10 NH Fire Tower Hikes With Incredible Views

1. Red Hill Tower

Location: Moultonborough (Carroll County)

Hike stats: 3.3 mile loop, moderate

Hike overview: Red Hill is the dominant natural feature between Lake Winnipesaukee and Squam Lake. The fire tower sits on the summit and offers panoramic views of both lakes from nearby. The hike is mostly on a gradual old dirt road, maintained by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, and the summit has a large grassy clearing with historical buildings and a picnic tables to stop for lunch.

2. Pitcher Mountain Tower

Location: Stoddard (Cheshire County)

Hike stats: 0.6 miles, loop, easy

Hike overview: Pitcher Mountain Trail is a lightly trafficked loop trail that is good for all skill levels. The trail is accessible year-round and on-leash dogs are also able to use this trail.

3. Belknap Mountain Tower

Location: Gilford (Belknap County)

Hike stats: 1.7 miles, loop, moderate

Hike overview: Belknap Mountain is the highest peak in the Belknap Range, a long chain of small mountains and hills on the southwest side of the state of New Hampshire. Its summit is home to one of NH’s sixteen active fire towers. From the tower’s deck, hikers will be rewarded with a 360-degree view of the Lakes Region and beyond on a clear day.

4. Kearsarge North Tower

Location: Intervale (Carroll County)

Hike stats: 6.4 miles, out & back, difficult

Hike overview: The fire tower that sits atop of Mount Kearsarge North is fully enclosed in glass windows. There is also an open air toilet located a short distance from the tower. The Kearsarge North Trail is 3.1 miles to reach the tower, with a moderate to challenging hike with rather steep grades throughout the entire hike.

5. Magalloway Mountain Tower

Location: Pittsburg (Coos County)

Hike stats: 2.2 miles, loop, moderate

Hike overview: Magalloway Mountain is located in a remote area of New Hampshire, a much less popular spot known for its hiking trails. Magalloway Mountain’s fire tower offers one of the few trail-accessible views of the Connecticut Lakes Region and one of the most incredible tower views in all of New Hampshire.

Photo courtesy of Timothy Meinberg via Unsplash.

6. Blue Job Mountain Tower

Location: Farmington (Strafford County)

Hike stats: 1.1 miles, loop, easy

Hike overview: Blue Job Mountain is the second highest mountain in the southeastern Lakes Region, and is home to one of NH’s standing active fire towers. The summit sits at only 1,356 feet and is an excellent option for less experienced hikers or families looking for great views of the White Mountains on a clear day.

7. Milan Hill Tower

Location: Milan (Coos County)

Hike stats: 1.1 miles, loop, easy

Hike overview: The recently renovated Milan Hill tower is one of the sixteen towers considered active today. The tower is the main attraction of Milan Hill State Park, a popular place for camping and cross-country skiing, among other recreational activities year-round.

8. Pack Monadnock Tower

Location: Peterborough (Hillsborough County)

Hike stats: 3.1 miles, out & back, moderate

Hike overview: Pack Monadnock is located in Miller State Park, and is one of the sixteen New Hampshire mountains with an active fire tower. An auto road leads to the top of the mountain for vehicle access seasonally, but there are also plenty of hiking trails to explore.

9. Smarts Mountain Tower

Location: Lyme (Grafton County)

Hike stats: 6.9 miles, loop, difficult

Hike overview: Smarts Mountain summit bears a recently renovated fire tower which provides an excellent vista in all directions on a clear day. Hikers will follow along the infamous Appalachian Trail (A.T.) during this trek.

10. Cardigan Mountain Tower

Location: Orange (Grafton County)

Hike stats: 3.1 miles, loop, moderate

Hike overview: Mount Cardigan’s rocky, exposed summit provides wonderful views south of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. The summit bears a fire tower for hikers to climb when it is open to the public seasonally.

2 Responses to “10 NH Fire Tower Hikes With Incredible Views”

  1. David CorriveauDecember 2, 2020 at 6:20 pm #

    There’s an easier way up Smarts that would qualify as moderate: the Daniel Doan Trail, the former A.T. A approach from the north. Trailhead at end of Mousley Brook Road in Orford.

  2. Sarah WrightsmanDecember 5, 2020 at 10:34 am #

    What a great list! I am halfway through it already (Belknap, Magalloway, Cardigan, Red Hill, and Blue Job are done) and I have plans to do Smarts and Kearsarge North soon!

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