5 miles and well worth the extra steps to loop around the three mountains.

hiking
10 months ago

I loved this loop, great views, plenty of terrain variance. A few steep sections, hard for small kids or folks with bad knees. And at the Gunstock section the trail comes out at the chair lift. I will do it again with one of my daughters soon.

11 months ago

Decent Hike. Pretty steep near the top third. Nice to see the views from the back side of the mountain though! Not your normal view when you take the chairlift up. Definitely bring bug spray as there are TONS flies this time of year.

hiking
11 months ago

Overall a pretty steep hike. Great views with a stopping spot to check out the vista before you reach the top! TONS of black flies throughout the entire hike so be sure to pack bug spray!

hiking
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

This is a Hard lvl hike but very doable. If you are injured, elderly or have children under 8 yld than I would suggest a different hike. The trails are very well marked and easy to follow. The terrain is rocky and the black flys are relentless. Bring bug spray! The loop is about 6 miles there are some outlooks along the way so keep an eye out for the signs. Gunstock summit has a great view of the lake. The belknap doesn't have much to look at except a fire tower which will let you see above the trees however that's it, the trees are too thick in the summer to see anything. There are a few nice lookouts on the white trail on the decent. Good trail would recommend.

hiking
Sunday, June 04, 2017

This hike has everything you want in a hike. Steep challenging hike up Gunstock Mountain Trail including a stopping point on the way with a fantastic view. Once at the summit of Gunstock the view is even better overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee and a view of Mount Washington in the distance. On saddle brook trail pleases with great views, easy to moderate hiking and a fire tower! Saddle brook trail leads to white trail and the Summit of Belknap Mountain. Pleasing beauty there. The easy descent down white trail continues with pretty views and vegetation. It's a fantastic 6 mile loop.

hiking
Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nice, moderate difficulty trail with varied terrain good views. Terrific wildflowers, including many trillium and white lady slippers.

hiking
Saturday, May 20, 2017

An enjoyable loop with well maintained trails and some nice stonework along the way. I hiked up and down the carriage road, but next time I will expand the loop by hiking up Piper Mountain (trailhead shortly after lower lot gate), over to Belknap, then to Gunstock and down. This is a moderate-hard loop since you get some breaks from steep inclines and there are quite a few staircases. Although the parking lots were packed on a Saturday, I only saw/heard a handful of people. There are enough trails in the network to disperse the use.

hiking
Saturday, October 08, 2016

This was an amazing hike but getting to the top and seeing it so commercialized took away from it's natural beauty.

hiking
Tuesday, August 02, 2016

We chose not to do the entire 6 mile loop. We did the Belknap fire tower at a different time. We started out on the Ridge Trail (white) it was straight up hill on an off road, All gravel until you see the tower. Then the actual trail starts and its awesome. The hike itself is very easy and the views are amazing. We took the yellow trail down. There were great streams toward the end. Highly recommend.

hiking
Sunday, May 01, 2016

This was a great trail with beautiful views of Winnipesaukee!

We extended our hike by starting up Piper Mountain Trail (red blazes from bottom of Carriage Rd). The view from Piper was well worth the extra hiking and the stone chairs were pretty cool to see. From there we hiked orange and white blazes to Belknap Fire Tower where the attendant had spotted a fire off in the distance. It was cool to listen to the activity from the lower deck of the tower while taking in the 360 views. Snow-capped Mount Washington was visible. From there we hiked blue blazes to the Saddle Trail up Gunstock and back down orange to where we had parked. We only saw one other person on all of Gunstock. On our way home we drove past Mount Major where there were literally hundreds of cars parked along the highway. We were grateful that we chose the lesser-traveled Belknap Ridge for our hike because the views were just as good and much more peaceful. There is great variety between the three peaks with various views, making for a great hike!

A comprehensive map of the trails can be downloaded here:
http://belknaprangetrails.org/belknap-range-trail-map/
The map is georeferenced so you can open it in an app on your phone and see what trail you are on when you're hiking. Thank you to the makers of this fantastic map!

Note: I'd rate this trail as moderate rather than hard. Kids and first-time hikers were making their way up Piper and Belknap without too much trouble.

Note: The gate was closed all day on 4/30 even though a sign says it will be opened at 9am. You couldn't reach the parking further up the road for the Red, Green and Blue blazed trails up Belknap although you could reach them by walking up the Carriage Road to the trailheads.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Load More