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The Best Hiking Adventures of the White Mountains

Expanding across a quarter of New Hampshire, the White Mountains is a treasure trove of beauty and adventure. As part of the northern Appalachian Mountains, the Whites are the most rugged mountains in New England and is a popular destination for nature-lovers of all kinds. The best way to experience the most of this incredible outdoor wonderland is on an invigorating hiking trip through the mountain trails of the White Mountain National Forest. Scenic, challenging, and exciting, these top hiking trips throughout the White Mountains are sure to be something you’ll never forget.

1) Start of simple with the Glen Ellis Falls trip. This 0.6-mile trail includes a beautiful 64-foot plunge in Pinkham Notch off NH 16. There are stairs that will take you to the base of the falls, but be careful--they can be very slippery when wet or icy. 

2) Mount Willard is a 3.2-mile trail starts from a quaint neighborhood, including the source of the Saco River, and ends at the ledge of the small Willey Range peak in Crawford Notch, where you’ll discover an eagle’s-eye view of a U-shaped valley. Enjoy the sights of the Webster Cliffs and the historic Willey Slide!

3) Discover the finest waterfall in all of New England on your 3.2-mile hike to the Arethusa Falls. The beautiful 160-foot horsetail-style falls are sure to enchant, so don’t forget to bring your camera with you! This moderate-level trip can also be combined with a hike to the nearby Ripley Falls or with a trip up the Frankenstein Cliffs. You can even visit during the winter; the trip is popular with ice-climbers and great for snowshoeing!

4) Mount Eisenhower is a 6.6-mile “above the treeline” hike that starts from the Edmunds Path from Mt. Clinton Road. You’ll love the breathtaking 360-degree views from Bald Summit, which includes some of the peaks of the Presidential Range.

5) The 8.8-mile Franconia Ridge Trail is considered one of the best loop hikes on the western side of the White Mountains. The loop goes counterclockwise starting from Falling Waters Trail to the Franconia Ridge Trail to the Greenleaf Trail and then ending on the Old Bridal Path. The trip takes you through Little Haystack, Mount Lincoln and Mount Lafayette and offers a truly incredible “above the treeline” experience. It’s the hiking trip of a lifetime that truly captures the glory of the White Mountains!