Looking for the perfect day hike? The Hamlin Recreation and Conservation Area, a little-known gem tucked in the Hampshire Lakes Region, offers three diverse trails, meandering through hemlock and hardwood forests, around ponds and beaver-made meadows, and up to open ledges with mountain and lake vistas. Depending on the energy and skill levels in your group, you can pick the short route, longer, or longest, ranging from 1.6 miles to 5.5 miles.
The short Four Ponds Loop Trail covers 1.6 miles and is perfect for those short on time or energy. The flat trail, the easiest in the preserve, skins a beaver pond and small brook with pleasant views along the way. The 2.7-mile Crocketts Ledge Loop Trail, blazed in yellow, climbs to a lofty overlook. The Lakes to Ledges Loop Trail, our favorite in the preserve, combines Crocketts Ledge with an upper trail, adding an additional 2.3 miles for a total of 5.5 miles round trip. The extra miles are well worth the effort-you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of several of New Hampshire’s major mountain ranges, before descending to the shoreline of Lake Wicwas.
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