Mount Morgan and Mount Percival Trail

MODERATE 204 reviews

Mount Morgan and Mount Percival Trail is a 5.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Center Sandwich, New Hampshire that features a lake 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.

DISTANCE
5.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,535 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

cave

forest

lake

views

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

1 month ago

Awesome winter hike! Definitely needed spikes , everything was packed down though. Did the ladder, it was a blast! Took about 3 1/2-4 hrs total

hiking
1 month ago

First time taking this trail and it was great, especially in the snow. Spikes were a must as it was quite icy. We almost didn’t take the ladders going up Mt Morgan, but I’m glad we decided to give it a try! Lots of fun and in the winter it was nice and quiet.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trails really well marked. Carried my snowshoes but the entire loop was hard packed and didn’t use them. Used only my spikes, no post holing. Went Percival to Morgan. Would recommend if you want to take the ladders to go Morgan first....the cave squeeze to get to the ladders was a little less clear with the snow, but there are foot prints. My first time up there. It was breathtaking.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

This is a great hike in the summer and almost better in the winter. Snow at the bottom was ~3 inches but at the top was almost 1.5 feet so snowshoes are highly recommended. I hiked up Percival and down Morgan, which is definitely the way to do it in the winter. Percival starts shallow then heads sharply upwards. Trying to get down the trail in deep snow would be tricky, but going down Morgan was no problem. The views as always are unbelievable! I stayed almost an hour on top of Morgan.
Time to Percival summit: 2 hours
Time to Morgan Summit: 42 minutes
Total time (with ~4 trail breaks and an hour on the summit): 4 and a half hours

2 months ago

Great hike today. Trail crampons were not essential, though make the hike more enjoyable as you ascend to the summit of Mt. Morgan. There is a couple inches of snow and ice above 2000 feet. The views are fantastic.

hiking
3 months ago

Not difficult endurance-wise, but technically challenging! Really fun if you like climbing up and down boulders, going up ladders (awesome but definitely a little adrenaline-inducing), and squeezing through rocks into caves!! Went with a group of 8 friends and we all loved it!

hiking
3 months ago

This hike has the most beautiful views I’ve seen. With that said....it was “Terrifying”! Definitely go up Morgan and down Percival. If you have the slightest fear of heights, avoid the ladders and caves. I personally don’t recommend this hike for young children.

hiking
3 months ago

Gorgeous views. Highly recommend the direction of Morgan then Percival, by way of the ladders/cliff on Morgan and caves coming down from Percival. I'm prone to anxiety attacks with height and this was just enough to challenge me without being unachievable. Simply fun and beautiful for most hikers! We took our time on the trail and spent significant time in the summits. 5 hour loop from the Mt Morgan Trailhead parking lot.

hiking
4 months ago

Unreal views! Accidentally took the Mount Morgan trail instead of the initial loop we noticed on the map for this hike...ended up doing a total of 5.5 miles with the 4th mile being the toughest uphill ! Yellow path was a good workout for sure.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike took about 3.5 hours round trip...we did stop at the top for some time enjoying the views. I would definitely recommend going to mount Morgan first and come down Percival so you can go up the ladders rather than down. Going down was a challenge.

hiking
4 months ago

Ascent of Mount Morgan is pretty moderate, and there is an optional ladder/cave route near the top, which is fun. The ridgeline traverse to Mount Percival is mostly easy, with a few short, steep sections. I would recommmend taking the Cliff Trail down from Mount Percival (second trail on the right), as the Cave Trail (first trail on the right) is ranked as one of the toughest in New England. It is fun if you are very fit and agile, but it requires good bouldering skills, as well as the ability and comfort to squeeze through tight spaces. After that, the trail gradually becomes easier. Unfortunately, we went on a misty day, so there was little to see in terms of views. However, the trail offered several fun scrambling opportunities, and I hear the views are great on clear days.

4 months ago

this trail is gorgeous! it was definitely tough, I feel on the very high end of moderate. (which we weren't entirely prepared for) the summit was very much worth the work to climb this steep mountain! We will be back, when we're better prepared for trails on this end of the moderate spectrum.

hiking
4 months ago

A lot of effort for an okay view

4 months ago

Love the ladder! Beautiful views from the top!

4 months ago

Beautiful trail! Definitely on the more difficult end of the “moderate” spectrum, but well worth the effort. A few more signs at crossroads and the summit of Percival would be appreciated.

trail running
4 months ago

As has been pointed out by other reviewers, this was not 4.7 miles. My watch said 5.68 miles, but since I went off the trail twice (not very well marked coming down Mt. Percival) and also hiked the extra 0.2m detour (round trip) to see the top of Mt. Morgan, I’d guess the whole loop (including the Mt. Morgan summit detour) is about 5.5 miles. As a kid, I hiked this route many times, and I don’t remember it being so strenuous! The “trail running” didn’t really start ‘til the ridge between Morgan and Percival, then again halfway down Percival (power hiking the rest of the time). Several very steep parts going up Morgan and especially coming down Percival. “Moderate” is a gentle way to say “not easy.” Beautiful views of Squam Lake from both summits. Total trail time (excluding rests on top of the two peaks) was 1 hr, 35 minutes (probably 2x my normal hiking speed).

5 months ago

This loop totaled out at 5.7 miles rather than 4.7. We took the Morgan trail up and followed the loop clockwise to the Percival trail.

Coming down the Percival trail is steep and very rocky, and might be better described as a Harder trail for some folks.

Overall, a great hike with some great payoff views of Squam Lake and the surrounding mountains, but not one to sneeze at.

hiking
5 months ago

5 months ago

My family had a great time on this hike. On our way through the cave section of Percival, we retrieved about twenty water bottles of varying types from one crevice. Apparently people are either accidentally or purposely dropping bottles just outside the cave proper. Please keep a good grip on your bottles.

hiking
5 months ago

Really crowded, but overall a good time!

hiking
5 months ago

SUPER fun hike. the loop is more like 5.5 miles, as you have to take a connector trail (Morse trail) at the bottom to get back to the mt Morgan parking lot. the ladders and caves offered some really fun technical climbing. nothing outrageous, however, and there were bypasses for all obstacles

hiking
6 months ago

An excellent trail that has much to offer especially the views at the summit of Mount Percival. These is a cave close to the summit of Mount Percival which is sure to please young children. You got to take off your backpack and get body position just right to squeeze through. The scenic views on top of Mount Percival is the best that I've seen and I've seen many a trails in my hiking career. We were even treated to a bear sighting in the clearing. I really regretted not packing my zoom lens on my camera along with me. The views of the Squam Lakes region and various other peaks from the summit of Mount Percival is absolutely breathtaking so you definitely want to bring your binocular or zoom lens for your camera.

The ladder down Mount Morgan is challenging as well going down especially for young children and inexperienced hiker. If you got either of those it is better to do the trail clockwise. There is a narrow opening to squeeze through on the Mount Morgan side as well.

Overall this is one of the best trail that I've been on for relatively moderate effort. I will definitely want to return to this trail before the end of the year.

hiking
6 months ago

Views from the tops of Morgan and Percival were gorgeous. The trail up and down to the summits was a well marked forest trail, and everything is a moderate hike with one notable exception-- the last bit to the summit of Percival. We did the loop clockwise so we did this section going down. At the top of Percival you'll see two blazed options-- one that goes down to the right over the open rock face and one to the left through the trees. The options aren't marked if you're heading down (they are in the other direction). To the left is the cliff side (we didn't do this, so I'm not sure what this entails) and the other goes to the cave. The description here says it "features" a cave, however, feature here means that you scramble through a cave (not exactly a cave, but cave-like) with two very small openings on either side in order to follow the trail. The way down to the cave opening is steep and a bit technical. The openings on either side are small enough that you'll need to take your pack off to get through. The day we were there was incredibly hot so the time in the cave was a natural air-conditioning relief.

6 months ago

Lots of fun to run most of the way. Fun ladder and cave obstacles near the top.

6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

I’ve hiked both mountains before separately but the loop is so much better! We went up Morgan through the ladders and came down Percival through the caves. Morgan is deceptively easy to climb, and fun at the top. The connector is a rocky ridge line between the summits but short enough to enjoy. More than once we had to take off our backpacks to get through the caves of Percival cliff face. Although descending this way is fun and challenging for experienced hikers, definitely not recommended for kids or dogs. Heading down the rockfall is tough and you have to keep your head up and stay on the trail, which is hard to follow on points down Percival. All in all, up Morgan and down Percival via the cliffs is probably the way to go. Amazing views as always on top.

7 months ago

Somewhat challenging but lots of fun with the steep cliffs, ladders, and tight caves to climb through. Awesome views from top too, especially on Percival.

7 months ago

This is by far my favorite hike!

hiking
8 months ago

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
8 months ago

Great trail. well marked great views.

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