Easy Hikes near Jackson Village
North Doublehead: Drive up Black Mountain Road (Rt. 16B) to Dundee Road and past Black Mountain Ski Area to parking at the sign for Doublehead. The trail winds through the woods and takes you to the saddle between North and South Doublehead. You’ll have good views once you get to the top. Return by the same route, or cross over to South Doublehead and continue down, coming out on Dundee Road 1/2 mile from where you entered. Walk back down to your car. Four miles, 2-4 hours, 1800’ climb.
Hall’s Ledge and the Carter Notch Area: From the end of Carter Notch Road there are various hiking trails. Hall’s Ledge is a good hike on wide cross-country ski trails to a small clearing with a picnic table and views north to Mt. Washington. With luck, you might see a moose in early evening. Five miles roundtrip, allow 2-3 hours.
Diana’s Baths: Off West Side Road in Bartlett, the trailhead is 0.5mile from the turn-off to Cathedral Ledge. An easy 0.5 mile walk in takes you to cascading falls, waterspouts and granite basins along Lucy Brook.
Black Cap: Part of the 4200 acre Green Hills Preserve in North Conway. Just before reaching the scenic vista on Route 16, turn east on Hurricane Mountain Road 3.7 miles to a parking area at the trailhead. The trail through spruce and beech forests leads to the bare summit with views of the Saco River valley. Distance: 2.4 miles, allow 2 hours.
Short Hikes near Pinkham Notch
Glen Ellis Falls: Located 9 miles north of the inn; use the parking area for the Glen Boulder and Wildcat Ridge Trails. A pedestrian tunnel takes you to the other side of Route 16 where you walk .2mile to the falls. For the most dramatic view, follow the footpath down steep stone steps.
Crystal Cascade: A very popular short hike part way up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to Mt. Washington to reach the waterfall in a woods setting. Beginning at the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center (about 12 miles north on Route 16 from the inn), the 3/8 mile trail is wide and easy, 15-20 minutes to the falls.
Square Ledge and Lost Pond: From the Visitors Center, cross Route 16 and take the Lost Pond Trail for 1/10 of a mile before branching left on the Square Ledge Trail. At the base of the rocks, climb up on the right side to reach the viewpoint for panoramic views of Mt. Washington. The trail is 1 mile and 30 minutes each way. The trail to Lost Pond is also about 1 mile and after paralleling the river a way, climbs up to the pond, offering views of the Gulf of Slides, and Huntington Ravine.
Lowe’s Bald Spot: A longer hike, and with views from the slopes of Mt. Washington north into the Great Gulf Wilderness. From the Visitors Center, follow the Old Jackson Road (the Appalachian Trail south) for 1.8 miles to the Auto Road, then continue on Madison path for 0.2 miles to the lookout spot. Allow 1.5 hours to cover the 2 miles up to Lowe’s Bald Spot.
More Challenging Hikes
Glen Boulder Trail on Mt .Washington: This is a steep hike which offers the hiker the shorter climb to get above timberline. Although the trail continues on up Mt. Washington, the goal of this hike is a huge boulder, precariously balanced on a ridge high above the Pinkham Notch highway, it is easily seen from the highway. Start from the Glen Ellis parking area, 9 miles north of the inn and follow the well marked but steep trail. Hikers should allow about 3-4 hours for the roundtrip on the 1.6 mile trail.
Raymond Path Loop: From the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center, follow the Old Jackson Road about 1.7 miles to its junction with the Raymond Path. This trail ascends through forests, crosses the Huntington Ravine Trail where you can turn left to return to the Tuckerman Trail, or you can continue until it finally ends at the Tuckerman Ravine Trail very close to the Hermit Lake Shelter Area. Follow the Tuckerman Ravine Trail back to the Visitors Center. Allow 4.5-5 hours for this 6 mile trail with elevation gain of 1770 feet.
Climbing Mt. Washington: From Pinkham Notch Visitors Center, the 4.1 mile long Tuckerman Ravine Trail leads to the top. For this hike you need to be self-sufficient, adequately equipped, in good physical condition and have favorable weather. Check with AMC staff before setting out. The Hermit Lakes Shelters, about halfway up in terms of time, are reached at 2.4 miles. Beyond, the trail is steeper and more difficult. After arriving in the Ravine, the trail ascends the Headwall, famous for its spring skiing, before reaching the summit. Allow 7-8 hours for the roundtrip hike with elevation gain over 4,200’.
White Mountain Attractions has a list of many other hiking options in the White Mountains.