Belknap Mountain Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 03/12/2016 - 03/12/2016
Trip/Event Location: Gilford, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Moderate
This moderate hike and invigorating climb will bring us to magnificent views of Lake Winnipesaukee. On a clear day, the Ossipee Mountain Range rises from the shores of Winnipesauke and Mount...
From the West
- From I-93 take Exit 20 and from the exit ramp turn easterly onto Rt. 3 North
- Follow Rt. 3 for approximately 9.7 miles and at the intersection wih Rt. 11A, turn right onto Rt. 11A
- Follow Rt. 11A for 2.2 miles, then, in Gilford village, turn right onto Belknap Mountain Road. Follow Belknap Mountain Road, bearing left after 0.8 mile,and right at 1.4 mile. After another 1.0 mile you will reach a fork.
- Bear left at the fork onto Belknap Carriage Road and follow the road for 1.5 miles. Park in the lot at the end of road.
- We will be driving a blue Toyota FJ Cruiser.
From the Southeast
- From Rt. 16 in Rochester, follow Rt. 11 north to the junction with Rt. 11A in West Alton. Then turn onto Rt. 11A and follow the road for approximately 7.7 miles. In Gilford village, turn onto Belknap Mountain Road.
- Pick up the remaining directions from above.
Spring is in the air!!! You could tell because this was the largest turnout we’ve had since the beginning of the year. Everyone was excited to bask in the sunshine!!!
Belknap Mountain rises 600 feet above the bald pate of Mount Major. For this hike to Belknap Mountain, we parked alongside of the road before the gate, and hiked up the Carriage Road. The Carriage Road was snow free the entire way. There were a number of beautiful cascades to view on the ascent. At the upper parking lot we walked to the brown garage that was a continuation of the Carriage Road. We took a path between two large stones to get an enjoyable preview of the views we would get from the top. It was a beautiful overlook of Laconia and Lake Winnisquam! We then returned to the brown garage to the various summit trails.
Our group followed the Green Trail up which is steep and shared much of the course with utility lines. The upper ledges on the Green Trail were very icy so we put on our MicroSpikes. It was a blast to experience how well MicroSpikes provided traction on the ice! The trail was clearly marked and a steady climb up.
Belknap summit itself is wooded. Once at the top we climbed up the firetower to get the magnificent 360-degree views! From snow-capped Mt. Washington to Mount Kearsage, virtually all of central New Hampshire is gloriously visible. We only ran into 2 hikers on the hike up; and we had the summit all to ourselves. We took a break for lunch and enjoyed the sunshine.
We left taking the Red Trail down that provided a woodsier path with a gradual descent. The upper part was very icy but we stayed off the trail and hiked in the woods. It was a bit longer and had a woodsy feel.
Seriously, people. Belknap Mountain is the most underrated mountain in New Hampshire. The views are epic, with a variety of trails for *everyone* to enjoy. Beautiful cascades. Excellent fire tower. Sunny summit. And truthfully, *not that hard to get to.* It is only 1 ½ hours north of Boston. GOers love this mountain - it's just soooooo fun!!! And OMG, we HAD THE SUMMIT ALL TO OURSELVES.
Awesome day, blue skies, fantastic views and great company!!!
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
- Another Great trip. I have been on several trips in the past 3 years as a participant and as a host and every trip is a great time. Our GO members are always social and friendly. We talk all along the trail to friends from other trips and we talk to members we have never met before. Each trip is a way to make new friends. I'm very glad to have become a member. Thanks Mile,Jon and everyone who attended for a great day. Hope to see you all again soon. - kayakhike