Best 5 New Hampshire Hikes for the Family

When it comes to exploring the great outdoors, New Hampshire is a treasure trove of natural beauty. From majestic mountains to crystal-clear lakes, this northeastern state offers a wide range of hiking trails suitable for the whole family. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, here are five of the best family-friendly hikes in New Hampshire that are sure to create lasting memories.

1. Mount Monadnock

Located in Jaffrey, Mount Monadnock is one of the most popular hiking destinations in New Hampshire. Its moderate 3.5-mile White Dot Trail to the summit provides breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The trail is well-maintained and suitable for families with children of all ages.

As you ascend Mount Monadnock, you’ll pass through diverse ecosystems, including dense forests and rocky ledges. The variety of vegetation and terrain makes the hike interesting and engaging for everyone. Be sure to bring enough water, snacks, and sunscreen to stay hydrated, energized, and protected from the sun’s rays.

2. Flume Gorge

Situated in Franconia Notch State Park, Flume Gorge is a natural wonder that’s perfect for a family adventure. This 2-mile loop trail takes you through a narrow, flume-like gorge with towering granite walls and a cascading waterfall. The well-maintained boardwalk and stairs provide easy access and ensure a safe hiking experience for all ages.

Along the trail, you’ll encounter beautiful covered bridges, tranquil pools, and stunning rock formations. Take your time to appreciate the unique geological features and make sure to capture the awe-inspiring beauty of Flume Gorge with your camera. This hike offers a wonderful opportunity to learn about the geology and natural history of the area.

3. Arethusa Falls

For a more challenging yet rewarding hike, head to Crawford Notch State Park and embark on the Arethusa Falls trail. This 3.2-mile round trip will lead you to New Hampshire’s tallest waterfall, which cascades down from a height of 140 feet. The trail features a moderate incline and some rocky sections, so sturdy footwear is recommended.

As you make your way through the lush forest, keep an eye out for wildlife and enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature. The diverse flora and fauna add to the overall experience of the hike. The breathtaking view of Arethusa Falls at the end of the trail is well worth the effort and serves as a rewarding climax to the journey.

4. Welch-Dickey Loop Trail

If you’re looking for a hike that combines stunning panoramic views with a moderate challenge, the Welch-Dickey Loop Trail in Thornton is an ideal choice. This 4.5-mile loop trail takes you along the exposed ridgeline of Welch and Dickey Mountains, offering breathtaking vistas of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

The trail features some steep sections, but the rewards are well worth it. During the fall season, the vibrant foliage adds a splash of color to the landscape, creating a picturesque environment. Take advantage of the scenic viewpoints along the way to rest, have a picnic, and soak in the beauty of nature. This hike is an excellent opportunity to capture stunning photographs and create lasting memories.

5. The Basin-Cascades Trail

Situated in Franconia Notch State Park, the Basin-Cascades Trail is a 2.6-mile out-and-back trail that showcases the natural beauty of the White Mountains. The trail follows alongside the Pemigewasset River, allowing hikers to enjoy the soothing sounds of cascading waterfalls and the tranquil ambiance of a peaceful forest.

The highlight of the trail is The Basin, a fascinating geological formation carved by the force of the river. Take your time to marvel at this unique feature and explore the surrounding area. The Basin-Cascades Trail offers a perfect balance of nature and relaxation, making it an excellent choice for all ages.

Remember, before embarking on any hiking adventure, it’s essential to be prepared. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear, considering the weather and trail conditions. Layering is recommended to adapt to changing temperatures.
  • Pack enough water, snacks, and a first aid kit to stay hydrated, nourished, and prepared for any minor injuries.
  • Check weather forecasts and trail conditions before heading out to avoid any unexpected challenges.
  • Let someone know your hiking plans and estimated return time for safety purposes.
  • Stay on marked trails and respect the environment by leaving no trace. Avoid damaging vegetation and wildlife habitats.
  • Be mindful of wildlife and keep a safe distance. Observe animals from afar and avoid feeding or approaching them.

By following these guidelines and exploring these five fantastic hiking trails, you and your family can create unforgettable memories while appreciating the natural wonders of New Hampshire. So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your backpack, and get ready to embark on an adventure that will bring you closer to nature and to each other. Happy hiking!


1. Where is Mount Monadnock located?

Mount Monadnock is located in Jaffrey, New Hampshire.

2. What is the length of the Flume Gorge trail?

The Flume Gorge trail is a 2-mile loop trail.

3. How tall is Arethusa Falls?

Arethusa Falls is New Hampshire’s tallest waterfall, standing at a height of 140 feet.

4. What is the length of the Welch-Dickey Loop Trail?

The Welch-Dickey Loop Trail is a 4.5-mile loop trail in Thornton, New Hampshire.

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