Hancock Trail is a 9.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Lincoln, New Hampshire that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. 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.

Length9.1 miElevation gain2,631 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashCampingHikingNature tripsSnowshoeingBird watchingRunningForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeRockyScramble
Description
Waypoints (4)
Tips
Getting There

This trail is primarily moderate however it does get tough the last mile to the top of North Hancock. At this portion hikers will have to trek on rocks and scrambles, this portion is also difficult to descend so please be aware. This is a fun loop trail to two 4,000 foot peaks (Hancock and South Hancock) in New Hampshire. There aren't any crazy great views but you'll get glimpses towards the Tripyramids, Carrigain of each mountain from the others summit. Users have reported that there is no cell service in the area - be sure to download the map before heading to the trailhead to avoid getting lost.

There is a pretty big parking area and it costs $3 per day to park here.

The trailhead is the first hairpin turn on the Kancamangus Highway headed East from I-93.

Weather
UV Index
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Reviews (1,162)
Photos (1,463)
Activities (1,075)
Completed (1,932)
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Nicholas C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 15, 2021
HikingFloodedIcySnow

There are not 17 serious stream crossings as the previous reviewer said. There were only a few (maybe 4) serious water crossings. As of 4/15 they are all rock hoppable.

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david Stapleton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 13, 2021
Hiking

Trail is good for microspikes, but mushy in most places. 17 serious stream crossings, but waterproof boots and a pole will get you across.

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Diane Giombetti Clue
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 10, 2021
HikingGreat!MuddySnow

Whew - this was a tough one but so much fun! We put on our microspikes very early into the hike and they stayed on the whole way up and down. Monorail is pretty narrow and is getting squashy, so there was lots of sliding. Bring your trekking poles! The final ascent to North Hancock was challenging but doable - we just did it slowly. The half-mile down from South Hancock was super slow-going and very steep. Water crossings are all still hoppable but a couple were kind of hair-raising. Great day out with perfect weather. We started at 9:15am and summited North Hancock three hours later. Brief stop for lunch with another short stop at the summit of South Hancock. Got back to trail head just before 4pm.

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Chris McGrail
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 10, 2021
Hiking

It was a nice hike (kinda) and a warm sunny day, day but the snow was really soft. It made ascents slow, descents a hazard and post-holing common and infuriating (spikes, no shoes). By the time I finished the hike I was swearing off early spring hiking and cursing the trail altogether... although I'll be back in the Whites next week to do it all over again :) Even with the impediments, I completed both peaks in 4h40m... Snow cleared up near the end of the trail, so I ran the last mile.

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Devon Edwards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 10, 2021
HikingMuddySnow

Two days of warm weather made the trail very slushy. Spikes all the way, trail is a mess but most parts are still firm. The south Hancock descent was the most slushy part, we took it extremely slowly due to the steepness. Numerous water crossings, pretty high today, a couple are intimidating but still totally doable. Overall fun trail. Some views from overlooks at each peak but not much room.

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Chris Giaquinto
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 10, 2021
Hiking

Trail was in decent shape. Good hike overall. Water crossing were totally doable. Monorail still exists but is definitely beginning to rot away at the lower elevations. My total hike time was 4:30 trail head to trail head. I don’t use my snowshoes at all but definitely needed my micro spikes for most of the trail.

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Allie Cushion
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 10, 2021
HikingGreat!IcyMuddySnow

Trail was pretty soft today. Packed area getting small and narrow in places. Multiple water crossing but manageable, not too high yet but lots of run off everywhere. But beautiful day with beautiful spring weather!

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Sydney Conti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 8, 2021
Hiking

Monorail is mostly intact and narrow in places, micro spikes are a necessity and poles are useful. For the first few miles the conditions are softer snow and muddy at times. Definitely north peak first then to south. The 0.7mile ascent up to north peak is steep with no switch backs and slick. The entire hike from start to finish took me 4hr 30min and just the ascent to north took about 1 hour. Still able to glissade down parts of the descent coming down from south. Multiple river crossings over rocks, but the river is still low. Beautiful hike and well marked!

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Kayla Tostevin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 6, 2021
Hiking

We loved it! Every view was worth it. Microspikes worked well. Definitely North peak before South and still slow getting down.

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Scott Bednarz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 3, 2021
Hiking

Monorail is still alive and solid! Micro spikes are a must, snowshoes are extra weight and not needed. First 3.5 miles is little elevation gain then very steep up to the north peak. Pretty level over to south Hancock then straight down the 0.5 mile after the summit.

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Sandra L.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 3, 2021
HikingGreat!Icy

Trail was well-packed and monorail remained firm, biggest challenge is avoiding the plentiful post holes from earlier days of warm weather. I was fine with just spikes, hiking partner preferred crampons on steepest sections -- no snowshoes needed. 10 water crossings requiring rock hopping. Terrific loop, very satisfying, great views.

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Emma Hauer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 3, 2021
Hiking

Monorail was stable but rotting the last mile out at the end of the day. Wore spikes the whole way, snowshoes got a free scenic tour. Butt sliding down south was super fun but a little sketchy in spots, it’s fast so be careful. There’s a ton of water crossings, some will get trickier with more melt out. Only had to navigate off trail for two but were fine on the way out when the snow/ice melted off the rocks. Go soon and start early to get the monorail before it melts. Super pretty and fun trail with surprisingly nice views!

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Eric O
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 2, 2021
HikingSnow

Nice trail mostly hard packed. Spikes all day no snowshoes needed. There were a lot of post holes from previous days. I recommend going up the north and down the south.

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Jennifer Parkhurst
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 27, 2021
Hiking

Lots of postholes, water crossing were pretty easy a few hairier ones. Packed snowshoes but only used micro spikes. Gorgeous day.

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Ansel Barnum
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 21, 2021
Hiking

Weather was perfection, melting the trails of wet snow. Snowshoes essential for the meat of the ascent which makes for a perilous slide on descent.

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Christopher Royle
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Hiking

Great hike

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Bruce Borofsky
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Hiking
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Suzanne Perry FTFC
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 20, 2021
HikingSnow

Got these two in for spring, done in all four seasons now. Warm enough to stop at summits for nice lunch break.

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J Temp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 19, 2021
Hiking

Awesome trail. Gradual the whole way / Except- the last .5 mile to summit of South H. Crisp cold trail no snowshoes needed this morning but later in the day you might. I carried mine up and down just in case. Enjoy!

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f r
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 14, 2021
HikingGreat!Icy

Snow shoes were a must. The snow was pretty mushy and even being careful, we still post holed a good amount. There are parts that are very steep and snow shoes made it way easier. Definitely be careful butt sliding on the way down as it’s pretty windy. I would recommend using spikes if you do slide down as it’s way harder with snow shoes on. Took us about 6.5 hours and made for a great day hike

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