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

Has anyone used a GPS watch on the Traverse? Wonder what you used and how it went?
Would like to find a good watch / GPS system for this and other trails
Thanks, Ken

Solo single-day winter traverse

Awesome, butt-kicking hike. Cold weekday morning in October (10/16/17) meant that I did not see another human the entire 7 hours up or down! Perfect! Started to get very icy on the constant boulder scramble 2 miles from the summit. Glad I brought my mini spikes, layers and shell.
The descent is rough on the knees.
Hiking poles a must. Thick layers of freshly fallen leaves last two descending miles hide many foot and ankle hazards.
What a great hike!
I will return.

3 months ago

Beast of a trail for backpacking, much more suited for ultralight backpacking or slack packing. Made it halfway to through but forced down after submitting Washington due to weather. Will definitely be going back to complete the rest of the traverse.

Very steep and rocky. Incredible view at the top. You could go trail running on it, but you would need quads of steel for the uphill. I suggest hiking or backpacking.

Done this one a few times and it’s never boring.

Hard hard hard and steep from the beginning of the Watson trail from valley trail. False summits and some scrambling in winds and sleet (October) make it all the more challenging - but totally worth it. Amazing day. Took us 6 hours from valley to Watson and back down valley.

7 months ago

We used this as a backpacking mileage test; full packs, and see how far you can get on mountain terrain in a day. Beautiful views, easy stepping ridge-line trails, and a way around the toughest peaks (the AT) in case the weather turns. There are shelters with water along the trail, but the weather is famously changeable and dangerous, and it's not easy getting off them after the weather turns-- the descent is often through a steep boulder field.

Plan your camp early, or at least don't plan to find a campsite at sundown. The sites which are out of the wind/weather are down steep and slick side trails, and it is often a long way to a flat area to pitch a tent. This is a beautiful place to hike, and also a place where one can end up soaked and exhausted in a tent which is tied to a tree so that it doesn't begin sliding down the mountain in the night.

Completed this trail yesterday 9/16/2017. We parked at the airline/Appalachia trailhead and started hiking at 330am... the trail was easy to follow and enjoyable. Got to the summit of Mt Madison around 630am just in time for an amazing sunrise. Refueled water at the Madison hut and pushed on wards bagging all of the peaks following... we reached our other car and the highland center at 730 pm having our travel time down to 16 hours! In no shape or form are we trail runners just went for it and got really lucky with warm temps and great views! Must do!

8 months ago

Just finished this hike. We took 2 days to finish. Gear included overnight camping equipment and 25 lbs of gear in case of stormy weather which was planned for due to hurricane Irma's moisture traveling NE. We started at Appalachia at 1900 and competed the first 4 miles in the dark. We took a break near the Madison hut off the main trail near the tree line. Once sunrise broke we hit Madison, Adam, Jefferson, Clay and then Washington. We were not running the trails and even then, the terrain and rocks that make up the trail will slow you down, since injuries are common due to unstable footing. We planned for about 1 MPH pace but underestimated the restrictive terrain.There wasn't any rooms available at the AMC Lakes in the Clouds so we planned to head down the mountain once at Washington. Had some trail magic and was offered a ride since the last van and cog train just departed. It was later than we planned on arriving. Stayed at the AMC center off HWY 16. Great opportunity to refit, eat, shower and get rest. Got up at 0600 ate and hitched a ride to the gate leading up to the top of Washington. Bought a ticket for a shuttle (31$) got to the top and continued on around 1030. Hit The rest of the presidentials and made it back the AMC Highland by 1600. Unless your a trail runner I wouldn't plan on doing this trail in one day unless you plan on running the whole thing. Great opportunity to train for something bigger like Rainer or Shasta due to the elevation gain and strenuous workout.

An amazing hike, one of my favorite weekends ever. We started at Madison and finished at Pierce, skipping Jackson. The hike took about 1.5 days for us, camping at the bottom of Jefferson. Highly recommend this hike, it is filled with amazing views. Loved the variations in trails, with Star Lake going up Adams being the most challenging, but certainly the most fun.

8 months ago

We started from Appalachia and ended at AMC Highland Center, stayed at Madison Spring Hut and Lakes of the Clouds Hut, bagged 9 peaks. On the way up to Mt Madison, we first took Valley Trail, then crossed over to Air Line Trail via Scar Trail. I have to say Scar Trail is my favorite trail.

Amazing and well traveled trail, not for novice hiker. Best to watch weather and dress in layers! Southern traverse is less rocky but overall a lot of granite! Views are worth it and a must do traverse for any experienced hiker!

Great hike on a beautiful day. Don't know if my brother will agree but I give him credit he persevered. This hike is one of the hardest I've done to date. The push to Adams summit is rough terrain and very strenuous in my opinion. Kings Ravine was awesome to follow up and looks down to Jefferson, Madison and Washington from the tops of Adams and Madison were splendid. 2 more 4ks off the list

Probably too hard for me, I stopped at the refuge but the trail is very nice. Be careful at the way down.

Did this trail 08/20/17 in 12 hours. We were in the clouds with 40+ mph wind throughout the whole Northside, but the sky cleared up in the afternoon around Monroe. Amazing trail, but not for the faint of heart.

Crazy fun and difficult at times. Careful on the way down!

9 months ago

what an amazing place to see, this should be on everyone's to do list for sure.. spent a few days backpacking this and the weather was amazing the view even better. stayed one night at the lake of the cloud hut, and the service and the meal you get there is something you will never forget. completely worth the hundred third dollars that is for sure. mt Washington was wild and the view were beautiful. thank you!!

Did the PT today; 9/10 summits (we skipped the very last one - Jackson). My GPS watch died with about 5.3km left, which is when I used All Trails app to record the final few KM's.....We started at 4:15am and finished at 2:50pm, with a 45 min. Stop at the super busy and crowded Mt Washington. Weather was perfect and we absolutely loved it! Definitely coming back next year and will include Jackson


From the beginning, the Watson Path is a challenge. Shortly after a brook crossing the terrian becomes very rough and gains elevation quickly. It does not let up until you reach the top of the ridge.

Once you break above treeline, the trail mostly dissappears and you climb from carin to carin over rocks and boulders.

There are three false summits on the ascent that make this trail mentally taxing.

I would not recommend this trail for descent, due to its rugged and steep sections, however you could descend if you are carefully and take your time.

Valley Way and Airline are far less taxing ways to ascend Mt. Madison. This trail should only be attempted by people in good physical condition.

Went North to South this year instead of South to North. I highly recommend going South. I only went about 20 minutes faster heading South than heading North, but the pain level was about 40% less in the second half.

Challenging trail. The hut was cool.

Amazing trail

We took the Kings Ravine trail up and the Air line down. Challenging and amazing!!!

Hiked a Madison-Pierce traverse on 6/17 -- absolutely perfect weather, surprisingly warm above treeline. Summit views were stellar, particularly later in the day at Washington/Monroe/Eisenhower. Started a little late at just before 6 AM, and we got off the path at Crawford Notch 13 hours later. Great hike, intense workout, unlike anything else in NE.

Although I had a next to perfect day, I imagine this to be a hearty trail that rewards the climber with ascending the second highest summit in New Hampshire. It's a bear of a climb and straight up most of the way. The Knife Edge is truly something to behold and unlike anything I've seen in the Whites. I would rank it very high but a notch below Lafayette in terms of total satisfaction. A must climb. Read my detailed blog on this hike and more at: https://www.chasingjadetrailstopeaks.com/single-post/2017/10/09/Mount-Adams-Madison

Monday, February 20, 2017

Winter summit. Snowshoes are a must after all this snow we received, over 10 feet in some places. The summit was whiteout with strong winds from the south west. Cairns and signs are covered by snow pack. please be observant in alpine, low visibility and hidden cairns can lead to loss of trail. Stayed a crag, gray knob was full.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Deep snow, snow shoes and spikes are a must, stayed at gray knob, arrived at the quay at 9pm with moonlight guiding me, windchill was -15, cold night, used all layers to keep warm. Windchill reached -40 at alpine with 50mph winds. Safe travels.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Took air line to Mt Adams, which was a steady and unforgiving incline. I did not enjoy the trail until i was above tree line. Incredible views from that point on with lots of fun scrambling. I was lucky the weather was unusually warm this time of year (late November) or else the scrambling and following the trail above tree line would have been difficult with ice and snow everywhere. I should've peak bagged to Madison like others did, regrets!!!

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