More Spectacular Hikes in the Lakes Region

Spring is one of the most popular times to hike in New England. With warmer temperatures, longer daylight hours, and clear views, people are eager to get out and enjoy nature. Although some smaller mountains’ vistas become hidden after the trees leaf out in summer, the region has such a varied landscape and so many great places to explore, many folks enjoy hiking in New Hampshire year round. The state has thousands of miles of scenic trails, including 1,200 miles in the White Mountain National Forest, as well as a section of the Appalachian Trail and 48 4,000-footers. Here in the Lakes Region, we have several hikes that, with little to moderate effort, provide stunning views at any time of year. We listed a handful on this site last spring (see post here). Now we’ve got a few more to add to your outdoor adventures this year…

Castle in the Clouds
In the foothills and forests surrounding this popular destination, there are nearly 30 miles of hiking trails maintained by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust that have breathtaking views of their own. The Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area in the Ossipee Mountains of Moultonborough and Tuftonboro totals over 5,000 conserved acres and is the largest property owned by LRCT. Depending on the trail you choose and the season in which you hike, you may encounter spectacular waterfalls, incredible views from mountain summits and outlooks, signs of wildlife, historic sites, interesting geological features, and many other unique elements. The trails are accessible year round and have degrees of difficulty to suit every ability. Trail maps are available at the Castle’s gift shop.

Mount Morgan (with Mount Percival Loop)
Mount Morgan Trail is a 1.6 mile point-to-point trail located near Center Sandwich, New Hampshire. The trail is good for all skill levels, and offers a quick trip with a view! Another option is the loop with Mount Percival, total of 4.8 miles. One of the most popular hikes in the lakes region, this moderate loop hike over both mountains provides excellent views of the north and the south. To the north you can view Sandwich Mountain and some of the White Mountains. To the south lies an amazing view of Squam Lake and Lake Winnipesaukee. This hike also offers the option to experience ladders and caves—what fun!

West Rattlesnake Mountain
This very scenic hike leads up a mile-long trail to open, pink granite outcrops with twisted pine trees that overlook the island-speckled body of Squam Lake. (The actual summit of the mountain is a few hundred feet to the north in the woods along the Ridge Trail.) The 3.1-mile loop trail is good for all skill levels, and the sweeping view from West Rattlesnake is classic New Hampshire, encompassing Squam Lake, bald eagle roosts, and mountains in the distance. While the views from the open outcrops are reason enough to visit, the forest below the steep ledges is special as well. The dripping overhangs right below the cliffs support a variety of moisture-laden mosses and lichens. Lower down, a mix of medium-size trees grow among the mossy boulders of the talus slope. The area is rich in biodiversity and rare plants, and is a favorite hike for horticulture enthusiasts. The land is owned by the University of New Hampshire, and the trails are managed by the Squam Lakes Association.

For details on the many great mountains in the area, check out

For information on more gentle walking trails in the Lakes Region, please visit the Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce website at or our post here.

Whatever time of year you like to hike, there’s a trail nearby for you. Don’t forget your hiking boots on your next New Hampshire vacation or outing!

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

photo courtesy of


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