It’s not a surprise that New Hampshire is a wonderland for devotees of the great outdoors. It’s also no surprise that New Hampshire is also a destination for craft beer enthusiasts. Looking for a glimpse of the boundless vistas AND a great #NHbeer? Look no further than hiking in the Granite State!
New Hampshire is home to 57 breweries in every nook and cranny of the state. While the White Mountains tend to have the most hiking trails in New Hampshire, you can find hundreds of other hiking trails in various locations around the Granite State.
When in the Seacoast area, hop over to Oaklands Tunnel Trail. This easy to moderate trail is located in Exeter. You can try the easier 2 or 4-mile loop or the full 7.8 mile out-and-back trail. The highlights of the Oaklands Tunnel Trail are the bountiful wildflowers and the birding. When it’s time to hydrate, make your way over to Neighborhood Beer Co. Their classic German style beer will certainly be both refreshing and rewarding.
In the central area of New Hampshire, an easy to moderate trail for wildlife watching is the Lake Massabesic Trail. The Lake Massabesic Trail is a 4 mile, heavily trafficked loop trail located near Auburn, and it is good for all skill levels. Just a few minutes away, there are two quality breweries to replenish your energy. Great North Aleworks is fairly new to the New Hampshire beer scene, but they already boast a highly decorated IPA. Consider popping into the Candia Road Brewing Company for a taste of their Nepenthe Ales.
In New Hampshire’s southwestern region, Mount Monadnock is said to be one of the most climbed mountains in the world. The 40 miles of trails allow opportunities for hiking to the remarkable summit to see 100-mile views of the surrounding area. Monadnock State Park makes a great base camp for many of the trail heads, but it also accommodates camping and other outdoor activities. Pick a trail to suit your ability, and don’t forget to check out the mountain’s own webcam! Three New Hampshire breweries are within a 30-minute drive from the Monadnock State Park, each with their own highlights. Mooselick Brewery features traditional ales inspired by their berry farm, Brewers of Nye Hill specializes in small batch beers brewed locally on their organic farm, and Elm City Brewing Co is a full-service brewpub in the heart of Keene.
Mount Chocorua is a beautiful moderate to difficult hike that leads to an open, rocky summit with unbelievable views. At the peak, there are northerly views of the Presidential Range and westerly views of the Sandwich Range. After working up an appetite on the Piper Trail, head over to Hobbs Tavern Brewery for a pint and a bite.
White Mountains Region
Looking for a hike that is more strenuous but not far from a tasty local brew? Then we recommend the Franconia Ridge Traverse in the White Mountains. It navigates over two popular 5,000 footers, Mount Lincoln and Mount Lafayette, and one smaller peak, Little Haystack. Turn your day hike into an overnight adventure at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Greenleaf Hut (reservations are required). Hike a moderate 2.7 miles to reach the popular Greenleaf Hut for a hot meal and lodging, and then another 1.1 miles to get to the summit of Mount Lafayette.
Matt Keating at Badass Outdoors suggests the Bald Mountain hike in Franconia State Park for something easier in the White Mountains. Bald Mountain, reached by a short hike, offers fine views of Cannon Mountain and Franconia Notch.
The Franconia Ridge Traverse and Bald Mountain are equidistant to two of New Hampshire’s finest brewpubs. Schilling Beer Co is a short jaunt North on I-93, while the Woodstock Inn Brewery is a quick trip south on I-93. You will find yourself surrounded by refreshing libations and rejuvenating sustenance, as well as a chance to toast other hikers you may have met on the trail.
It doesn’t matter if you are trying to get a little exercise, just want to get outdoors, or are on a quest to bag the next 4,000 footer, New Hampshire has a hiking trail that will fit your plans. So take a hike, then grab a #NHbeer! Cheers!