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Great Stress Relieving Hikes in New Hampshire

With Fall coming to a close, what better way to get out and see the remainder of the foliage than to go on a gorgeous, crisp hike? Hiking is a great way to de-stress, get in touch with nature, and do a fun socially distant activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. In New Hampshire we are blessed to have a variety of mountains a short drive from the University of New Hampshire campus to explore and get in touch with nature. 

The closest hiking spot to our lovely UNH campus is called “Blue Job Mountain” located in Rochester, New Hampshire. This hiking spot is not only popular for the locals there but it is a nice short hike for beginners only being at about 1,300 feet of elevation with a fire tower at the top you can climb to get an even better view. This mountain is pretty close to our UNH campus, being only about a thirty minute drive. 

Another popular spot to hike around New Hampshire is Mt. Major located in Alton. I personally think for the elevation of this hike only being about 2000 ft, the view is to die for. Especially in the fall with all the vibrant brightly colored leaves around. The view at the top overlooks Lake Winnipesaukee and the surrounding mountain regions. It's simply gorgeous. This trail also has three different paths to get to the summit, each being at varying levels of difficulty and mileage. The least mileage being the hardest due to the large amount of rocky elevation climbing that has to be done. For beginners I’d recommend going the longest mileage pathway up being about 2 miles and then taking the shorter mileage, slightly harder, pathway down. This mountain is a little bit further from the UNH Campus about 50 minutes to an hour but in my opinion, it's well worth it. 

Mt. Washington is known in New Hampshire as “one of the most rewarding trails in the Presidential Range''. Although it is around three hours away from the UNH campus located in Sargent's Purchase, NH, the drive to the summit is one that could never be forgotten and the view from the top is simply breathtaking. The Mount Washington Cog Railway can also be taken to the top and avid hikers can hike down the mountain, although this hike is not for beginners at the elevation being 6,000ft. However, if you want a beautiful scenic drive to this mountain and up the mountain, Mount Washington is the choice for you.

The final mountain I’m going to talk about in this article is Mount Monadnock located an hour and a half away from campus in Dublin, New Hampshire. This mountain is actually known to be the most frequently climbed mountain in the world and the summit offers a gorgeous 360 degree view all the way to the city of Boston if the skies are clear. Coming in at an elevation of 3,000 feet, there are a variety of different trails that hikers have the choice of. The most popular is the “White Cross Trail” which takes most hikers around four hours to complete. The second most popular is called the “Pumpelly Trail” which offers a more rocky terrain to hike up. Whichever trail you choose you can’t go wrong with Mount Monadnock.

There are so many more mountains in New Hampshire that provide beautiful hiking trails and views that I could name, but if I did this would be pretty long. From personal experience my four local favorites are these. Every time I go hiking I find a deeper appreciation for nature and the world around me. In these stressful times hiking is a great way to ground ourselves in the natural world around us and even get away from all the technology around us for a day. So I hope for whatever your reason is: to de-stress, get exercise, see the foliage, get away from technology or just do something fun, you choose to go on a hike relatively soon.

Erica Taylor is a biology pre-med major at the University of New Hampshire (Class of 2023). She enjoys reading and exercising in her spare time and also spending time in nature by hiking or even just getting out for an afternoon walk. She also enjoys watching Netflix and reading with her dog. Follow her on insta @ericanicoletaylor
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