Mount Potash
GOOD FOR: Ages 9-12
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (AMC Books)
Address:NH 112, Albany, NH
Hours:No posted hours
Fee: Free
Contact:

White Mountain National Forest, 603-536-6100, www.fs.usda.gov/whitemountain

Bathrooms: At trailhead, maintained Memorial Day to Columbus Day
Water/Snacks: None
Map:

USGS Mount Tripyramid quad; AMC White Mountain National Forest Map & Guide, J8 (AMC)


Just off of the iconic Kancamagus Highway, this small-yet-mighty mountain features open ledges with spectacular views, a gentle grade, and a quiet, secluded trail.

Young families on outdoor adventures will inevitably carry their children for many miles in baby backpacks—but it is all worth it when you reach a beautiful view!

Mount Potash is a delightful hike for families: short, gradual, and highly rewarding with open ledges providing excellent views in all directions. Even the drive up the Kancamagus Highway is an experience. Travelers from all corners of the world flock to this famous road for its serpentine curves up the Swift River and excellent views of the White Mountains. While this area can get crowded on sunny weekend days, you can escape the masses on Mount Potash and enter the calm silence of the North Country woods.

From the parking lot, head out on Downes Brook Trail for 0.3 mile to the intersection with Mount Potash Trail and make a right. Climb gently through the woods to a crossing of Downes Brook, which may be difficult in spring or following heavy rains. The trail crosses a logging road and climbs past evidence of logging activity on your right.

After passing through a beautiful hemlock forest, the trail climbs more steeply over the forest floor, which has been worn down to bedrock and is laced with tree roots. Climb these roots like a ladder as you ascend toward the ridge. Soon sunlight pokes through the trees and scattered ledges offer limited views toward Mount Passaconaway. The trail ascends steep granite ledges to the wide-open summit itself (2.2 miles).

At the summit, your reward is expansive views in all directions and plenty of great spots to picnic. To the east, look for Mount Passaconaway and Hedgehog Mountain; directly to the west is a mountain with the best name of any we’ve heard: the Fool Killer. Look to the north to see Crawford Notch and the Presidential Range. Return the way you came.

Plan B:

Swimming holes abound on the Swift River that parallels NH 112, with some popular ones like Lower Falls attracting hundreds of visitors on a hot sunny day. For a less busy swim after your hike, head to Jigger Johnson Campground, park, and hike down to the Swift River near campsite 60 or 49.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Conway and North Conway have excellent dining options, including Thai, Indian, pizza, burgers, and well-renowned breweries, as well as ice cream stands.



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