This 6-miler’s 20-minute warm-up on the Mount Morgan Trail (blazed yellow, courtesy of the Squam Lake Assn.) is easy walking, but don’t get too relaxed—the trail soon reveals its true character as a mountain path.
At 1.7 miles, it joins the Crawford-Ridgepole Trail, which runs the length of the Squam Mountains. Ignore the wooden ladders and the cliff route; instead, climb stone stairways through thick spruce, passing the junction where the trail bears right on its way to Mount Percival. (You’ll double back to this point later.) At the top (2,152 feet), a spur leads to a ledge that affords fantastic views of Squam Lake, Lake Winnipesaukee, and numerous small ponds and lakes lying cupped in the forest.
Back on the trail to Percival, you get vistas on either side, and the view from the top may show you more fresh water than can be seen anywhere in New Hampshire. Descend via the Mount Percival Trail.
-Hike adapted from 50 More Hikes in New Hampshire, by Daniele Doan and Ruth Doan MacDougall (Backcountry Publications)