3 Family Hikes in the White Mountains
August 6, 2015

New Hampshire’s White Mountains offer countless options to get outdoors with your family. An abundance of mountain peaks capped with rewarding vistas are perfect for budding hikers—and their parents!

AMC recently teamed up with The Boston Globe on a Hike the Whites online bracket, featuring 64 of the top hikes in the White Mountains, including many family-friendly picks. Voters chose their favorite hikes throughout the competition, and we thought you’d be interested in learning a little bit about the top three hikes from the family category. Without further ado…  

#3 Welch-Dickey | 1,118 total votes

4.4 miles round trip from the Welch-Dickey trailhead

Few hikes in the Whites pack in as many airy viewpoints as this loop around the bare ledges and twin summits of Mounts Welch and Dickey. Thanks to the location's southern exposure and low elevation, snow melts sooner than most locations in the Whites, making it a popular early season stop.

#2 Mt. Willard | 1,576 total votes

3.2 miles round trip from AMC Macomber Family Information Center at Crawford Depot

Stand at the head of a grand glacial landscape and stare for miles down the broad, U-shaped valley carved by the mighty tongues of ice that once smothered this region. The 900 feet of elevation gain may be a challenge for the littlest hikers, but the view from the open summit ledges conquers all.

#1 Mt. Chocorua | 1,610 total votes

7.8 miles round trip via the Liberty and Brook trails

If you've ever driven north on Highway 16 to the Whites, you've likely been tempted by the striking pyramid of Mount Chocorua's 3,500-foot summit. With superlative 360-degree views and the feel of a much higher summit, it's a perfect big mountain hike for young climbers. The Liberty Trail offers the most straightforward route, though it's not easy. You'll need to ascend more than 2,500 feet to reach the top.

You can view all of the hikes and see how they fared in the court of public opinion over at The Boston Globe. (Spoiler alert: A certain peak on Franconia Ridge was crowned the champion, although it's not necessarily recommended for families.)

Happy hiking!


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Imagine stargazing or making s’mores with your kids, then getting up the next morning to paddle along streams and around ponds, pointing out painted turtles or an old beaver lodge. Such experiences are easy to organize at the following campgrounds, which offer paddling options on site.

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