In a state as diverse as New Hampshire, there are infinite opportunities to venture off the beaten path and find a new space to explore. These 6 wild hikes journey through some of the state’s most biodiverse lands where wildlife and local flora and fauna flourish. Discover something new on your next hike through the Granite State with these unique excursions!
Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Newington
The Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge encompasses a sanctuary of upland forest, saltmarsh and mudflats on New Hampshire’s seacoast. A leisurely hike along either of the refuge’s trails will guide you through diverse ecosystems where untamed wilderness flourishes. The Ferry Way Loop Trail tours hikers 1.9 miles through the refuge, with peeking views of the bay peppered along the way. The pinnacle of the hike reaches an overlook platform with sparkling views of the Great Bay before leisurely looping back to the trailhead. Or, the Peverly Pond Trail offers a quick half mile trek along a wheelchair accessible boardwalk that leads to a wildlife observation area at the forested edge of Upper Peverly Pond.
Beaver Brook Association, Hollis
The Beaver Brook Association is a conservation area located in Hollis, Brookline, and Milford. The land encompasses over 35 miles of trails that feature themed gardens, serene walking trails, and plenty of natural diversity to appreciate. The association encourages the Japanese tradition of “Forest Bathing” (shinrin-yoku in Japanese), which is the practice of spending time in the forest to glean its natural health benefits. Hikers can follow along the Forest Bathing Stroll which leads to some of the most relaxing spots on the property.
Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, Errol
Located in New Hampshire’s Great North Woods, the Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge is a sanctuary for the protected wetlands, sparkling lakes, rushing rivers, and native wildlife within. The Magalloway River Trail is a popular 1/3 mile loop that leads to the river and features an observation platform perfect for moose, boreal birds, and waterfowl sightings. Hikers can also try the Roost Trail which leads 1.2 miles out and back to the top of a cliff with a rewarding overlook of the refuge below and the weaving Magalloway River.
Waterville Flume, Waterville Valley
Touted by locals as one of the most underrated hikes in the White Mountains, the Waterville Flume can be accessed via Irene’s Path to the Scaur. Along this 5.3 mile roundtrip trek, you’ll pass outlooks with spectacular views of Waterville Valley, Mount Tecumseh, East Osceola and Mad River Notch, among other landmarks. The pinnacle of the trail is reached at the Waterville Flume, a deep gorge with 60+ foot walls carving through the mountains.
Pondicherry Wildlife Sanctuary, Whitefield
The serene trails that wind through Pondicherry Wildlife Sanctuary are perfect for both active recreation or peaceful reflection. Hikers can enjoy the refuge’s expanse of 166 acres where over 9 miles of trails wind through unspoiled landscapes. Bring your bike and pedal the refuge’s most popular trail: The Pondicherry Rail Trail, or simply hike along serene paths through lowland spruce and forests of fir to make your own adventure!
Philbrick Cricenti Bog, New London
Embark on a mile-long exploration of the Philbrick Cricenti Bog for sweeping views of stunning natural wetlands. A wooden boardwalk marches through fields of cottongrass and native flora, offering several lookout platforms and a host of dynamic views along the way. Informational signs dot the trails, giving hikers the chance to get up close and personal with the bog’s vibrant ecosystem.