6 Great Hikes Around Mt. Washington Valley

Mt Willard Moose

You never know what kind of wildlife you may see while hiking NH’s White Mountains! This young moose was spotted on Mt. Willard trail two weeks ago.

It’s been a strange Spring this year in New Hampshire, as it feels like everything is happening late due to the seemingly never ending Winter. Flowers were planted later than usual, my lawn finally just got seeded and fertilized, and let’s not rehash how long it took for all of the snow to melt. So, while waiting for that spectacular Spring weather we all know and love (we have finally gotten some, just in time for Summer to arrive)… I’ve been hiking. I’m on an easiest-to-hardest plan to ease back into it; thankfully there are plenty of options in Mount Washington Valley, most notably:

  1. Black Cap Trail

    I’ve blogged about this one before. The trailhead is located at the top of Hurricane Mountain (which you can drive to), a part of the Green Hills Preserve. It’s relatively easy and just around a mile long, with great views of North Conway, Kearsarge North, White Horse and Cathedral Ledges, and the surrounding Mount Washington Valley. Wear your bug spray. ‘They call it Black Cap because of the black flies.’ I made that up, but you’d probably believe me if you experienced the black flies up there.

  2. Mt. Willard

    This is a newbie for me. A beautiful, easy trail that’s a little longer than the Black Cap Trail. This one starts at the top of Crawford Notch, just behind the train depot. There are a lot of perks to this hike including spectacular views of Crawford Notch and the refreshing Centennial Pool which the dogs took a dip in on the way down. Mt. Willard scored major bonus points in my hiking log due to our moose sighting. We were just getting started on the hike when a moose poked its head out of the woods and then started up the trail ahead of us.

  3. Arethusa Falls

    Another easier hike with a spectacular waterfall at the top… Generally there will be lots of families on this trail with kids and pets who splash around in the pools below the waterfall. It’s absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to do this hike this year.

  4. Kearsarge North

    It’s been a few years since I’ve hiked Kearsarge, unfortunately. This hike is more of a half-day hike and it’s that type that you think you can see the top but you’re really only 2/3 of the way there. Not frustrating at all. The last leg is more difficult, but completely worth it when you see the views from the summit and sign your name in the Fire Tower logbook.

  5. The Moats

    A new hike on my list for this summer… The Moats are easily accessed from the North Conway area, but are more challenging hikes so be prepared for day long trips. I am very much looking forward to this hike and seeing MWV from a different view (I’m usually looking at it from the top of Black Cap or Kearsarge!) Also, I’d feel compelled to have a couple of Moat Mountain brews post-hike. 🙂

  6. Baldface Circle Trail

    Just south of Evan’s Notch; this is a more challenging hike and you won’t meet a lot of people on the trail as it’s tucked away in rural North Chatham. I have yet to make it over the rocky ledge of South Baldface as my last attempt proved very difficult for even my dogs to make. So, I’ll be heading back toward the end of the summer to take on this day-long hike and do the entire loop from South Baldface to North Baldface and back again. Judging from the online reviews, it’s worth the work!

Mt Willard Views

Mt. Willard is an easy hike with jaw-dropping views of Crawford Notch.

So far this spring I’ve hit Black Cap twice, Mt. Willard, and South Baldface. I’m gearing up for Arethusa Falls and Kearsarge. I’ll be sure to update you, as I hike new trails throughout the summer. If you have any suggestions for me that meet the medium/hard range, please leave it in the comments section! I’d love to experience a few new hikes this year.

2 Responses to “6 Great Hikes Around Mt. Washington Valley”

  1. Deb SelmiJune 16, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    I’ve never hiked Mt.Willard before.. Would Kali like it? She’s kinda outta shape..

  2. BethJune 23, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi Deb! Sorry, just seeing your comment now. 🙂 Yes, Kali would love it! It’s a gradual incline, no major steep sections. Just bring extra water if it’s hot… Lily with her thick coat was extra thirsty.

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