HIKING TRAILS OF NORTH CONWAY, NH
Welcome to the Newenglandwaterfalls.com guide to the best hiking trails within close proximity of North Conway, New Hampshire!
North Conway is one of the finest hiking base towns in the United States. There are literally 1,500 miles of trails within 90 minutes of the town. But which trails close to town are the best? We've put together this online guide so that you can quickly and easily review and select a hike that's perfect for you or your group.
If you are looking for detailed information on hiking in or around North Conway, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the latest edition of the most trusted hiking guidebook the hiking in this area: The AMC White Mountain Guide (31st edition; 2022). This guidebook offers detailed instructions and maps to all of the trails listed below.
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summit of Middle Sister near Mt. Chocorua
TIPS FOR HIKING IN THE NORTH CONWAY AREA
1. GUIDEBOOKS - Buy the AMC White Mountain Guide (31st edition; 2022) guidebook and actually read each relevant chapter before you hike each trail. Doing this will ensure that you don't miss any of the best viewpoints and are aware (upfront) of any potential challenges on the trails.
2. CARRY THE ESSENTIALS - make sure you carry the following items on each hike: (a) map/guidebook; (b) sunscreen; (c) appropriate clothing; (d) a headlamp or flashlight; (e) first-aid supplies; (f) firestarter or matches; (g) knife; (h) food; and (i) water.
3. USE TREKKING POLES - Save your knees so that you can still hike when you are in your 70's (tip: use trekking poles 100% of the time).
4. BEWARE OF VEHICLE BREAK-INS - Don't leave anything valuable in your car. Break-ins do occur at traiheads from time to time.
5. BRING $3 CASH FOR PARKING - many trailheads in the White Mountain National Forest require a parking pass. Bring $3 in cash and fill out the parking permit at the self-serve kiosk at these trailheads. If you don't see such a kiosk, there is no fee to park.
6. CARRY APPROPRIATE FOOD - Carry the appropriate type and amount of food based on the season you are hiking in (some foods will melt in summer, and some foods become rock-solid in winter) and the length of your hike.
7. GET SOME ELECTROLYTES - Bring some Gatorade (or something similar) to get some electrolytes into your system. This is especially important on hot and humid days.
8. MEETUP.COM - If you are short on hiking partners, consider joining a Meetup hiking group (there are several groups and they always have good hikes planned) or ask for partners on a local Facebook hiking 'group'. Once you attend a few of these social hikes, you will likely make enough connections to hike with a few select people that you bond with.
9. BUGS - Bugs can be a real nuisance in this region from mid-May through early July, although some days they are there, some days they are not. You'll probably want to bring some DEET spray with you.
10. CATCH A SUNRISE OR SUNSET - Catch a sunset or sunrise from a scenic vista (bring at least one headlamp to help you get back to your vehicle safely).
11. BRING A REAL CAMERA - Don't forget your camera, and remember to label the pictures after you are done with each hike (you'll want to capture these moments). I recommend that you bring a real point-and-shoot or DSLR camera instead of taking pictures with your smart-phone. The reason is because the camera resolution on your smart-phone will not look good on tablet and computer monitors 10 or 20 years from now. Photos from smart-phones generally don't print or enlarge very well, either.
12. WINTER SEASON - trails are generally snow and ice free in the North Conway area from mid-May through early-to-mid October.
Sabbaday Falls off the Kancamagus Highway (NH 112)
TOP EASY TRAILS IN THE NORTH CONWAY AREA
Here are my selections for the top easy trails in the North Conway area:
firetower atop Kearsarge North, Intervale
TOP MODERATE TRAILS IN THE NORTH CONWAY AREA
Here are my selections for the top moderate trails in the North Conway area:
South Moat Mountain, Conway
TOP DIFFICULT TRAILS IN THE NORTH CONWAY AREA
Here are my selections for the top difficult trails in the North Conway area:
Glen Ellis Falls, Jackson
MORE GREAT TRAILS A BIT FURTHER AWAY
If you are willing to drive a little bit further, there are many more excellent hikes within an hour of North Conway.
North Moat Mountain, North Conway
Boulder Loop Trail, Kancamagus Highway (NH 112)
Diana's Bath, North Conway
Cathedral Ledge, North Conway
Madison Boulder, Madison
Jim Liberty Cabin on Mt. Chocorua
Here are some helpful links for those exploring the North Conway area:
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|Waterfalls, swimming holes, and hiking can be extremely dangerous. Hundreds of people have been injured or killed in the waterfalls and swimming holes of New England over the years. Never swim in strong water currents. Don't jump into a swimming hole without scouting it first. Do not climb up or along the side of waterfalls. Be wary of slippery rocks. Never swim in pools above waterfalls. Use of this website and all of its information is at your own risk! Newenglandwaterfalls.com will not be held liable for your actions. Be safe out there - and always use common sense!
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