When it comes to New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest, the big-name Presidential peaks get all the glory, but there are some smaller local hikes worthy of some fanfare, as well. BY MATT MILLS
One such hike is the trail that takes you right up the summit of Middle Mountain in North Conway, NH. Most visitors to North Conway who come to the area to satisfy hiking needs don't spend too much time hitting the trails in North Conway, as well-known peaks like Mount Washington, Mount Adams and Mount Jefferson - and many lesser-known peaks - loom in the background as close as a 30-minute drive away.
I've admittedly been guilty of this on most of my trips up to this part of the country, spending all of my outside time hiking the well-known peaks. But on my latest trip, I decided to test out the local hiking flavor in North Conway and was rewarded with a hike that was well worth the relatively small investment in time and energy.
I expected a nice, short walk in the woods with my kids, but was rewarded with an engaging hike dotted with small waterfalls that offered up a whole new view of the surrounding area.
Distance: 3.8 miles
Elevation change: 1,300 feet
Time: 2.5 hours
Distance from Boston, MA: 2.5 hours
More info: Green Hills Preserve
1. No fees or permits are necessary to hike Middle Mountain.
2. No fees or permits are necessary to park at the Pudding Pond Trailhead (although space is limited).
3. This is a family-friendly hike.
Mile 0.0: Begin at the Pudding Pond trailhead.
0.2: Reach the trail information kiosk and turn left onto Middle Mountain Trail.
0.7: At the junction with Middle Mountain Trail and Peaked Mountain Trail, continue straight on Middle Mountain Trail.
1.2: At the junction with Middle Mountain Connector Trail and Middle Mountain Trail, continue straight on Middle Mountain Trail.
1.9: Reach the summit of Middle Mountain.
3.8: Retrace your steps back to the Pudding Pond trailhead.
1. Unlike other trails in the surrounding area, crowds will not be an issue on Middle Mountain.
2. Quality outdoors entertainment for the whole family.
3. Excellent views of the impressive nearby peaks.
Weather: Sunny and upper 40's to start; lower 40's and periods of hail on the return trip.
Group: Two adults (including myself), two kids aged 8 and under.
- State: NH
- City: Boston, MA
- Distance: 0.0
- Land Type: Other