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Exploring Mountain Ranges in New Hampshire

By Alexander Francione; For the Clock
On March 9, 2017

Exploring Mountain Ranges in New Hampshire 

Alexander Francione

For The Clock

arfrancione@plymouth.edu

With the snow beginning to melt rapidly, and Spring beginning on March 20th, hiking season will be in full swing. New Hampshire is known for its major ski resorts, such as Cannon, Loon, and Waterville. Besides being known for its skiing, New Hampshire is also a phenomenal place for hiking. With over 70 mountains, many of which are in relatively close proximity of Plymouth, New Hampshire has many iconic mountains, such as: Mount Washington, Mount Monadnock, and the Plymouth favorite, Rattlesnake Mountain. But if people are new to hiking and don’t know where to start, they may feel overwhelmed by the amount of mountains to choose from.

For beginners, it is suggested to start out on lower elevation (height) mountains. Mountains in New Hampshire range from roughly 1,000 feet and go all the way to over 6,000 feet. A great mountain for beginners would be Mount Major. Mount Major is roughly an hour away, located in Alton and has an elevation of 1,786 feet. The summit of Mount Major overlooks a large portion of Lake Winnipesauke. You get a scale of how far the lake spreads out, as well as a modest view of the mountain ranges in the area.

Those looking to push themselves a bit and attempt an intermediate mountain should give Mount Chocorua a shot. Located an hour away from Plymouth in Albany, Mount Chocorua has an elevation of 3,490 feet and is located in the White Mountains. What makes Mount Chocorua unique is that the last quarter of a mile or so is straight rock, meaning hikers should be careful while maneuvering to the summit. However, once at the summit, hikers can enjoy a crisp view of the local trees and vegetation, but also a better look at the amount of mountains that can be hiked in your vicinity.

Finally, those looking for a challenge with many benefits should hike Mount Lincoln, located 30 minutes away in Franconia. On the way up, hikers will be greeted with a stream of water, as well as multiple waterfalls along the way. Hikers may need to use their hands and feet to climb short distances in order to advance up the 5,089 foot mountain. At the peak, you can gaze and bask in your accomplishment by reaching the top of the mountain. What separates this mountain from the others is that this has a trail that can lead you to different mountains. Mount Lincoln is part of the Appalachian Trail, a 2,200 mile trail that starts from Maine and ends in Georgia. Once at the top of Mount Lincoln, you have the option to push yourself a little further and go to the clearly marked trail towards Mount Lafayette for the true experience of the range. It also provides a convenient trail back to your car at the bottom of Mount Lincoln.

While hiking the different mountains across New Hampshire, it is clear that being in nature is a marvelous experience. Words and pictures don’t do nature any justice unless you experience them yourself. Whether you are a veteran hiker or have never stepped foot on a trail, hiking is for everyone. Hiking can feel like strenuous work at times, but what keeps most hikers motivated is the feeling of success once they reach the top of the mountain and realize how far they have come. So, grab some climbing boots, lots of water, and a couple of friends and go explore what New Hampshire has to offer. 

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