The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) passes through 14 states, 8 national forests, 2 national parks and numerous state parks.
This 2167 mile stretches from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia.
The NH section of the A.T. spans about 161 miles from the Connecticut River in Hanover to the Maine state line.
The Trail enters NH in Hanover along the Vermont state line and heads northeast into the White Mountains National Forest and exists at Grafton Notch near Bethel, Maine. Franconia Notch State Park and Crawford Notch State Park, offers easy access to day hiking.
Connecticut River (N.H./Vt. State Line) to Glencliff (NH 25)
Section mileage: 43.9 miles
Difficulty rating: 6
Elevation range: 400 feet (Connecticut River) – 3,240 feet (Firewarden’s Cabin 5.8 Trail miles north of Lyme Center)
Varied terrain at lower to mid-range elevations with fair amount of elevation gain and loss, and features several excellent views. A few strenuous ascents, and some rugged areas. Portions of this area are noted for their fall foliage.
This section provides a good alternative to the more crowded and difficult White Mountains.
Best time to hike: June through September
Glencliff (NH 25) — the White Mountains to N.H./Maine State line
Section miles: 117.1 miles
Difficulty rating: 8 – 10
Elevation range: 740 feet (near the Androscoggin River) – 6,288 feet (Mt. Washington)
In the White Mountains the Trail threads through spectacular scenery and extraordinary vistas, including long sections above treeline. However, the same severe weather conditions that prevent trees from growing also require a high level of preparedness for a successful and safe trip.
Snow falls on Mt. Washington during every month of the year, and sections above treeline expose hikers to high winds and driving rain. Dense fog frequently reduces visibility to a few feet. The footpath is challenging and often very steep, but usually offers fairly good footing. Plan for low mileage.
Overnight options are limited. The most convenient option is a unique system of full-service huts, expensive by most hikers’ standards. Most shelters and campsites charge a fee.
The White Mountain National Forest contains an extensive trail system; many are less used than the A.T. Contact theAppalachian Mountain Club for information.
Best time to hike: July and August
Areas of heavy use:
Almost all of the Whites, but especially from Franconia Notch to Gorham (Franconia Ridge and Mt. Washington)
|Difficulty Rating for A.T. Trail Sections 1 = Flat
5 = Strenuous ups and downs, only occasional flat sections
10 = Use of hands required, footing precarious — not recommended for those with fear of heights and not in good physical condition.
Appalachian Trail Conference founded in 1925 to protect & maintain the trail.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail – Official website
Clubs maintaining the Trail:
Dartmouth Outing Club from Vt. 12 to Kinsman Notch, N.H. 75.3 miles
Appalachian Mtn Club from Kinsman Notch, N.H. to Maine 26 122.2 miles