5 Fall Hikes in the Lakes Region
Kathryn Merola and Sarah O'Neill
Central New Hampshire is known for its prime hiking and beautiful foliage, especially in the fall season! As both current and future RAM families begin to visit campus, a great way to get acquainted with the area is to explore the great outdoors. Here’s a list of fun, easy, and local hikes that would be a great way to take in the sights
West Rattlesnake Mountain
Holderness, New Hampshire
Family-friendly and quick with a beautiful view! West Rattlesnake is about 36 minutes from the Tilton School campus. The hike is two miles, with an estimated 30-minute ascent depending on your pace. At the top, you will be at an elevation of 1260 feet, providing spectacular views of Squam Lake.
Gilford, New Hampshire
Just 30 minutes from Tilton, Belknap Mountain has an elevation of 1850 feet and 4.7 miles of trails. The average trail length is one mile. At the top, you will see New Hampshire’s deep blue Lake Winnipesaukee. The difficulty of this trail is considered intermediate - just a bit more difficult than Rattlesnake. Perfect if you’re looking to take in the views and get some exercise.
Alton, New Hampshire
Take a beautiful 40-minute drive from Tilton School, and you will arrive at Mount Major. When finished hiking the ascent of Mt. Major (ranging from 1.5-2.4 miles), you will encounter panoramic views of Lake Winnipesaukee at an elevation of 1786 feet. Like Belknap, Mt. Major is an intermediate hike. Not quite at the height of ‘difficult,’ but enough to get your leg muscles working.
Lockes Hill Trail
Gilford, New Hampshire
This trail is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail. Very easy to hike, it is accessible year-round. The scenic views are breathtaking, and you can even bring the dog if they stay leashed!
Franconia, New Hampshire
This hike is the furthest from Tilton, about a 50-minute drive, but is so worth it. You can hike either the two-mile loop or the short walk through the Gorge. The walk consists of stairs and uphill walking leading to a natural waterfall. This trail closes on October 25th, so get it in while you can!
The mountains and trails listed are all well-marked and maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, New Hampshire Division of Parks, the Appalachian Mountain Club and private hiking clubs. Remember to dress properly for your hike! Shirts of breathable material, pants or shorts that are easy to move in, and comfortably durable hiking shoes are recommended. Bring along lots of water and snacks as well!
For more info on fun family activities in the surrounding Tilton area, check out the Visit Campuspage of the tiltonschool.org.