Explore the most popular wildlife trails near Alton with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Took the Main Trail up and the Brook
Trail down. Fabulous! Glad I had good hiking boots as the footing was tricky.

This is a great and challenging hike. Did the full 10 miles with my wife and dog yesterday. I'd recommend bringing a map with you because you'll be changing trails frequently, and some trails, especially the white trail, are not marked very well. ALSO: Check yourself and your pets VERY thoroughly for ticks, we've found almost 20 on the 3 of us since last night.

I came here with my older sister and my dog, expecting to hike the full 10 miles but we ended up taking the wrong trail down from the summit of Mount Major but it was definitely worth it. We took the boulder trail up to the summit and it had a breathtaking view of lake Winnepesaukee (probably not spelled right). Our 10 year old dog enjoyed the hike every step of the way and she was leading us the whole time. I would really recommend this hike to anyone because the view from Mount Major is well worth the hike to the top.

I messed up thinking I was crossing Quarry Trail. I was confused by dashed line not appearing under the second loop on all trails map, indicating a TRAIL, so I thought I was continuing on the orange section that was not the easiest and not travelled (not so much a trail) just prior to hitting Quarry Trail. I started at noon but if I started a little earlier, perhaps I wouldn’t have bailed on the extra 4mi and elevation gain. I was attempting both loops CCW not figure 8. Great weather. Nice time. I will return to get this right. Printed map, from website, showed Quarry Trail as dashed, not sure if it would read Quarry Trail if I had zoomed in further, red trail on map does not match dashed trails exactly. I had used iPhone to guide me thru the hike and when I reached junction of orange/Quarry, I zoomed in but no dash and no trail name on screen.
In addition to pink (Cucuit), no dash and no trail name on zoomed map on iPhone-I was recording the track and when I went 20-50ft “right” on the Quarry Trail and you can see my track (red) is perpendicular to the pink giving further indication that I was supposed to cross the Quarry Trail not take it. This was only the second hike I used All Trails and recorded the track. More prep time and planning might have eliminated any doubts at that intersection.

Quick little hike with a great view of Alton Bay and Winny. Hiked with my dog and we moved pretty quickly - about 45min to the top.

Nice way to get to Major and avoid the crowds. Saw no one until I was nearing the summit, and the trail itself is wide and well-marked.

Lots of graffiti, rude tourists and trash everywhere. Nice view of the lake but there are lots of other places nearby without the crowds, noise and trash.

Starts off easy, gets progressively steeper until there is some rock scrambling near the end, but nothing too difficult. You start getting views about 1.2 miles up, and the panorama at the summit is incredible. I would recommend a different trail for the descent, such as the Brook Trail.

A great winter hike we did the main trail (blue) and the orange trail, took about 2 hours with snow, microspikes needed in some areas. Yaktracks weren't enough on the sheer ice.

What a great and fun loop. Parking at the trailhead is alongside the road which is a bit tight. The trail going up to Straightback Mountain was not very well blazed (at least in the snow). Had there not been tracks ahead of us we would have had trouble finding our way. The connection from the summit of straightback to major (blue blazed Belknap range trail) was well blazed again. We hiked clockwise which was a great idea as to descend the shorter and moderately steep and very well blazed red trail. We had to break the trail through the snow on the way down to complete the loop and not go back the way we came. There was one brook crossing which was maybe a bit tricky but we found a way across without getting wet. Took us a bit under 4 hours in the snow.

Not sure what happened to the gps but the mileage is wrong.

Hiked with my 5 and 9 year old. The parking lot is almost always full spring through early fall which is why we went up at the end of November. The trail was still busy. We saw people ending their hike as we started up around 10 am. We saw people through out the trail and summit and we saw people starting their trek as we were leaving at 2pm. Now imagine that when its not in the lower 30's with heavy wind.

For as often as this trail gets used I was surprised at its difficulty level. This trail really is moderate. It is by no means easy. Completely do-able but not a simple walk in the forest. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone younger then 5 or 6, or for anyone really out of shape.

The first .5 miles are a steady incline with a brief flat section then back to incline for another .5 miles and finally a full scramble for the last .25 miles.

We had ice on all the flat rock faces and the scramble portions. There were sections where we had to go "off trail" and walk in parallel with the blazed section to avoid ice. My 9 year old who never needs help needed assistance in some sections. I'm sure this wouldnt matter in a warmer month.

Over all its a great half day hike with a pretty good pay off at the peak. I would choose the trails in the Ossipee range (Mt. Roberts, Bald Knob, etc...) across the lake if you're looking for better views of the lake. You'll also encounter far less people.

8 months ago

Nice views at the top of Mt. Major after a nice relaxing hike :) We chose the gentle route up, and coming down the steeper side wasn’t bad at all.

8 months ago

2nd time. Beautiful panoramic summit!

Beautiful views, especially in the fall!! Trail is a bit crowded with other hikers.

This is and all day hike, food & extra water. Parts are very quite except around Mt. Major. Once past this area you won't see more than 2 0r 3 other hikers. Some areas are steep and rocky others are gentle in a forest setting. This is part of the Belknap Redlining Patch Program. 66 MILES AND 15 PEEKS, IT WAS A great TIME ....

Be careful going down to get the right trail. I took Orange Trail instead and WOW

9 months ago

I loved this trail! Not too difficult at any point, nice and shaded, and the views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the White Mountains from the top are incredible. I liked going up the Brook Trail (orange) and down the blue trail. I saw very few other people on the way up and was almost surprised at the crowd at the summit when I got there. Fantastic morning hike I hope to do again!

Excellent views from the top. Trail condition is pretty rough. Lots of exposed roots and loose rocks.

10 months ago

Yellow trail/Brook trail on the way up. Crosses a few streams. Erosion is prevalent, path is often off to to sides. Fantastic views and large open space at top. Well worth it! Blue trail/Main trail on the way down. Steep rock face on way down at top becoming rocky and eroded on way down. Careful footing a must. Around 4.5 miles.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Pros: the view at the top is gorgeous. The summit is festooned with wild blueberries. Great trail for kids and families. Would be easy to do the summit of Straightback Mtn in the same day, from the same parking area.

Cons: serious erosion on the trail, no doubt from all the traffic. If you do this hike, understand that it's crowded and heavily used, and is not a "wilderness" hike. That said, I jumped off the main Brook trail to the Jesus Valley trail (the longest route to the summit, shown here as "Snowmobile Trail" and it was a lovely break from the crowds; made the hike a 7m roundtrip vs. 3.8.
Overall: if you've got young ones or want a less strenuous hike on a popular trail AND A BEAUTIFUL VIEW at the top, try it! :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

If you have bad knees and going down is harder than going up, take the Boulder trail first, then the Brook Trail, and end on the Main Trail.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I usually hike the little trails at Major as I'm not a fan of the mountain stampedes....hence my rating is not 5. This trail has great views, some challenges on the southern part and is easy to follow. I'm a huge fan of all the trails at Major and encourage anyone to try some of the little ones you see heading out from the bottom of the Brook trail. (Bee Line...A Line etc.) Look for the Man of Major: Art!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

great climb

Monday, March 28, 2016

Ended up being 4.5 miles. Did the Boulder Loop (orange) to the summit and Brook Trail (yellow) down to where it connects to the Main Trail (blue). Great views from the top. Great for dogs. Would recommend starting with Boulder (left at the parking lot) if going to do that trail.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Busy trail. Lots of families and dogs

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lots of people. OK view.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Crowded, there is also trash in a lot of areas and a lot of dogs

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Fantastic 360 view at the top. A great finale to the summit with the option to scale a small cliff. Some heavy erosion midway along the trail.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Great hike with excellent views. At the start of the trail there are some large rocks perfect for bouldering. Trail gives you an option to take Mt Major or Mt Switchback both of which have great views.

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