Are you perhaps new to hiking in the glorious state of New Hampshire?.. Or maybe you are looking for a different type of adventure – something with a slight twist from the typical “New Hampshire 48”, the 4000-foot summits?
While lists and “peak bagging” is not for everyone, I found it can be a charming way – or even a guide as to what to hike next, or where to adventure next!
There have certainly been many weekends where I’ll sit by the fire with coffee nearby and ponder my options – and really, the options for good trekking in New Hampshire really are endless, so how could a person simply ‘run out’ of options for fun mountains and places to adventure in this massive state?
There are days when I have absolutely tossed twenty or more peak-names around in my head, plotting my would-be adventures on topographic maps only to sit back and think aloud, out of near frustration: “but nothing really.. calls to me.”
There are many out there who would scoff at the idea of having a list of mountains to “check off”; pick a mountain, climb it, picnic on its summit, which-ever-way you want to enjoy new trails – and that’s it, check it off the list, done.
While I can honestly say, yes I use lists as more of a ‘guideline’ of what is available to me locally or wherever I may be traveling to on any given weekend – I am definitely not one of those folks who will conquer a trail just to remark: “never again!” – there are always different seasons, varying times of the day – such as a sunrise or sunset hike; trails can absolutely be hiked any time of the year.. but with proper gear for winter travel, of course!
The options for a good, satisfying trek are truly endless with a good imagination and desire to get outdoors!
So, where might I be going with all of this?
To a list that most have probably heard of – if you have stepped foot on any trails in NH already, or found yourself striking up a hiking-related conversation with other hikers’ – most have certainly heard of it!
52 With A View.. or better seen in print as: 52 WAV
This was a sort of challenge created by a few hiking folks that absolutely took off – these are not your typical ‘high peaks’ as they all fall under the four-thousand foot mark, so you won’t find the Mount Washington massifs on here!
Obviously, as the name implies, at least at the time that the list was mustered up – in 1979 (revamped in 1990), there were views on all of these mountain tops. Well, naturally, shrubs grow thicker, trees often times grow taller – but I have found most of the views that once made these place names a hikers’ destination still provide incredible panoramic views.
Why hike off the 52 WAV list?
For really any number of reasons! As in my case, there are weekends where I’ll ruminate over contour lines of a map and for a moment become somewhat depressed that no trail really beckons to my soul – these are typically shorter, easier hikes to trek than some others found in the White Mountain National Forest.
But what is really captivating for many folks (myself included at one time or another!) is that upon completion of all fifty-two summits, the kind organizers offer a finishers patch to spice up your pack, tack into a frame with your favorite summit photo, or just hang onto and collect ‘memories’!
In an effort to make this a ‘one stop shop’, and of course a ‘thank you‘ for reading along – I’ll kindly include a bit of info as to where you can get your own 52WAV patch.. later on in this post, below!
At the time of writing this, I cannot claim to have hiked all of the mountains on this list, but I have either solo’d or trekked with friends along many of these routes – so, of course you can comment on here or shoot me a note on any social media platform with any questions – if I don’t have the answer – I will gladly find it for you!
Where can I find these 52 With a View?
Just do a search on your favorite web-browser and you will find a plethora of trail reviews, maps you can print (always have a hard copy of your planned hike.. and of course, know how to read your map!!).
One site that I have become familiar with that even offers hikers’ a spectacular App for any smart phone to track your progress or even use to simply pinpoint where these hikes are located is Peak-Bagger (I threw a link in there for you, just click the text!). I enjoy this page/app because it is super easy to add dates, elevation gain or any special notes about each hike that you would like to have all in one convenient spot to quickly refer back to and jog your memory!
Plus, one epic feature is that you can select a tab to view the lists that your ascended peaks fall under, select which list you want to view; the map that is generated contains way points signifying each peak to signify where they are located with green dots for climbed or red dots for ‘to-still-do’, I love it!
Do I need any special gear to tackle these magical mountains?
No way! Well.. maybe some binoculars or good snacks if you think you may want to relax and observe nature during some of the time not spent trekking17 miles to a secluded 4000-footer in the middle of the National Forest!
While the trails are generally easier jaunts in the forest, they still provide steep trails – after all, this is still New Hampshire, and most of these trails are still located next to their taller cousins.
Just be aware of what season you are hiking in: if you naturally feel you can articulate your feet and ankles on our east coast trails with simple grippy trail runners or approach shoes, that should do you just fine in three of our seasons!
Of course, be mindful that these trails are no different: they get steep, they get wet, they get massively eroded down to rocks and roots, you absolutely can still twist ankles – these are still hiking trails into the forest – don’t ever assume that you will have cell phone service anywhere on any hiking trail in New Hampshire!
What are the peaks?
I’ll include a list of names and elevations as a starter for you (also below), if I wrote about my hikes to these destinations I’ll graciously link those pages to the names, so just click away, read and enjoy! However, if you don’t find a link to a hike that you are interested in.. there is a good chance that I just have not written about my adventure yet.. these things take time! 😉
Please feel free to reach out to me about any one of these hikes – if I haven’t yet climbed it, I’ve likely put in a bunch of time researching the peaks, so please do reach out if you would like any additional info here!
..52 With A View..
- Sandwich Mountain – 3,960′
- Mount Webster – 3,910′
- The Horn – 3,905′
- Mount Starr King – 3,898′
- Shelburne Moriah Mountain – 3,735′
- Sugarloaf – 3,700′
- North Baldface – 3,600′
- Mount Success – 3,565′
- South Baldface – 3,560′
- Cherry Mountain – 3,554′
- Mount Chocorua – 3,480′
- Stairs Mountain – 3,468′
- Mount Avalon – 3,440′
- Jennings Peak – 3,440′
- Percy Peaks (North Peak) – 3,420′
- Mount Resolution – 3,415′
- Magalloway Mountain – 3,383′
- Mount Tremont – 3,371′
- Three Sisters (Middle Sister) – 3,354′
- Kearsarge North – 3,268′
- Smarts Mountain – 3,238′
- West Royce Mountain – 3,200′
- North Moat Mountain – 3,196′
- Imp Face – 3,165′
- Mount Monadnock – 3,150′
- Mount Cardigan – 3,123′
- Mount Crawford – 3,119′
- Mount Paugus (South Peak) – 3,080′
- North Doublehead – 3,053′
- Eagle Crag – 3,020′
- Mount Parker – 3,004′
- Mount Shaw – 2,990′
- Eastman Mountain – 2,939′
- Mount Hibbard – 2,920′
- Mount Kearsarge – 2.920′
- Mount Cube – 2,909′
- Mount Willard – 2,865′
- Stinson Mountain – 2,840′
- Black Mountain – 2,820′
- South Moat Mountain – 2,760′
- Black Mountain (Middle Peak) – 2,757′
- Dickey Mountain – 2,734′
- Iron Mountain – 2,726′
- Potash Mountain – 2,680′
- Blueberry Mountain – 2,662′
- Mount Israel – 2,620′
- Square Ledge – 2,600′
- Mount Roberts – 2,582′
- Mount Pemigewasset – 2,557′
- Mount Hayes – 2,555′
- Middle Sugarloaf – 2,539′
- Hedgehog Mountain – 2,532′
For information about receiving a patch for your determination and love of adventuring.. I have been told to direct you to:
- Mark Tuckerman
- PO Box 718
- Center Harbor, New Hampshire 03226
Also, be sure to check out a few of these resources for a bit of further reading and research bliss!