Belknap Mountain, Red Trail

Gilford, New Hampshire

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5 Reviews
4 out of 5
Belknap Mountain rises 600 feet above the bald pate of Mount Major, yet thanks to the carriage road, the walk to its summit is much less demanding than the ascent of its smaller neighbor. More than a map of New Hampshire is required to identify landmarks from the fire tower on Belknap’s wooded peak. I find it surprising then, that this mountain’s more natural environment receives fewer visitors than the lower summit to the southeast. The easy walk and fantastic views add up to a delightful family hike, and a logical destination when spring or fall weather makes northern peaks inaccessible. Special attractions: An easily accessible outlook to Lake Winnisquam and the city of Laconia, plus a summit fire tower with a full circle of lake and mountain views.
Hiking New Hampshire

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking New Hampshire

by Larry Pletcher (Falcon Guides)

Belknap Mountain rises 600 feet above the bald pate of Mount Major, yet thanks to the carriage road, the walk to its summit is much less demanding than the ascent of its smaller neighbor. More than a map of New Hampshire is required to identify landmarks from the fire tower on Belknap’s wooded peak. I find it surprising then, that this mountain’s more natural environment receives fewer visitors than the lower summit to the southeast.

The easy walk and fantastic views add up to a delightful family hike, and a logical destination when spring or fall weather makes northern peaks inaccessible. Special attractions: An easily accessible outlook to Lake Winnisquam and the city of Laconia, plus a summit fire tower with a full circle of lake and mountain views.

©  Larry Pletcher/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Gilford
Length: 1.6
Elevation Gain: 700 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Local Contacts: Division of Forests and Lands
Local Maps: USGS West Alton and Laconia quads.
Topo Map: Belknap Mountain, Red Trail Topographic Map
Guide Book: Hiking New Hampshire Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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Recent Trail Reviews

10/31/2010

After finding the trail head for the Red, Blue and Green trails, I ascended the Green. As others mentioned there is not much view at the top unless you climb the fire tower. If you do so, the view is breathtaking. Yes, there is a hand water well at the top which you have to prime to get it to work. A priming bottle is there. The return on the red trail was similar to the green trail. Very steep and not much to look at. The green trail ascends alongside the power lines. The next time I do this trip I will try the white trail. I tried uploading my red trail GPX file from my Garmin and the software said that my trail was not within 5 miles of the trail. I have never had trouble uploading in the past and my red trail gpx file looks great on my GPS and my Basecamp software. I don't know it's issue.

7/24/2010

Did this hike with my 12 year old son and his friend. We all had a great time, and the views were great. We went up the red trail, and returned on the white trail. The red trail took about 25 min to get to the top. The fire tower at the top was great to climb and see the views. There is also fresh water at the top from a hand pumped well, with nice and cold water. The road to the hike, Belknap Mtn road, was dirt, and a bit rutty for the last few miles, with switch backs. However going slow it was fine. I let the boys mountain bike down this part following the hike, while I followed in the truck. They had a blast. I would recommend the white trail for a family hike, as it is less steep, but a bit longer. The views are better as well.

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