Whenever I get a chance to travel up north I take it. A few times throughout the year I visit White Mountains Community College in Berlin, New Hampshire for my work on college transfer initiatives around that state. Home to the White Mountains and Great North Woods this area has a rich history and stunning landscapes. I love it here and encourage anyone who’s looking to experience unique communities, wide open spaces, and pristine wilderness to visit New Hampshire’s North Country.
Every so often when visiting Berlin I find a short hike nearby to squeeze in after meetings. Recently with about an hour to spare I searched for a quick local hike and came across Lookout Ledge in Randolph, New Hampshire. Just off of Route 2 in Randolph, I turned on to Durand East Road and then on to Durand Road. Driving past the Randolph Town Hall, it was only a couple of minutes before I came across the Durand Lake Recreation Area, Ravine House historic marker, a small parking area and the Ledge Trail trailhead. The sign showed Lookout Ledge as just 1.3 miles, perfect for my time frame.
A slight but steady climb with great views makes this hike a great option for beginners and families but also a good sprint workout for seasoned hikers – just under 3 miles, with 1000 feet of elevation gained. The trail winds alongside a small brook, which occasionally commandeered the trail, a sure sign of spring in the White Mountains. You come to a trail junction about one mile in which turns left to approach Lookout Ledge, just two tenths of a mile more. From here the footing gets a bit more challenging as the trial steepens and narrows. Rocks and roots are slippery when wet or when your boots are wet, so be careful not to slip. Soon after a short, steep, rocky climb you come across a wooden bench and a great pine framed view of the Northern Presidential Mountains. Just a few yards more and you’ll find the junction of Lookout Ledge and the Crescent Ridge Trail. You’ve made it! Enjoy panoramic views of the North Presidential Range, King Ravine and the Randolph Valley.
These trails, even in spring, are in great shape. A big shout out to the Randolph Mountain Club volunteers whose hard work and dedication to the maintenance of this beautiful trail system shows every step of the way! Thank you!