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

Does this trail actually connect into a loop? According to the topo there is no trail leading down the west side of Hale Mountain.

Okay - first, the views from the summit are absolutely spectacular! However, I learned a thing or two or twenty about hiking a 4000 footer in the spring - and my net is, don’t! Or at least not this one. The hike was 99% tedious and 1% fun. But the view is great! The gate was still closed to the access road, (which adds a little over a mile to the hike each way), probably to discourage people from hiking it right now! The trail starts off pretty nondescript - gentle climb through woodlands, dry footing, normal roots and rocks and stuff. Then the trail got wetter and muddier and rockier. Then you come to a confluence of perhaps every stream in the Whites and you have to find your way across this spider web of water. Doable. Would’ve been a wade for sure a couple of weeks ago! From here on, with tiny breaks of dry land, the trail is basically a muddy rocky stream bed. You can get around some of it, but it’s a pain. Then you hit the snow. Kind of spotty at first, then full on deep, with a narrow packed ridge to walk on like a balance beam, and deep post hole stuff dropping off on either side. Not too much ice. I had nano spikes which gripped just fine. Snowshoes probably would have been the best because you wouldn’t have had to worry so much about staying on the narrow packed ridge. Gaiters would have been a plus too for the few times you do sink in. Windy at the top but lots of places to sit behind granite “walls” to block the wind and enjoy the sunshine! Did this hike with my dog. I will stick to smaller hikes until the snow melts and things dry out a bit:)

hiking
25 days ago

Beware that this hike can be awful in the spring season, when snow and ice are still on the ground. Sketchy river crossings and icy/slippery cliff sections made for a difficult hike. Trail was mashed potatoes in some sections. Some decent views along the trail, but I would suggest that less advanced hikers hike this trail in summer.

*The gate was closed, so we had to hike 5 extra miles (ie 9.6 miles roundtrip).

I didn’t really care for this hike but it might be because of the trail conditions yesterday. I thought it would be a quick and easy hike but the snow made it difficult in some parts. I used microspikes the entire time but snow shoes would have helped in spots. I am one of those people who kept post holing

Its an ok hike, nothing to amazing and not a great view at the summit, but overall not to bad!

There’re are few views to beat the one from the summit.

If you like rivers this is a nice trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Great up and down on an early winter day
Brown at the bottom 12” at the top great views no wind
Have heard some do this in the winter and then ski down from the ridge intersection. Now that’s how to do it !

Cool trail with some great views. Many opportunities to hit the streams if your day is warm enough. Trails is well maintained . Not a lot of folks on the trail for a dry weekend.

hiking
6 months ago

definitely challenging, for my first 4000 ft peak in the White Mountains it definitely pushed me and I was thankful for the amazing view at the finish. Would love to do again.

Good rainy day hike. Not the most exciting 4k but a 4k nonetheless. Id save this one for a cloudy or rainy day hike or maybe your 1st 4k.

Great cold hike, definitely not as cold as it could have been but there were some extraordinarily windy spots. The trail was VERY Wet and saturated with water throughout the entire hike. There were a few rainy days beforehand that probably didn't make it better.

One thing I noticed no one really mentions is how many bridges there are, I counted over 90 from the beginning of the trail to the summit of Zealand. Most are after the hut. Nothing wrong with the amount of bridges but based on the other peaks I have hiked it was the most I had ever seen. The bridges around the Zeacliff outlook are loose and SINK when you step on them. There are parts of mud that are pretty much unavoidable, jumping with a heavy pack is pretty exhausting lol.

We actually started before sunrise so we had to use our headlamps for the first 40 minutes or so which was pretty cool. The bridges around the pond area were a bit icy but nothing crazy. We did experience a moose on the trail, luckily it looked like we spooked him more than he did us and we saw him run off into the marshy area.

The trail was a bit busy especially on our way back. Overall a fun hike, obviously with how wet the trail is it is very slippery especially the logs. No bug issues thanks to the temperature, I would imagine it would be pretty miserable during summer with how much water is around. Beautiful trail, definitely would fall hike this again maybe even early spring when the snow has begun to melt.

side note we did get chased down the mountain for a little bit by a bird, definitely a 1st and hopefully the last

Great fall hike. my- gps came in at 10.2 miles from the parking lot. Nice gradual hike up to the summit except the last push which makes you work for the view, but it's totally worth it. The views are spectacular with 360 degrees of viewing. Breezy at the top but we found a spot protected from the wind on the far side. The descent seemed long but I was tired. Definately worth coming back to this one.

Difficult to find, nothing much to speak of for hiking. There's a snowmobile trail that's a little nicer, but I wouldn't waste time on this.

great hike. easy steady climb with no real steep sections until a short burst at the very end. was windy and foggy at top on the day i went but worth the climb.

Fairly easy hike, but made for a long day. Took about six hours of out and back. Great 360 degree views.

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful trail, well marked, and what awesome views from the peak. It is a must to hit north sugarloaf while here, as the views are very well matched and an amazing benefit to the hike. The river at the beginning is very nice also, just don't drop your phone in it! (oops)

Great hike, just really tired at the end of an almost 10-mile trail. Moderate hike in terms of effort, but the views were stunning. Stayed up on top for almost an hour sitting against the foundation of the old fire tire. We were protected from the wind and actually got to enjoy our entire lunch we lugged up. Got a lot of motivation from a woman ahead of us backpacking her young son (looked to be about 2-years-old) all the way up. Well marked trail, however, when leaving the summit of Garfield, make sure you choose the right trail down as there are two off the top: 1 leading back down to the parking lot of Garfield, and 1 leading over to Mt. Lafayette and neither of them are marked. Choose carefully when making your descent. That said, we had the trail mostly to ourselves going up which was so unexpected. The views were just beautiful. We took our time, stopping often to catch our breath, and still made it up in just under 2.5 hours. Unfortunately the trip down took us just as long. But the hike was well worth the effort.

Great hiking with a fabulous fall foliage bonus! No view from the peak but the views on the hike in made up for it. The hut is so cool! Great croo with answers to all your questions.

it was a good hike .it was beautiful hike

Well maintained and relatively easy 4000 footer, not much for views but lovely Christmas tree forest up top. Balsam scented trails always nice.

hiking
7 months ago

Great moderate 4000 footer, gray Jay greeted me at summit looking for lunch that I gave him right out of my palm. Beautiful views of the Pemi loop.

Tougher hike than 'Easy'. The hike is awesome though and the hut is a cool stopping point. Views were cool at the top too

nice easy hike. very peaceful and not crowded due to lack of views. would recommend if u only have 3-4 hrs and want to do a 4k.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice hike for children

Nice trail. Passes by beaver ponds. Half way, there is a hut. They sell food, like soup, cake, tea. Z-cliff view is very beautiful.

Outstanding trail albeit be careful with footing

This was my first hike in NH and I enjoyed it. We did a car spot so we were able to do the loop hike of Garfield and Galehead. The Galehead Hut was nice to visit.

Started from the Franconia Ridge from Lafayette. The trail between Garfield and Lafayette requires a lot of up and and down hiking along the rocky false knolls. The trail between Garfield and Galehead is incredibly steep with mostly sketchy footing and seems much longer than it's 3.5 miles. The proximity of the Galehead hut to the summit of Galehead is great in case you don't want to turn around and head the 5.1 miles out right away. Once at the summit we turned around and headed back to the junction to pick up the Gale River trail to head to the car. The Gale River trail starts out with the same terrain as seen between Garfield and Galehead but turns into a gentle grade and moreso resembles a walk in the woods than a hike. Much welcomed after two days of hiking from Liberty & Flume!

Very beautiful view up top! Gradual elevation and a bit of rock scrambling the last 0.2 miles.

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