Belknap Mountain, Red Trail

Gilford, New Hampshire 03249

Belknap Mountain, Red Trail

Belknap Mountain, Red Trail Professional Review and Guide

"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."

Belknap Mountain, Red Trail Reviews

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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.
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.
Great trail near the Lake. Pay attention to the trail markers as you start the trail. We ended up heading up a very steep, very rocky trail, off the main trail but still had a good time.
The views from the fire tower are amazing. Its worth every step.
This was a nice hike for a beginner. However, I wish I had known of the white trail that ascends and descends the same mountain and starts at just about the same spot. After ascending the red trail and reaching the top, I was told by at least 4 other people about the white trail (which has an awesome view). It is far superior in the views that you get of the surrounding mountains as the red has none. I wish that Larry Pletcher had also included the white trail and the duration of hikes too. It's always good to know. Beautiful for beginners and satisfying for moderate hikers as well. Please note that you will not get a 360 view of surrounding mountains unless you climb the fire tower at the top or any view at all while at the top unless you brave the tower. If you are afraid of heights this may not be an ideal hike. If you do climb the tower you will not be disappointed as it is an awesome view. To get to the white trail, just park at the parking area some ways up the mountain off the carriage road. Instead of going towards the brown garage at the start of the red, green and blue trails, walk out to the parking area and go down to the right. The trail is on your left very shortly thereafter. The gates close at 6pm and the white trail will take a couple hours at most so plan time accordingly. I give the white trail 5 stars and I would give the red 3.

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Trail Information

Nearby City
700 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Division of Forests and Lands
Local Contacts
USGS West Alton and Laconia quads.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018