Day hikes can be a great way to see nature and can often times be the first step towards more serious adventures in backpacking. What follows are our top 11 day hikes in the northeast region of our beautiful country. We hope you enjoy.
1. Summit Mt. Katahdin via Knife Edge (Baxter State Park, Maine) – At less than 10 miles long, this hike begins about 4 hours north of Portland. The actual Edge is only about a mile long in between Pamola Peak to Baxter Peak, but offers views of the Main Wilderness (100 miles worth) as you hike along its spine.
2. The Presidential Traverse (Northern White Mountains, New Hampshire) – At 23 miles, this is one of the longer day hikes on our list and one of the most challenging. This hike features even different summits, each named after a president such as Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Monroe, Eisenhower and Pierce
3. Great Blue Hill in the Blue Hills Reservation (Milton, Massachusetts) – This hike varies in length from 1.5 to 10 miles and starts about 20 minutes south of Boston. The trail is great for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. From Eliot Tower at the Great Blue Hill Summit, hikers can see the skyline of downtown Boston to the north.
4. Ocean Path and Precipice Trail (Acadia National Park, Maine) - Sand Beach is on the eastern coast of Acadia National Park and is absolutely beautiful. The Ocean Path (which is about 4 miles) is an easy trail that runs from San Beach, along cliffs of the north Atlantic. A mile away to the north is Precipice Trail, which takes you to a cliff with stunning views that overlook the ocean.
5. Mt. Tom Traverse – Metacomet – Monadnock Trail (Holyoke, Massachusetts) – The trailhead is about 90 minutes to the west of Boston and the route journeys to the highest Traprock Peak in the Metacomet Range called Mt. Tom. This stretches from Connecticut through Massachusetts and offers views of the Connecticut River. There are also some cool things to see along the way such as remnants of a hotel that burned to the ground in 1901 and the wreckage of a U.S. Army Air Force B-17G Flying Fortress which apparently crashed in 1946.
6. Mt. Moosilauke via Beaver Brook (Western White Mountain National Park, New Hampshire) - This hike offers 360 degree views of the White Mountains, Connecticut River and Vermont from Moosilauke. This takes hikers up next to the Beaver Brook Cascades and leaves from the Ravine Lodge Trailhead which is about 90 miles north of Manchester. Total length is approximately 8 miles.
7. Lion’s Head to Bear Mountain (Salisbury, Connecticut) – This hike is approximately 13 miles long and it’s located about 60 miles west of Hartford. Bear Mountain holds the distinction as the highest peak in Connecticut, and the hike from Lion’s Head along the Appalachian Trail is the coolest way to get to the summit. Don’t miss the 22-foot stone pyramid at the crest, and views of the Catskills and Massachusetts’ own Mt. Everett.
8. Gulf Hagas Trail (Northeast Piscataquis, Maine) - This trail is located about three and a half hours north of Portland and is approximately 8 miles long. This area of the state is remote and is called the Grand Canyon of the East. Gulf Hagas Trails passes cascading waterfalls and huge gorges, and is only accessible from one of the most remote regions of the Appalachian Trail.
9. Welch and Dickey Mountain Loop (Thornton, New Hampshire) - Located about two hours north of Manchester, this trail is only 4.5 miles in length, although it can be a moderate workout. This hike runs on the southern end of the White Mountains and offers summit views of Franconia Ridge.
10. Cliff Walk (Newport, Rhode Island) – This 3.5-mile adventure begins about 45 minutes south of Providence. According to legend, this was the first national recreational trail in New England and offers an opportunity to visit the White Horse Tavern (the oldest tavern in the entire U.S. still serving drinks).
11. Mt. Mansfield via Sunset Ridge Trail (Underhill, Vermont) – This 6.5-mile-long trail is about an hour east of Burlington. It is the most-visited summit in Vermont and also the highest. The most-scenic route to the summit is the Sunset Ridge Trail.