Family-Friendly Hikes in the White Mountains
We’ve compiled a list of great family-friendly hikes in the White Mountains. This is just a handful of hiking trails in the White Mountains, and it is a helpful start when planning your next family hike. Don’t forget to bring water, a picnic lunch, and your camera!
Artist’s Bluff- Franconia Notch off of Exit 34C
This 1.5 mile hike brings you to the top of Artist’s Bluff, where your family will be rewarded with incredible views of Cannon Mountain and Echo Lake. Sections can be steep, so this hike would be best suited for kids ages 5 and up. Many people love watching the sunset from the top, but the views are stunning no matter what time of day you hike up.
Mount Willard-Crawford Notch
The trailhead to Mount Willard is located behind the Visitor’s Center in the old railroad depot in Crawford Notch. This is a popular hike in the White Mountains and is very family (and dog!) friendly. The hike is about 3.6 miles round trip and will take roughly 2 hours, depending on how long you stay at the stop. There are expansive views of Crawford Notch from the summit.
Discovery Trail Interpretive Site-Kancamagus Highway
This 1.4 mile loop trail winds through 85 acres of the White Mountain National Forest and offers a living classroom in forest ecology. This trail includes interpretative panels featuring both natural and managed forest ecology. Interpretive brochures are available at the trailhead.
Lonesome Lake-Lafayette Place Campground in Franconia Notch State Park
This 3 mile loop brings you up the side of Cannon Mountain to a beautiful lake in the middle of the woods! Feel free to take a dip to cool off after your hike! The trail begins relatively flat as you head off in to the woods, and then after one steeper section, the ascent becomes more gradual. There are great spots at the lake to have a picnic lunch, and offers views of Mount Lafayette and Mount Lincoln.
Glen Ellis Falls-Jackson
If you’re looking for an easy hike to do with the family that brings you to a waterfall, this is the hike for you! The hike in is only 0.3 miles in and ends at the 64’ Glen Ellis Falls. Swimming is not allowed, but plan on bringing a picnic lunch to enjoy.
Black Cap-Hurricane Mountain Road in Intervale
Black Cap is a popular family hike in the Green Hills east of North Conway. It has one of the finest vistas in the White Mountains for relatively little effort. On a clear day you can see Mount Washington, Kearsarge North, Chocorua, and other peaks of the White Mountains from its 2,370-foot summit. This moderate trail is 2.4 miles round trip and brings you through a spruce and beech forest.
Lincoln Woods-Kancamagus Highway in Lincoln
Lincoln Woods is within the White Mountains National Forest, and the trailhead offers ample parking and restrooms. There is a small recreation fee, but the pass you receive can be used for the full day at multiple National Forest areas that require a pass. The trail itself brings you over a suspension bridge and then onto a 2.5 mile flat trail on a former railroad bed. This is also the start of many trails in the Pemigewasset Wilderness, so keep your eyes open for the different trail signs along the way. This is also a great trail for a family bike ride!