Friday, April 20, 2012

Hiking in the Mount Washington Valley

Mount Washington viewed from Intervale Scenic Vista in North Conway, New Hampshire
 Did you know that one of the top hiking areas in the United States is in New Hampshire? The Presidential Range of mountains, which includes Mount Washington, is part of the Appalachian trail system which starts in Georgia and ends in Maine. The views from route 16, which runs along the east side of  The Presidential Range, or route 302, which traverses the western side are great jump-off points for a variety of well maintained trails.

Arethusa Falls

One of the favorites, accessed from route 302, is the Arethusa Falls trail system which can be hiked year round. It is really a complex of multiple trails often referred to as Arethusa Falls Trail, Arethusa-Ripley Falls Trail, and the Frankenstein Cliff Trail system. The trail head parking area is located only minutes from the Buttonwood Inn and is well worth the trip. The difficulty rating for this hike is "moderate". Many of our guests have completed the hike and felt well rewarded for the time spent along the trails and at the waterfalls and scenic vistas.

Diana's Baths - waterfalls
 A second favorite , which includes another set of beautiful waterfalls , begins just off River Road In North Conway and ambles past Diana's Baths. Click on this link to see a video of Diana's Baths. the hike to the Bath's is considered easy but for the more adventurous, you can continue past the Baths for the North Moat, Red Ridge, and Diana's Baths Loop.  The full loop has a rating of difficult and features summit panoramic views, ledges,  and rock scrambles.

There is one trail system that we have been getting a lot of positive feedback about. It is the set of trails from the back of our Inn that wind their way up to the ledges and ridges on Bartlett Mountain. Our guests this past weekend loved the views and solitude so much that they actually did the hike twice during their stay. Listening to them describe the outstanding views of the Presidentials and the Moats made us want to finish the clean up and get back on the trail as soon as possible.