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

Many folks don't like the long approach (1450' in 8 miles) or the slide (1450' in 8/10 of a mile!), or the fact that the summit is wooded and affords very little view. I consider this a nature hike. If you take your time, and pay attention, you'll see a lot of wildlife. The day of my hike, I was lucky enough to get a great shot of a pine marten at the summit area, and a beautiful, healthy moose near Black Pond (see photos). If you're looking for great summit views, you won't get them here, but you will get a great nature hike, and a chance to view the wildlife of the Whites!

Absolutely amazing views from Bondcliff-my favorite by far. We spent a long time there. The trail is flat flat flat forever. I wish we had ridden bikes in and chained them. One smart person did that. It took us about 8 hour soto hit the Guyotte campsite. It was crazy crowded there. There’s a great sunrise from the shelter ( it’s being torn down soon). There’s plenty of water sources. I’m not a huge fan of carrying a 25 pound pack but this hike made it pretty sweet. Only one scramble near the summit of Bondcliff. The ridge hike is sweet.

Completed 6/29. Great hike to include 3 peaks of NE111.
I chose a custom loop, climbing immediately up HI-Cannon Trail to tag Cannon Mountain (which is included in the 'Terrifying 25' club! > really wasn't horrible, some steep spots but nothing we haven't all seen before)... It was a foggy morning, but made for some nice pictures. The climb down Cannon had steep sections & was roughly 2.4mi to N. Kinsman on the Kinsman Ridge Trail. One great outcrop rock for beauty views of range. Continued out & back to S. Kinsman & returned on Fishin' Jimmy Trail. The long trek down the never-ending Fishin Jimmy is where exhaustion kicked in, knees aching all the way to Lonesome Lake (a perfect rest area). Final push back to trailhead.

Overall:
11.2mi
6hr20m
4,425ft elev gain

Strenuous but memorable!

accidentally did 2 miles on the pemi trail before starting. lots of fun, going down lonesome lake trail was neat and the lake itself was a better view than mt.cannon imo but well worth it regardless.

Did this trail on a Thursday in early June to get up to Liberty and then across the ridge and down to Greenleaf Hut. Definitely a straight up trail and not many view points. Not really fun, except when I hit the Franconia ridge trail. I was super thrilled when I did, finally got a good view for the effort. No scrambling, nothing scary or challenging, no lovely water features (like I assume Falling Waters had). If you're not trying to bag Liberty, I'd say take Falling Waters up to the ridge... it would probably be a little less lame.

Top 2 most difficult hikes I have done; I would not attempt this unless you’re in good shape and are an experienced backpacker. The reward for the difficulty are 7 amazing views atop some of the most gorgeous peaks in the north east. Did it two days highly recommend.

Tip: water is scarce between lafayette and last tent site so be prepared before you summit lafayette

Did up and back at Mt. Osceola. Made it up in 2 hours flat with 2 inexperienced hikers. Views are spectacular at the top. 1 hour, 44 minutes down from Mt. Osceola. Angled slabs of rock were a little slippery. Path well marked and view was worth the moderate hike.

This trail is one of the best hikes in the Whites, and the views from above treeline are, in my opinion, the best in all the ranges here. It starts out with a 2.9 walk along the Lincoln Woods Trail. Some might call that part boring, and it's true there's no real views. But, it is a great way to loosen up both pre- and post-hike. Even once you're on the Bondcliff, the real elevation gain isn't until the end. Once you start gaining some altitude, there are some really fun scrambles, though not too difficult. Once above treeline, the views begin and never stop. This was 19, 20, and 21 on my NH4000's. I've done all the 5000+ footers, and Washington. To me, for pure eye candy, Bondcliff blows them all away!

hiking
12 days ago

As my lone hike involving 4000-footers, Franconia Ridge was my baseline going into this one in terms of difficulty (*weird* comfort zone to have, I know, but it was still my comfort zone). I'm in my mid-20s, and don't consider myself to be in great shape, but I hold my own just fine. That said, I found Mt. Osceola by itself (from Tripoli Road) to be perfectly tame. Despite all the rocks you have to navigate, the grade throughout never gets too steep, and even levels out here and there for generous distances. The most precarious section, that I can think of, involves the stretch of slabs closer to the top that essentially have you planting your feet at an angle. My friend and I found this part a bit tedious even in mostly dry conditions. While there aren't many views to speak of on the way up, the summit is close enough to treeline that you can appreciate the tree cover thinning out somewhat the higher you go. In roughly two and a half hours, we reached the summit and enjoyed amazing views of the Sandwich and Presidential Ranges as we sat down to have lunch.

I dock a star based on our decision to go out to East Osceola and back. I read ahead of time that the col was going to be more difficult than anything we'd see up to this point, but I still figured I wasn't in for too much of a surprise. Wrong!!! I can now say this is the most difficult two-mile stretch I've ever hiked thus far, and I was amazed that it only ended up taking us about two hours altogether, as it sucked enough energy out of me that I could've sworn it felt like much longer. For the majority of it, I was either on my butt going down or using my hands, knees and elbows to pull myself up boulders. Doable, but tedious if you're already tired. At the spot where you have a choice of two different routes to take, we took the rock slide going down and the chimney climb on the way back up. There were one or two instances where I froze up on the chimney and wished I had more reach, but overall, it offers plenty of hand and footholds, and I'm proud of myself for pushing through it! When we got back to Osceola proper, the descent from there took us about an hour and a half, and we were grateful to be navigating manageable grades again.

All in all, my friend and I are in no rush to go back to East Osceola, as we both felt it was way too much work for a fully wooded summit. Still, it was worth crossing off my list, and I appreciated the opportunity to expand my comfort zone (yes, even beyond what Franconia Ridge threw at me). This hike truly has something for everyone. If you're looking for a moderately challenging hike that will reward you generously without you having to exert yourself too much, stick to Osceola alone. If you want more of a challenge, continue to East Osceola.

(Side note: I still find the two hikes difficult to compare, as each one is hard in its own unique way. If you're yet to do Franconia Ridge, still do your research before you go.)

Great 3 day hike. Took a couple guys out there for their first time backpacking and they had a blast. Make sure you have enough water containers and know where to refill. And remember leave no trace!!

Channeling my inner simon and Garfunkel

Hello Owls Head my old friend, I won’t be climbing you again.

Because an approach so crazy lengthy, followed by a slide that was slippery

And a summit, that was shrouded all in trees. It did not please... and make sure you get to the real top... of Owls Head.

I have just completed the trail today and it was a memorable experience. I've added the mileage based on trail marker and it comes to almost 7 miles not 5 esp if you go around the lake to AMC hut. The view from the beach area at lonesome lake hut is incredibly picturesque. I like the view from the observation tower on top of Cannon Mountain as well.

The trail was steep and challenging especially when wet like today. I fell twice on the way down but brace myself well and was not too hurt. I climbed up from hi-canon which was really tough on a hot and humid day. It is densely wooded so there is not much to see but that changes once you get to Kinsman Ridge trail which has plenty of scenic vistas.

I will definitely hike this trail again and next time skip the chili at cannon tram cafe. And next time I will hit the trail earlier in the morning before it gets hot.

WOW! Absolutely STUNNING! Worth every minute especially once you hit ridgeline! The first 9miles are fairly flat with elevation gains as you get closer to the treeline. But once you hit that mini boulder scramble get ready for insanely epic views for the entire ridgeline! I absolutely would do this hike again! But I will say if you plan on doing the WHOLE thing start early, this is definitely a summer hike as the days are longer. On the positive because it is fairly flat in the beginning you can deal with a dark walk in or out with decent headlamps or flashlights. Which is what we did, we started at 3:30am and hiked the first 1.5hrs with our headlamps till we could see comfortably without them. Finished around 5:51pm and that was with adding in Guyot at the end of the ridge. And of course tons of pictures. One of the best views so far! We have 31 of the 48 done!

hiking
15 days ago

The trail for the most part is fine. It is honestly not worth the time and energy unless you are trying to accomplish the NH48. Trail was in ok condition water crossings are manageable, the water level was a little higher for us and in one of them we did need to step into the delightfully cold water. The slide isn't as miserable as expected especially compared to the Tripyramids which is mainly loose gravel. This one was more boulders and the views on a good day make it worth it. I wouldn't do it again personally as the summit is wooded and the views on the slide are great but there a PLENTY of other mountains with lack luster summits with more enjoyable trails.

Enjoyed a perfect day with my 9 year old daughter. Trail up was dry and fast. Hi Cannon Trail was pretty steep and rocky, the ladder was a great obstacle along the way. Commanding views over Lonesome Lake. Summit was a bit disappointing to see ski area tourists, however the hike back down Kinsman Ridge / Lonesome Lake Trail was steep, very technical, and challenging. Decided to take the Around Lake trail, views are incredible. Well worth the trip! (With the around the lake routing, my total distance showed 6.8 miles, not 5.0)

#5 of 48

hiking
23 days ago

My brother and I did the full hike from Tripoli Road past Greeley Ponds and back. Really great trek and some nice views. The steeps coming back up East Osceola and the chimney up Osceola are tough while declining but actually fun and easier than they appear when ascending. The heavy rain we experienced from Osceola back to Tripoli slowed our descent a bit, but overall a terrific walk in the woods.

hiking
24 days ago

Wow. I was very pleased with this hike. The eight mile trek in (and out) are what I would consider very easy miles on great trail. There were a few stream crossings I was able to manage hopping from rock to rock fairly easily.

The mountain itself is a bit of a steep scramble up a scree field and then decent but a little overgrown trail to the top. First cairn you reach is not the true summit and you’ll need to follow a trail northward to reach the actual summit.

Surprisingly pleasant hike. This hike seems to get a bad rap but I think people are intimidated by the high mileage. The easy trail in makes up for that. The scree trail up stinks but there’s a bushwhack trail you can take alternatively to avoid it on the way down.

Really good opportunity to practice bouldering, balance, and classic/practical hiking skills. The trails were very well maintained for june after a rough winter. Beautiful scenery and signage was clear. Do NOT take dogs on this hike. Better to go up Lonesome lake trail to Kinsman then go down Hi Cannon trail. Wish we stopped at the hut but the lake made the surrounding area very difficult to maneuver.

29 days ago

Nice trail with a beatiful view.

Well we started at 9AM to attempt both summits with our dog / mountain goat and it was just too hot for the poor guy so we made it to Lonesome Lake and ended the hike there.

ABSOLUTELY stunning hiking from the trail it’s self to the incredible lake! We will definitely be doing this again and finishing the two summits just have to leave our fur baby behind:( or we will camp next attempt.

Definitely steeper than we thought from the start but again well worth it! Also we did this in June so don’t forget your bug spray!!!

Can’t wait to do it again and complete the rest of the review!!

backpacking
1 month ago

Great hike. Recommend starting on Greeley Pond side and working towards Osceola from there. Don’t bother going all the way to Tripoli road. Only good overnight camping locations we found were on East Osceola. Limited water gathering spots. Winds on the top were pretty strong.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this from the Lincoln Woods Trailhead... about 12.5 miles up to Mt. Flume and back. Nice challenging hike and lots to see!

2018-0609 great hike on a beautiful day. very cold and windy at the tower.

this hike is really 9.7 miles! but had a blast today. perfect conditions. did it in 5 hours!

Hands down one of the best views of the whites! Boots on the ground at 0730 and made to the summit at 1045 to Bond Cliff, hung put up top for over and hour and was back at the car by 1540. Those who are fairly athletic bond cliff is doable in a day , farther than that or mount bond I would recommend camping . High mileage hike but keep in mind roughly 8 miles of flat hiking for the round trip.

Amazing hike with the best views coming from MT Garfield.. .Not recommended for newbies or out of shape hikers. .My hiking partner and I started clockwise finishing coming down the 4.9 mile trail off bond cliff then the long 8 miles on the Lincoln wood trail to the Parking lot...Next will be the Presidential Traverse

Went from Tripoli road to East Osceola and back. Clocked in at about 9.5 total miles. Good hike and a crew was there clearing the downed trees so the trail is very clean now. The scramble up the chimney is fun and not as challenging as it looks.

1 month ago

I cheated and used a mountain bike on the woods trail to the bridge but it was so worth riding back to my car

Beautiful hike! Hike was a lot of fun, the stairs were a neat addition. Views were beautiful from both mountains!

Load More