100 Classic Hikes in New England  by Jeffrey Romano

100 Classic Hikes in New England Guide Book

by Jeffrey Romano (The Mountaineers Books)
100 Classic Hikes in New England  by Jeffrey Romano
The wilderness of New England is a gold mine for hikers, offering an abundance of rolling hills, mountains, jagged coastline, and lakes. Historic trails are well-worn into the landscape, inviting outdoor enthusiasts to undertake epic backpacking adventures or short, satisfying day hikes. This new guide covers the best trails in six states, including jaunts on the Appalachian Trail, the lush hills of Maine, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Long Trail in Vermont, the Massachusetts coast, the dense forests of Connecticut, and the wildlife sanctuaries of Rhode Island. Written by a New England native, the book provides measured distances and times for each hike, as well as difficulty ratings, elevation gain, permitting information, and more.

© 2010 Jeffrey Romano/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "100 Classic Hikes in New England" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 100.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 100.

Hidden in the southwest corner of Massachusetts and surrounded by more than 10,000 acres of publicly owned conservation land, this hike to the state’s highest single-drop waterfall and one of its most scenic mountains is a must-visit destination. Bash Bish Falls lies at the base of a deep chasm of rock cliffs. Hidden from the nearby roadway, the falls’ rugged beauty contrasts with and delightfully complements the gentler, open ridges of nearby Alander Mountain. Together these two picturesque natural features can be tied together on a rewarding 7.6-mile journey that includes a trek through nearby New York State.
Copake, MA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.6
At more than 14,000 acres, the Arcadia Management Area is Rhode Island’s largest public land unit. Popular year-round, it is managed for multiple uses including hiking, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, and horseback riding. This 12.6-mile circuit uses the area’s best hiking trails en route to Arcadia’s most interesting natural features. The gently rolling terrain allows for a relaxing pace. For those seeking shorter excursions, this all-day loop can easily be broken into three or more half-day adventures.
Hope Valley, RI - Hiking - Trail Length: 12.6
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Located in the Big Branch Wilderness Area, Baker Peak is arguably the most scenic summit on the Long Trail south of Route 4. From its rocky high point there are excellent views of the Taconic Range and the Otter Creek Valley far below. While a journey to Baker Peak by itself is a worthy destination, you can extend the hike an additional 2.5 miles and visit the sparkling blue waters of Griffith Lake. Hidden high upon the Green Mountain Ridge, this elongated water body is the perfect place to enjoy the midday sun.
Danby, VT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.3
One of the finest ocean views in New England, Bald Rock Mountain is an excellent hiking option any time of the year. The summit’s open ledges, while shielded to the north, provide an awesome scene of Penobscot Bay’s icy blue waters, countless dark green islands, and the rocky peaks of Acadia National Park in the distance. Accessible by two gradual trails, Bald Rock is an ideal choice for family outings in any season.
Lincolnville, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.5
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At just over 3600 feet in elevation, North and South Baldface lie more than 1000 feet below many of their distant neighbors to the west. Yet, from afar, their barren summits stand apart among the more forested peaks surrounding them. Up close, the Baldfaces are even more breathtaking. Left bare in the wake of a 1903 fire, their exposed upper ridges provide innumerable scenic vistas in all directions.
Chatham, NH - Hiking - Trail Length: 10.7
A challenging daylong journey to Connecticut’s most celebrated mountain summit and one of Massachusetts’ most alluring natural treasures, this popular 8.1-mile tour is a must-visit Berkshire adventure. Journey here throughout the year to experience the ever-changing scenery, from snow-draped quiet to bursting mountain laurel, from vibrant foliage to rushing water. Under the canopy of towering trees, the beatendown paths lead to campsites and spectacular vistas. Amid the diverse habitats you can enjoy the melodious tunes of colorful songbirds, the hammering rhythm of resident woodpeckers, and the graceful flight of circling raptors.
Salisbury, CT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.1
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Located in the 25,000-acre Groton State Forest, Big Deer Mountain and its surroundings providequiet, scenic hiking on moderate trails. With a number of interesting natural features and ample opportunity to enjoy wildlife, this public land area is a great location to explore throughout the year and is also home to five state park campgrounds. This recommended loop is an excellent introduction to a forest you will want to visit again and again.
Marshfield, VT - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.2
The highest peak in Maine’s 15,000-acre Little Moose Public Reserved Land, Big Moose Mountain rises prominently west of Greenville, above the vast shores of Moosehead Lake. Formerly Big Squaw Mountain, the state renamed it and other similarly named natural features in the late 1990s to erase from Maine’s maps the pejorative word once used to describe Native American women. By any name, Big Moose Mountain is worthy of exploration. This pleasant trek to its pointy summit and three scenic vistas includes incredible views of distant heights, unending forests, and expansive blue waters.
Greenville Junction, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.8
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The centerpiece of a 36,000-acre preserve permanently protected by Maine voters in 1976, Bigelow Mountain’s scenic ridgeline is an assortment of breathtaking views, idyllic ponds, and abundant wildlife. Once proposed as another big ski area in northern New England, Bigelow Mountain is now a popular destination for hikers and backpackers. Managed by the state for multi-use, including timber management, the Bigelow Preserve offers a great variety of options. This full-day or two-day loop traverses the ridge’s most popular locations, but visits quieter locations as well.
Kingfield, ME - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 14
Block Island, famous for weddings, has long been tamed. Scattered about the island are large hotels and summer homes. Yet, for the seasoned hiker, Block Island offers 28 miles of trails and 17 miles of beaches to explore. In addition, more than 43 percent of the island is permanently protected from development. This 5.9-mile loop around North Light showcases the best of what Block Island has to offer: views of majestic homes, wild expanses of sand, and stunningly beautiful ocean bluffs.
Block Island, RI - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.8
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Block Island, famous for weddings, has long been tamed. Scattered about the island are large hotels and summer homes. Yet, for the seasoned hiker, Block Island offers 28 miles of trails and 17 miles of beaches to explore. In addition, more than 43 percent of the island is permanently protected from development. This 5.9-mile loop around North Light showcases the best of what Block Island has to offer: views of majestic homes, wild expanses of sand, and stunningly beautiful ocean bluffs.
Block Island, RI - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.9
At 800 acres, Bluff Point State Park is the largest piece of conservation land on Connecticut’s shore. While purchased by the state in 1963, the point was acquired in 1644 by John Winthrop, Jr., one of Connecticut Colony’s first governors. This 4.5-mile loop circles past Winthrop’s former homestead before arriving at scenic bluffs that line the rocky point. Before returning to the trailhead, enjoy a pleasant half-mile diversion along an undeveloped sandy beach. For those seeking further adventure, Bluff Point State Park also offers additional miles of unmarked paths along the quiet shores of Mumford Cove.
New London, CT - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.5
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Through nicely forested landscapes, this pleasant hike into the 25,237-acre Breadloaf Wilderness showcases the best of what central Vermont hiking has to offer. In addition to scaling a New England Hundred Highest Peak, the day’s journey offers nice views of the Champlain Valley and the distant Adirondacks and visits a serene, high-elevation pond tucked away in a secluded basin. As an added bonus, unlike many treks to similar-sized mountains in New England, this 8-mile journey by and large traverses gradual terrain. Take this hike in early summer for wildflowers and abundant songbirds, or in midautumn for vibrant foliage.
Bread Loaf, VT - Hiking - Trail Length: 8
Tucked away on the northern border of Connecticut, Breakneck Pond is surrounded by a 9000-acre conservation area comprised of Bigelow Hollow State Park and adjacent Nipmuck State Forest. In Algonquin, Nipmuck describes a land “abounding in small ponds and streams.” Aptly named, this thickly forested region is also dissected by a series of long, narrow ridges decorated with lichen-draped boulders, carpets of fern fronds, and the gnarled limbs of prolific mountain laurels. One of eastern Connecticut’s largest undeveloped spaces, the area offers many trails of various lengths. This recommended circuit is one of the longer options and provides an excellent overview of the region’s many natural features.
Southbridge, MA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.4
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The highest point on America’s Atlantic coastline, Cadillac Mountain is a must-visit destination. While there are many options to consider, this one combines the best of what the mountain offers, including: a long, exposed scenic ridgeline; a deep, glacier-carved gorge; small cascades; and an occasional scramble up Acadia National Park’s famous granite slopes. While not easy, together these features can be enjoyed along a 5-mile loop appropriate for healthy hikers of all ages.
Acadia National Park, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.4
A hike to either the picturesque summit of Mount Battie or to Mount Megunticook’s dramatic Ocean Lookout would alone be a rewarding day in Maine’s Camden Hills State Park. This half-day circuit combines both of these signature features on trails that peacefully ascend the lush forested landscape, visit alluring geologic formations, and resound under a chorus of melodious songbirds. Taking advantage of mostly moderate terrain, this adventure is appropriate for hikers of all ages.
Camden, ME - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.4
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Among a sea of rounded summits, the distinctive shape of Camels Hump stands out like no other in Vermont. While picturesque from afar, the peak is even more impressive up close from any one of a half-dozen trails that ascend its rocky summit. This recommended loop is a popular choice that showcases successive views from the mountain’s rugged southern ridge, a traverse across a fragile alpine zone, and extended miles through thick forests teeming with wildlife. Choose this hike off-season or midweek to avoid crowds, but no matter when you choose it, you will not go home disappointed.
Waterbury, VT - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.4
Spectacular views from multiple angles and diverse vantage points highlight this challenging but extremely rewarding loop in New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch. The circuit scales Cannon Mountain’s dome-shaped summit and rises to the top of the immense cliffs that the majestic “Old Man of the Mountain” once called home. Descending ladders and wandering over scenic ledges, the route drops to the placid waters of Lonesome Lake and its famous mountain backdrops. Concluding along the banks of the Pemigewasset River, the full-day journey has much to offer to the hardiest of travelers.
Franconia, NH - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.2
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Located in close proximity to the imposing Presidential Range, Carter Ridge is one of the finest vantage points from which to gaze onto the rocky summits and deep chasms of its taller western neighbors. This challenging all-day hike combines soothing mountain streams, a rugged boulder-filled notch, and the ridge’s most scenic location. In addition, the loop passes an Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) hut offering overnight accommodations (by reservation only) and traverses the ninth highest peak in New Hampshire. These trails are accessible year-round, so choose a clear day any time of year to fully appreciate the tremendous beauty.
Gorham, NH - Hiking - Trail Length: 10.2
Like an altar surrounded by a towering cathedral, the low, open summit of Mount Willard’s cliff face stands majestically amid the glacierscoured higher peaks of Crawford Notch. The rockslides and steep ledges of Mounts Webster and Willey draw the eyes into the deep gulf beneath, where the Saco River, Route 302, and the Crawford Notch Railroad snake their way toward the Mount Washington Valley. As an added bonus, Mount Willard’s bounty can be reached in a short half-day hike, a perfect choice for a family outing. Along with other nearby cascades, ledges, and wetlands, this trek is a great choice throughout the year.
Bretton Woods, NH - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.6
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