Many trails, spectacular views, swimming spots make New Hampshire,Vermont ideal hiking destinations
By LORENZO RECUPERO
We New Englanders are spoiled. We have the luxury of taking a 4-hour ride in any direction to almost any of the phenomenal travel destinations our area has to offer, each including a unique, breathtaking view and distinct manner of being.
And although Covid-19 hasn’t quite allowed an ease to traveling experiences just yet, it shouldn’t hold one back from getting out into the wondrous nature of New England.
That’s precisely why there’s currently no better 2020 summer experience than a hike outdoors, in the mountains generally separate from most others (for social distancing, of course) taking in the freshest air Mother Nature has to offer.
So, without any further hold up, here’s a short list (to assist with optimal hiking time) of several of New England’s most awe-inspiring trails and sights listed not by grandeur but nearest distance only.
Mount Monadnock, Jaffrey, New Hampshire
Distance from Everett: 77.9 miles northwest via MA-2 West.
The lengthy ride to this Goliath of a mountain, which stands at 3,166 feet, is tough enough, but only the first leg to what will surely require you to use both of yours very much. Be prepared to walk between 3-4 hours round trip, and that’s when using the shortest (White Dot, 1.9 miles) but also the steepest of multiple trails. But don’t let Monadnock’s rocky exterior scare you away, it offers one of the best views in the world when you grace the summit.
Mount Major, Alton, NH
Distance from Everett: 91.2 miles north via I-95 North.
If you’re a beginner type and looking just for something to challenge your hiking prowess slightly, this is the mountain with the trails most suitable. With multiple trails ranging from 1.5- 3.9 miles (1-3 hours time), this is the hike that will get you to the top fastest, but that does not mean for lack of beauty from above at an elevation of 1,785 feet. The panoramic views of Lake Winnipesaukee are unforgettable. And for a little historic touch to your time on Major, you should know that in 1914 a man by the name of George Phippen purchased the property at the summit for $125. Parts of his original home are still there today and make for a nice victory photo backdrop.
Quechee Gorge, Hartford, Vermont
Distance from Everett: 131.5 miles north via I-93 North & I-89 North.
Doesn’t the name of this one just make you forget the distance it takes to get there and just want to load up the car and go? The place sounds like an amusement park but offers a lot more splendor. The gorge is 165 feet deep, the deepest in Vermont. There’s a sight to see above or down below at this locations, as it can be viewed from the U.S. Route 4 bridge and from trails on either side. The bridge view is picture-perfect, but what makes this trail so sweet is the dip you can take in the waters below when it’s through. The hike is 2.7 miles total. But if you’re skipping the walk to instead seek cool waters, you can reach it in about half a mile from the bridge side entrance. And It makes for an even more enjoyable ride if you’re willing to go an extra 10 miles farther to Woodstock, VT, which was voted one of America’s most charming places. You won’t be disappointed in what you find there.
Mount Liberty Flume Gorge, Lincoln, NH
Distance from Everett: 133.1 miles north via I-93 North.
The gorge itself is a literal testament to history, with 200 million years having passed since it began a slow transformation into the picturesque, waterfall-laden horizontal (800 feet) crack in the earth it is today. The best part is you get to walk aside the cascading water (making for epic pics) on steps lining one side of the gorge. The entire trail is approximately 2 miles and will take about 1.5 hours at a good walking pace. Oh, and the former site of NH’s late Old Man on The Mountain is about 7 miles away by car.