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Get Outside to Enjoy These Impressive New England Hikes

by Kyle Martin

Even though summer is winding down, now is a great time to take advantage of the (somewhat) cooler weather. One of my favorite activities to pursue when the weather turns nice is hiking. New England offers some of the best hiking spots in the US. With so many to choose from, I’d like to share some of my favorite hikes I’ve done over the years. These spots offer a challenging, yet rewarding experience for anyone who decides to check them out!

One of my favorite hikes is the Little Haystack Mountain/Mount Lincoln/Mount Lafayette loop in New Hampshire. This is part of the Franconia Range and offers an amazing ridgeline hike for a portion of it – something I’ve only had the pleasure of experiencing a few times. It begins with a challenging hike up Little Haystack Mountain with some great waterfall displays along the way. Once at the top, you’ll hike the ridgeline to Mount Lincoln, then to Mount Lafayette. This part of the hike offers some of the best views in the area, and you can see other mountain ranges, like the presidential range, on a clear day. Just make sure you check the weather – I once got caught in a thunderstorm on the ridge, which is not an ideal place to be! Read more about Franconia Range.

Another hike I enjoy is Mount Monadnock. This may seem like a typical choice, as this is one of the most-climbed mountains in the world, but it’s for a good reason! Mount Monadnock stands out because there are no nearby mountains that are nearly as tall. It’s also a quick and easy trip from metropolitan areas like Boston, if you’re looking for a good day hike. Monadnock offers some of the best viewpoints, as its rocky ledges are often clear enough to give a full view of the surrounding area. Despite its popularity, there are many trails to choose from on this mountain, and you can easily find the less-traveled trails if you’re looking for a more solitary experience. Read more about Mount Monadnock.

Another challenging, yet rewarding hike is Smarts Mountain in New Hampshire. This is located near Dartmouth College, and is a part of the Appalachian Trail, so it’s a popular spot in the area. I like this hike for a few reasons. It’s not as breathtaking as the previous hikes I mentioned, but it’s a hypnotic experience under the cover of trees for most of the hike, and it’s just you and the trail. Once you reach the top, you can climb an old fire tower to rise above the trees and get a great view of the surrounding area. You’re also likely to encounter folks on months-long hikes of the Appalachian Trail, and they always have interesting stories to tell! Read more Smarts Mountain.

I hope this inspires some of you to check out these fantastic locations that are practically on our doorsteps. They really are like something out of Lord of the Rings. Hiking is a great way to get in touch with nature, escape the daily hustle-and-bustle, and gain a little perspective. I’d love to hear about other recommended hikes in the area. New England has so much to offer, most of which I have yet to explore.

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