Hiking

The Upper Valley features hundreds of miles of trails across numerous public and conserved lands. Learn more about where to visit and how to enjoy our public lands safely.

What to Know

Winter hiking can be an easy, beautiful, and peaceful outing. However, winter outings of any length require preparation and understanding of basic outdoor safety. Even a short walk can introduce safety factors such as lack of cell coverage, terrain challenges, and isolation.

Easier Hikes (e.g., going for a walk on a woods trail):

  • Make sure you know:

    • The length, terrain, and conditions (e.g., snow depth) of trail you are going to.

    • What gear you'll need (e.g., footwear, clothing, first aid).

    • How much food and water you'll need.

  • Keep in mind that your pace will likely be slower than it would be during the summer.

  • Carry a paper map, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area.

  • Carry your phone in an internal pocket to keep the battery warm

  • Invest in footwear traction devices like MicroSpikes.

  • In deeper snow, wear snowshoes. Walking in boots in deep snow can leave deep "post holes" in the trail that make it challenging for other trail users to walk.

Additional Tips for Harder Hikes (e.g., going for a longer hike or hiking a mountain):

  • If you will be hiking up to higher elevations, understand that there may be significantly more snow higher up than at the trailhead - prepare accordingly.

  • Carry extra warm clothes.

  • Carry emergency shelter and cook kit in case you need to spend an unplanned night out in the cold.

  • Stay hydrated!

  • Be prepared for more exposed conditions near mountain summits. High winds can quickly cause frostbite on uncovered skin. Face coverings and goggles are recommended.

  • If you are planning to hike above treeline, be aware of the potential for poor visibility. High alpine summits in Vermont and New Hampshire are often obscured in clouds during the winter, and snow may cover trails and trail markers. Be prepared to turn around if poor visibility prevents you from navigating safely.

  • Avalanche terrain exists in high alpine areas of some higher peaks in Vermont and New Hampshire. Become familiar with the signs of avalanche terrain and avoid traveling through it, unless properly trained and equipped.

 

 

Want to learn more?

Hiking Safety Information:

Gear Information:

 

Hiking Trails in the Upper Valley

There are hiking trails for many ability levels in the Upper Valley. The resources below are a great starting point for finding a trail that's right for you. Your town or city's recreation department may have additional information on trails in your community.

COVID-19 Safety & the Outdoors

Keep yourself and others safe! COVID-19 transmission is still possible in outdoor settings. Please follow all relevant local, state, and federal government regulations and guidance. Make a habit of regularly checking the latest guidance from towns, states, and land/trail managers.

© 2021 by Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission