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Mount Hale and Mount Zealand Loop via Hale Brook to Zealand Trail

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White Mountain National Forest

Mount Hale and Mount Zealand Loop via Hale Brook to Zealand Trail is a 13.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bethlehem, New Hampshire that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length 13.2 mi Elevation gain 4,015 ft Route type Loop
Backpacking Camping Hiking Nature trips Running Forest Views Wildlife
Description
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Getting There

Note: Zealand Road is open all the way now. https://trailsnh.com/reports/Forest-Roads-Gates.php?road=zealand-road This Trailhead is located at the southern terminus of Zealand Road. [Zealand Road remains unplowed in winter.] A long, but fun journey that allows you to bag two NH 4000 footers. The climb up the Hale Brook Trail is very short but steep. Descend Mount Hale via the Lend-A-Hand Trail and feel like you are in nature's isolation. The Zealand Falls Hut is located at the junction of the Twinway Trail/AT so you can refill and refuel on the way up or down from Mount Zealand. Follow the AT up to Zealand's summit, and make sure to take the Zeacliff Pond Spur Trail or one of two incredible viewing areas to make up for Zealand and Hale's wooded summits. The Zealand Trail on the way down is quite easy and flat. This trail can easily be done as a loop with one car as long as you don't mind a short extra walk along Zealand Road.

- This trail can easily be done as a loop with one car as long as you don't mind a short extra walk along Zealand Road. - Be sure to stop at the Zealand Falls AMC Hut!

The Hale Brook Trail parking lot is on the right off of Zealand Road.

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Reviews (86)
Photos (1471)
Recordings (83)
Completed (272)
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Peter Kelly
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HikingIcyMuddyRockySnow
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Rachel St Andre
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HikingMuddy

Hale was very steep with no switchbacks, Zealand had a lot of switchbacks and was really pretty! Got very slippery though

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Dan Nawazelski
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Hiking

Trail was in great shape. The hike up Gale was steeper than I expected. On summit there were loads of gray jays. Getting up to Zeacliff took a lot out of me but mostly easy to Zealand from there. Last weekend huts will be open for food/water

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Stephanie Cawley
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HikingFloodedIcyRocky

Relatively easy hike up Hale. Steepish but short. Hike down Lend a Hand Trail is not my favorite. Very wet especially near the bottom but doable. And giving up the elevation gain after climbing up Hale and then having to regain it going up to Zealand can be despiritng but it's part of the hike. I wonder if there's a direct bushwhack between Hale and Zealand without having to descend and ascend back up? And both Hale and Zealand have no views but I finished on Zeacliff which has an awesome view! I finished with the mile road walk back to my car and measured 15 miles total. Not sure what is accurate but it's a reasonably long hike regardless. That being said I enjoyed this hike and will be back again!

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Bruce Borofsky
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Hiking
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Morgan Drouin
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HikingGreat!

We parked at Zealand and did the mile road walk at the beginning which was not bad at all. The climb up Mt. Hale is no joke. Extremely steep for the entire time, it was relentless. Zero views on Hale, but there is a huge rock cairn and a good clearing for taking a break. Trail from Hale to Zealand is beautiful and diverse. Some rocks, some bog bridges, some dirt. Again, zero views at Zealand, but Zeacliff makes up for it - wow! By far the most gorgeous view I have seen throughout my hiking. The only man made thing you can see are the towers on Mt. Washington. The only way to know when you are at Zeacliff is a chalk sign that says “View” with an arrow. Follow the arrow!! Also, I really cannot say enough good things about Zealand Trail (the way down). Starts with some steep rock steps from the hut, then some rocky parts for probably 0.3 miles, then it’s pretty much smooth sailing. Level, packed down trail with minimal rocks for the rest of the time. It was such an enjoyable way to end the day. If you aren’t doing the 4,000’ers, I recommend hiking up this trail to the cliff and down. Would make for roughly a 10 mile round trip hike. My tracker tracked everything at 15.7 (including the mile road walk).

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Luke Raphael
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Hiking
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Andrew Levin
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HikingFeeGreat!

THE FOLIAGE!! Such a great trail! Pretty dry, very few mud/water spots. Lots of roots so pay attention if those make you nervous. Pretty well marked. Zealand Falls Hut to the Mt. Zealand is pretty steep at the beginning then mellows out BIG time. Definitely visit the "view" turnoff on way to Zealand Summit, just be wary of young kids/dogs off leash, it leads to a massive cliff face. Trail up to and summit of Hale were a little lackluster, highly suggest looping Hale to Zealand, well worth it! Dont know how long it will last, but Zealand Falls Hut was open for restrooms/snacks/ and weather.

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Eden Marie
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HikingGreat!Rocky

So glad I did this double wooded summit in the fall. Make sure you stop at the “view” for the best, well view. Foliage is unbelievably gorgeous right now. Going up the Zealand before the turn onto Twin way is probably the toughest spot. Overall, great hike!

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Noelle Noelle Ballou
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Hiking
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Patrick Combs
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HikingGreat!Muddy
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Matt Kuruts
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Hiking

I wouldn't really bother with this loop if you're not in it for peak bagging. Both peaks are unimpressive, the saving grace was zeacliff, the hut area and the swamps on the way out.

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Kevin Wu
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seejaylaugh User
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Hiking
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Claudette Stears
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Hiking

Relentless - but as always any day on a mountain is a great day!

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Jared Sullivan
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Hiking

The last mile is on the dirt road, I might walk that part first so you end at the car. it's a bummer to be out of the woods and still have a mile walk on road.

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ROGER MATTEAU
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Hiking

I give mt. Hale 1 star. steep no views. from Hale to twinway nice hike . twinway to zealand lots of views , zealand falls a plus. mt zealand ledges have great views. summit has nothing. decent to hut has great views. And from hut to base just a beautiful trail , ponds , falls , mtn views all the way down. I give mt zealand 5 stars.

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David Boudreau
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HikingGreat!Rocky

longish hike up to Hale. beautiful walk down and over to Zealand hut. rocky up to Zealand summit. then back to hut and easy walk out

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Nathan Levad
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Hiking
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Rick Merrill
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We started at Mt Hale parking lot. Trek up Hale was short but steep. A few "look back over your shoulder views". Summit is large pile of rocks w no view. Took lend-a-hand trail over to the AMC hutand headed up Zealand. Zeacliff is awesome and offers a 180° view. The trip over to Zealand summit and back was a breeze. Bust trail but not terrible. Once you get back to Zealand Falls Hut the walk out is a breeze. Map says 13.2 miles but we both recorded about 17 on the step trackers.... The mile walk from Zealand lot to Hale was all downhill and shaded. Nice cool down before hitting the road home.

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Justin Moffatt
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Hiking
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