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Our Favorite New Hampshire Adventures

Small state, big adventures.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

New Hampshire may be petite in size, but it packs an outsized punch when it comes to terrain worth exploring. 

From the White Mountains—home to Mount Washington, the tallest peak in the northeast—to the rolling hills and forest-trimmed lakes in the central part of the state, there's a trailhead for hiking or a surface for kayaking around every turn.

It's a wrench to pick just ten favorite locations in the Granite State, but we gave it our best shot. Because hey, someone has to do the hard work, right?

Adventure by Erin Hall

For a full-day hike within easy reach of Boston, check out the 8.3-mile roundtrip route to the north and south peaks of Pack Monadnock. Stop at the storied Pickity Place restaurant in Mason as a reward for your efforts.

Adventure by Sarah Giek

Portsmouth is New Hampshire's most famous port town, and full of New England charm. Wander the narrow brick-paved alleyways, explore the harbor front, and definitely make the time to relax in the beautiful flower gardens at Prescott Park.

Adventure by Leah Joy 

Nestled a half-mile down from the summit of Mount Cardigan, the Appalachian Mountain Club's High Cabin is a prime winter adventure destination. Book far in advance—this place is popular—and then get your skis and snowshoes ready for a winter wonderland.

Adventure by Ali Sailer

The Lakes Region of New Hampshire is a landscape full of dense forests and lakes dotted to the horizon. Hike to Lake Solitude on the Andrew Brook Trail or Newbury Trail for a panoramic view of Lake Sunapee and the surrounding hills.

Adventure by Chris Mongeau

The Kancamagus Highway is a bucket-list drive for leaf peepers across the globe, but it is a stunning section of the country no matter when you make the trip. If you hit up this scenic route in summer, be sure to take a dip at Upper Lady's Bath.

Adventure by Chris Mongeau

Franconia Notch has some of the best hiking and camping in the Granite State, and was once home to the famed "Old Man of the Mountain" (a rock face which collapsed—tragically, to New Hampshireites—in 2003). Camp at Lafayette Campground to stay right in the center of all the action.

Adventure by James Lynch

This short but steep hike up Artists Bluff leads to a stunning viewpoint of Echo Lake and Cannon Mountain. It's named Artists Bluff for a reason, but to make it even more beautiful, plan a trip during fall foliage or at sunset.

Adventure by Mike! Miller

A winter ascent of Mount Washington is a test of endurance, strength, and skill. It shouldn't be taken lightly, but for experienced hikers and mountaineers, it is the creme de lá creme winter adventures in New Hampshire. Proceed with caution, but if you're prepared, it's an adventure you'll never forget.

Adventure by Hunter Webb

Not everyone is ready for a winter (or summer!) ascent up Mount Washington, but never fear. If you'd still like to get to the top of this 6,228 foot mountain, there's a road for that. The Mount Washington Auto Road isn't for the faint of heart (or for your beat-up jalopy), but the views are worth every heart-stuttering switchback.

Cover photo by Shannon Kalahan

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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