Hiking Trails


History of hiking trails in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. The hiking trails in the White Mountains are known for being rugged and steep, but how they came to be is often overlooked. Trails that were built in the 1800s and early 1900s are still in use today; and the oldest continuously-used mountain trail in America, Crawford Path in the Presidential Range, is located in the White Mountains. With the use of photography, writing, and research, this work focuses on the White Mountains trail system.


Jewell Trail, White Mountains

Jewell Trail - Presidential Range, New Hampshire
Jewell Trail, White Mountains - Established in 1934, the roughly 3.7 mile long Jewell Trail begins at a trailhead on Base Station Road in Chandler's Purchase, New Hampshire. It travels up an unnamed ridge of Mount Clay and eventually ends at the Gulfside Trail; the Gulfside Trail is a segment of the scenic Appalachian Trail. Upon reaching the junction with ...

Picking Up Trash, White Mountains

Railroad Logging Camp - Livermore, White Mountains
Picking Up Trash, White Mountains - During this covid pandemic, many hikers have been picking up trash along the trail system here in the White Mountains. And there also has been an increase in hiker organized clean-up days, which is awesome. The easiest way for hikers to “give back” is to pick up trash along the trails...[Continue reading] ...

Sanders Bridge, Randolph Path

Sanders Bridge - Randolph Path, New Hampshire
Sanders Bridge, Randolph Path - Originally built in 1976, the Sanders Bridge crosses Cold Brook along the Randolph Path in Low and Burbank's Grant, New Hampshire. It is a memorial to Miriam Sanders, who was a long-time resident of Randolph and treasurer of the Randolph Mountain Club (RMC) for many years...[Continue reading] ...

Trailside History, White Mountains

Franconia Ridge - White Mountains, New Hampshire USA
Trailside History, White Mountains - The history of the trail system in the New Hampshire White Mountains is amazing; early 19th-century trail builders are true legends of the White Mountains, and they are forever implanted into the history books. Trails built in the 1800s, such as Crawford Path, Davis Path, and Lowe’s Path, are still in use today. And while ...

Memorial Bridge, Randolph

Memorial Bridge - Randolph, New Hampshire
Memorial Bridge, Randolph - Built in 1923-1924, Memorial Bridge crosses Cold Brook along “The Link” trail in Randolph, New Hampshire. The bridge was dedicated as a memorial to Randolph's early pathmakers (19th-century trail builders) on August 23, 1924. These early pathmakers are responsible for cutting many of the trails in the Northern Presidential Range....[Continue reading] ...

Lincoln Woods Trail, White Mountains

Lincoln Woods Trail, New Hampshire
Lincoln Woods Trail, White Mountains - There isn’t a grand story about how the Lincoln Woods Trail came to be, and the trail isn’t named for any famous person. However, this trail is the direct result of J.E. Henry’s historic East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, and that is what makes it so unique....[Continue reading] ...

Six Husbands Trail, Presidential Range

Great Gulf Wilderness - Mount Washington, New Hampshire
Six Husbands Trail, Presidential Range - When it comes to rugged mountain trails in the New Hampshire White Mountains, the Six Husbands Trail is at the top of the list. This trail dates back to the early 1900s when the legendary AMC Trail-builder Warren W. Hart was cutting trails in the Great Gulf. From 1908-1910, Hart was AMC’s councilor of ...

Random Trail History, White Mountains

Camel Trail - Mount Washington New Hampshire
Random Trail History, White Mountains - Think about these White Mountains history facts for a minute. Crawford Path is the oldest continuously-used mountain trail in America. Trail maker Charles E. Lowe and Dr. William G. Nowell built Lowe’s Path in 1875-1876. Nathaniel Davis, son-in-law of Abel and Hannah Crawford, built Davis Path in 1845. Nathaniel L. Goodrich (1880-1957) is considered ...

Interesting Finds, White Mountains

Downes - Oliverian Brook Ski Trail - White Mountains, New Hampshire
Interesting Finds, White Mountains - My documentary work of historic sites takes me to many areas of the White Mountain National Forest. And I have to admit I have come across many things that I just can’t explain. And today I want to share a few of these interesting finds with you.....[Continue reading] ...

Mt Tecumseh Trail, New Hampshire

Stone Steps - Mt Tecumseh Trail, New Hampshire
Mt. Tecumseh Trail, New Hampshire - This photography focuses on trail work. Since 2011, there has been an excessive amount of stonework done on the Mt. Tecumseh Trail. Sections of trail where four or five stone steps would have done the job have been transformed into one hundred foot long elaborate, unnatural looking, staircases. Trail stewardship groups preach that low-impact ...

Trails of the Pemigewasset Wilderness

Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire by ScenicNH Photography LLC
Trails of the Pemigewasset Wilderness - At 45,000-acres, the Pemigewasset Wilderness is one of six designated wilderness areas in the White Mountain National Forest. Wilderness areas are governed under the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Wilderness Act of 1964. They are managed much differently than other parts of the National Forest....[Continue reading] ...

Thoreau Falls Trail Bridge, My Viewpoint

Tropical Storm Irene - New Hampshire,Thoreau Falls Trail
Thoreau Falls Trail Bridge, My Viewpoint - Like many in the New England outdoor community, I have been closely following the Thoreau Falls Trail bridge removal project. I have had interesting conversations as to why the bridge should be replaced, but nothing yet has changed my position, I fully support removing this bridge from the Pemigewasset Wilderness. I wrote about ...

Greenleaf Trail, Mount Lafayette

Greenleaf Hut - White Mountains, New Hampshire
Greenleaf Trail, Mount Lafayette - Greenleaf Trail is located in Franconia Notch in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The Greenleaf Trail is named for Colonel Charles Henry Greenleaf, once owner of the Profile House in Franconia Notch. The Greenleaf Hut, along Greenleaf Trail, is named in his honor so there appears to be a connection.....[Continue reading] ...

Crawford Path, White Mountains

Crawford Path - Mt Washington, New Hampshire
Crawford Path, White Mountains - Crawford Path, located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, is the oldest continuously-used mountain trail in America, and for a period of time it was used as a horse trail to Mt Washington. This eight and half mile historical path came to be in 1819 when Abel Crawford and his son Ethan Allen began ...

Davis Path, White Mountains

Davis Path, White Mountains
Davis Path, White Mountains - Davis Path, built in 1845 by Nathaniel Davis, son-in-law of Abel and Hannah Crawford, was the third and longest bridle path built to the summit of Mount Washington. After being built the bridle path was neglected, and in 1910 it was reopened as a footpath...[Continue reading] ...

Boott Spur Trail, White Mountains

Boott Spur Trail - Mount Washington, White Mountains
Boott Spur Trail, White Mountains - Boott Spur Trail begins off the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and ends at Davis Path, near the summit of Boott Spur Mountain. At 5500 feet, Boott Spur is named for Francis Boott; an botanist who took part in scientific expeditions to the Presidential Range during the early 1800s. The original route of the trail was ...

An Evolving Landscape, White Mountains

Black Brook Footbridge - Pemigewasset Wilderness
An Evolving Landscape, White Mountains - It amazes me how much the landscape of the White Mountains changes over time. Many visitors to the White Mountains think of the area as being "stuck in time" because of its national forest designation. The reality is lots of change occurs naturally and by man. I thought it would be interesting to show ...

Mount Osceola Trail, White Mountains

Mount Osceola Trail on the summit of Mount Osceola in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA during the winter months
Mount Osceola Trail, White Mountains - The New Hampshire White Mountains have been photographed inside and out and possibly from every vantage point. And it has become common to see identical shots of a location from two, three or four photographers. Some images are so identical it looks as if photographers set up their tripods in the same spot...[Continue reading] ...

Mittersill-Cannon Trail, Cannon Mountain

Mittensill-Cannon Trail - Cannon Mountain
Mittersill-Cannon Trail, Cannon Mountain - In 2012, Senate Bill 217 was introduced to the New Hampshire legislature. The main focus of the bill was the leasing of the Cannon Mountain Ski Area. It also proposed renaming Franconia Notch State Park to Franconia Notch Veterans' Memorial State Park, the building of a veterans memorial and the development of a hiking corridor ...

Shoal Pond, Pemigewasset Wilderness

Shoal Pond - Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
Shoal Pond, Pemigewasset Wilderness - Shoal Pond is a secluded 5-acre pond in the Pemigewasset Wilderness in the New Hampshire White Mountains. The average depth is one foot with a max depth of three feet (source, NH Fish & Game). The definition of “Shoal” is an area of shallow water, so this is likely why the pond was given this ...