Spring is here in the White Mountains and the trees are turning a lovely shade of green. If you haven't already, it's time to dust off those hiking boots, have a good stretch, and check out 7 of our favorite spring hikes.
Arethusa Falls-Hart’s Location in Crawford Notch
Length: 3 miles
Parking: Lot located on US Route 302 in Crawford Notch State Park, Hart’s Location. Sign is easy to spot from road.
Arethusa Falls is considered New Hampshire’s best waterfall. A graceful tantrum of water surges down 160ft of serrated rock ledges, bouncing the water into charming pirouettes as it makes its long descent. The hike presents a chance to dust the cobwebs off your calves with a quick elevation gain of 800ft before getting a refreshing welcome at this sizable and serene cascade.
Artist’s Bluff/Bald Mountain-Franconia Notch
Length: 1.5 mile loop
Parking: Roland Peabody Memorial Slope Parking Area (Exit 34C)
Artist Bluff and Bald Mountain are the White Mountains’ petit power couple. With two separate opportunities for splendid views of Echo Lake, Cannon Mountain and Franconia Notch, this easy two-stop trek will satisfy your spring wanderlust with outstanding views.
Length .3 miles
Parking: Large lot located on Sandwich Notch Rd.
Beede Falls in Center Sandwich is on the outskirts of the White Mountains, yet is one of the region’s most overlooked treasures. A wide 37-foot cascade lilts and shimmers down an immense rock face, dripping a curtain-like crescendo of water into a shallow pool. If you’re feeling plucky, or lose a bet, you can brave the frigid swim behind the water in the Cow Cave, which was named after an incident where a runaway heifer was discovered behind the cascade.
Lonesome Lake-Franconia Notch
Length: 3.25 miles
Parking: At the Lafayette Campground in Franconia Notch State Park
This well-marked and traveled trail leads you to a pristine mountain lake with breath-taking views of the Franconia Ridge. You can choose to end your hike here, or continue along the 0.8 mile trail around the lake.
Mount Willard-Crawford Notch
Length: 3.2 miles
Parking: Crawford Notch Depot on US Route 302 East
Mt. Willard is one of the most welcoming hikes in the Whites. A moderately exerting trot with an elevation gain of 977 feet will deposit you smack dab onto an awe-inspiring panorama of Crawford Notch.
Smarts Brook Loop-Thornton
Length: 3.6 miles
Parking: Take exit 28 off of I-92 and follow Route 49 for 5 mil. Trailhead parking will be on the right.
Several lowland trails on mostly level ground a granite gorge with 30-foot walls, beaver dams (including some you can walk on, and small cascades and pools perfect for wading. The hike to the gorge is less than 0.5 miles roundtrip; the full loop, plus a side trip to the beaver meadow, is 3.6 miles.
Welch and Dickey Loop-Thornton
Length: 4.1 mile loop
Parking: Take Upper Mad River Rd off of Route 49, turn right onto Orris Rd, and trailhead will be a ½ mile up.
Welch and Dickey is a great spring hike which offers vast granite ledges, and phenomenal scenery. The loop wraps around Mt. Welch and Mt. Dickey, offering views of Franconia Ridge, Mt. Moosilauke, Sandwich Mountain, Mt. Tripyramid, and more.