Bear in mind that “spring” is a relative term. While the snowbanks have finally retreated across most of New England, an early April hike finds winter in full bloom on…
The Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, accessing the summits of Mt. Monroe and Mt. Washington, is equal parts majestic beauty and watch-your-step treacherous, sheltered tranquility and boot-to-boot hiker highway, destination hike and the fastest route between Point A (ground floor) and Point B (the AMC’s Lakes of the Clouds Hut).
Valley Way is the access route to Mt. Madison and Mt. Adams most travelled by, and for winter hiking that makes all the difference. The easiest and most direct route to Madison Hut, hikers come one and all for day hikes to the aforementioned summits, overnights at the Valley Way Campsite or above treeline (winter only), to venture into the Great Gulf for ice climbing, or to begin treks across the Presidential Range.
Looking for an ideal winter hike to break-in the snow trail legs? Or perhaps you’re a casual hiker interested in bagging a (relatively) easy winter peak? Then again, maybe you just want a trail teeming with scenic charm for a little natural healing? If your head is nodding with any of these, then Mt. Pierce—the mountain formerly known as Mt. Clinton—via the historic Crawford Path, is the ticket.
New Hampshire has no shortage of premier hiking destinations, and the Presidential Range from Mt. Webster to Mt. Madison holds the most prized pearls in the state’s peak-bagging sea. Eight summits on the 19-mile Presidential Traverse are on the list of 48 4,000-footers, including the top five to tickle the sky.
Bookended by the widely popular hiking destinations of Franconia Ridge and South Twin Mountain on one end, and the Presidential Range on the other, it’s easy to dismiss the New Hampshire Appalachian Trail from Mt. Guyot to Mizpah Spring Hut as the necessary in-between. To an extent this wouldn’t entirely be a mistake (the summit of Mt. Zealand isn’t likely to take anyone’s breath away); however, those who tackle this stretch are treated to ample photo opportunities from Zealand Falls, Zeacliff, Zealand Notch and the Webster Cliffs.