Sunday, May 11, 2014

3 Great Spring Mountain Hikes in Northern New England

The snow is finally melting and you are putting your snowshoes back in the attic.  You know what this means...It's time for some spring hiking!  Here are three great spring hikes to try in Northern New England.

Summit of Chocura
1. Mt. Chocura - The Piper Trail - New Hampshire
This mountain hike is great anytime of year, but I love to summit in the spring, when the leaves are just starting to bud and the air is cool.  It is a moderate hike in the spring - traveling through hardwood forest, evergreen forest, and a rocky bald scramble to the peaked summit.  Although there are multiple ascents - all great hikes - I love a spring walk up the Piper Trail and back.  This 7.7 mile out and back is perfect for the experienced hiker and even experienced children and teens.  This is accessed right off Rt. 16 - 3 miles north of Chocura lake (check out the view of the mountain from here!)  There is a sign on the road that directs you into a dirt parking lot.  Parking is $3.  There are no facilities at the parking lot.

2.  Tumbledown Mountain - Brook Trail - Maine
Imagine hiking to the top of a mountain and finding...a lake!  Tumbledown Mountain in Western Maine has a
Summit of Tumbledown Mountain
unique summit and a great hike.  There are three trails to the summit.  The Brook Trail is the easiest trail.  It meanders through hardwood forests before turning and steeply climbing through the evergreen forest and emerging on a wide ridge with Tumbledown Pond and views of the Rangeley region.  The trail is a 3.0 mile out and back.  To access this trail, from Rumford, ME take Rt 17 to Weld.  Take a right on Weld Road.  About 2.5 miles down, bear right onto "Weld to Byron Road".  The Brook Trailhead is about 2 miles down the road on the right.  There is a dirt lot and parking is free.  There are no facilities at the parking lot.

Summit of Mt. Major
3.  Mt. Major - Boulder Loop Trail to Brook Trail - New Hampshire
This easy to moderate hike is a excursion for families, couples, or single hikers.  Located near the impressive Lake Winnipesaukee, this small mountain provides scenic views of the expansive lake and stunning Lakes Region.   The Boulder Loop Trail is the more challenging trail so I prefer to take the 1.4 mile up and return via the wider, more gradual 2.4 mile Brook Trail back.  The large and well signed trailhead is in Alton, New Hampshire - 4.2 miles north of Alton Bay.  Parking is free and there are no facilities at the parking lot.
Spring Hiking

Remember that Spring weather can be unpredictable.  Remember to wear layered clothing and pack first aid gear, map, compass, and raingear.  Check the weather before you leave and follow LNT guidelines. 

Spring is one of my favorite times to hike.  New green leaves, no crowds, and cool air - it's the perfect time of year to hit the trails.

You might also enjoy the following posts:

Pleasant Mountain, Maine
Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts
Mt. Monadnock, New Hampshire

 Please leave comments and questions below.