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Backpacker Magazine – May 2009

America's Best Dayhikes: Northeast

From blueberry picking in New York and New Hampshire to pure solitude in New Hampshire and Maine, moose sitings in Vermont, and peaks in New York, these the hikes feature the best of the Northeast.

by: Lisa Densmore

Franconia Ridge (Tyler Stableford)
Franconia Ridge (Tyler Stableford)
Big Muddy Pond, Devil's Gulch (Lisa Densmore)
Big Muddy Pond, Devil's Gulch (Lisa Densmore)




Cadillac Mountain, ME

Panoramic coastal views from the top of Acadia National Park's Mt. Desert Island are worth an early start to beat the crowds. Take the North Ridge Trail (four miles round-trip).

Gleasman's Falls, NY
Head to the lonely western Adirondacks for this 5.6-miler to a waterfall. Pass a beaver pond on Burnt Creek along the way.
Info (315) 376-3521

Hunger Mountain, VT
Take the Waterbury Trail, a ledgy route up several rock chimneys, to a dazzling view of Mt. Mansfield. Allow extra time for the stiff, 4.4-mile trek, especially in blueberry season.

Katahdin, ME
For an 11-mile loop that makes a perfect (long) day, connect the Dudley Trail with the Saddle Trail. Info

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Reader Rating: -


Oct 06, 2011

Probably my favorite short day-hike in New Hampshire is Mount Chocorua. Completely exposed summit cone, blueberries on the top half of the mountain. Pretty sweet for a couple hours of work.

Of course, the ultimate day hike in New Hampshire is a Presi Traverse. Do it in early summer to get maximum daylight and minimum chance of freak winter storms. Seeing people's reactions on the ridge when you say you're hiking the whole thing in one day is also a highlight. Usually a mix of, "oh that's pretty cool/hide the kids because this person is insane"

Richard Ruch
Feb 17, 2011

There are a lot of great hikes here in the northeast and many are mentioned in this article. My favorite hike which will stretch the day hike category is the Bondcliff/Bond range in NH. One only needs to go there once an experience the 360 degree views of the White mountains plus the spectaculer rock outcroppings to appreciate it's beauty.
The early part of the hike is on a flat road until you meet the trail junction for Bondcliff. From there the trail gradually assends to the "cliffs" getting more difficult as you get nearer the summitt. Allow a full day for this hike so you can spend lots of time on the ridges and cliffs. I give it a difficult rating based on the length of the trip.

John Weber
Jun 29, 2010

Lest anyone else think they might sight a moose on the way to Moose Mountain, our recent trip there revealed no sign of moose let alone sightings. There was nary a print or poop to be found. Folks we met on the trail that frequented the area said they have never spotted a moose there in years. The hike is still quite pleasant. We took our 5 year old who negotiated it quite readily...just don't promise a moose before you go!

Jul 01, 2009

The Franconia Ridge route is terrific. Definitely in my top 10, including western peaks as well as eastern. You can make it a loop by ascending the Falling Waters Trail and returning via the Greenleaf and Old Bridle Path trails. You must be in decent shape. Don't forget to eat a good hearty breakfast. (I blew that only once!)


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