New Hampshire has everything. We have fall foliage, mountains and beaches, lakes and oceans, snow and sunshine. My favorite thing about New Hampshire is not having to choose!
With the beaches in my backyard, I have to wander pretty far from home for a good hike. I often wish I could stay near the ocean, but drag some of the mountains a little closer to home. There are plenty of small mountains in my backyard, like Pawtuckaway and Blue Job, and there are dozens of trails scattered across the area, but the 4,000 footers that New Hampshire is famous for require a two-hour plus drive and a whole day. I love hiking, but my days off are few and far between.
Luckily, I “discovered” Mount Major about a decade ago. Mount Major is the perfect compromise. She is less than an hour from my front door, which is far more accessible to me than most of New Hampshire’s mountains. I can hike Major without committing an entire day, giving me a little more flexibility. And, while Major is no 4,000-footer, she is certainly tall enough to feel like a workout and the view of Winnipesaukee is worth the effort. Major offers the most bang for your buck, so to speak.
Mount Major is also a secret destination for bouldering – something I didn’t realize my first few times up the mountain. According to Mountain Project, the climbers who bouldered Mount Major in the 1970s decided not to document any climbs to maintain the tradition of exploration. In fact, to respect this tradition, climbers today are not allowed to document the routes on the site, which I think is pretty cool. I’d tell you about the route I bouldered, but that would be breaking the rules!
Given that Mount Major is so close to home, I have climbed her at least a couple dozen times over the past decade or so and I have gotten comfortable on the trail. So much so that I have now climbed Major in every weather and I feel comfortable scooting up the mountain any time of day. She is the only mountain I would ever climb in the dark (…on purpose, that is).
So, if you haven’t already had the pleasure of meeting Mount Major, please go introduce yourself (and tell her I said “hi”)! Readers on the seacoast, what’s your favorite nearby hike?