If you’re an avid hiker visiting the North Conway area this season, you’ve come to the right place; the region has no shortage of incredible hiking spots and trails that are well worth your time and energy! Keep reading to learn more about five of our favorite hiking adventures within an hour of North Conway.
1. Diana’s Baths
Originally the site of a water-powered sawmill built in the 1860s by George Lucy, the iconic Diana’s Baths is a series of cascading waterfalls on Lucy Brook, and it’s one of the most scenic spots in the entire region. There’s a smooth trail leading up to the pools and waterfalls, and the water levels vary from raging torrents in the spring to wading pools when the water level is lower. Fun fact: the Sokokis Indian tribe referred to the baths as “the home of the water fairies,” and a local Native American legend holds that evil spirits used to inhabit the baths until a friendly mountain god washed them away in a massive flood. With such cool lore surrounding the location, it’s absolutely worth checking out!
2. Echo Lake State Park
Down the road from Diana’s Baths is Echo Lake State Park, another one of the most-visited spots in the region that offers impressive views of the lake, as well as Cathedral Ledge. There’s a one-mile trail around the lake that’s relatively flat, so if you’re hoping to bring the whole family and avoid steep inclines while taking in the natural beauty of the area, this park is an excellent option!
3. Cathedral Ledge
The view from the top of Cathedral Ledge is iconic and should be a part of any visitor’s trip; and better yet, the Cathedral Ledge Road can take you directly to the top. However, it’s quite common to see rock climbers ascending the ledge, and they often have a cool story to tell about their climb from the very bottom!
4. Black Cap
This hike offers incredible views of Mt. Washington Valley, and it’s also a relatively easy trek! The hike starts following the Red Tail mountain biking trail before splitting off toward the rocky summit of Black Cap Mountain (though, mountain bikes aren’t allowed in the summit area). It’s about two miles round trip and has little elevation gain, with most of it happening while driving up the road to the start of the trail. All in all, this one is worth your time—and the summit is a great spot to sit and have lunch while taking in the view.
5. Boulder Loop
This 3.1-mile loop ascends roughly 950 feet of elevation toward a scenic overlook, with awesome views of the Swift River and the mountains surrounding the White Mountain National Forest. As the name implies, the trail features several large boulders; and the trailhead is also situated near the iconic Albany Covered Bridge, one of the area’s coolest photo spots.
There’s no shortage of things to do in the North Conway area, and several of these awesome hiking spots are universally loved and frequently explored by locals and tourists alike. That said, don’t hesitate to book your trip today and see the beauty for yourself!
About The Buttonwood Inn
Situated in the heart of the White Mountains near North Conway, the Buttonwood Inn on Mt. Surprise is looking forward to accommodating you during your stay in the area! We occupy six beautiful acres and house several beautifully-decorated rooms, and we hope that you’ll let us serve as your home base while you explore all of the nature that the region has to offer. For additional information or to book a room, please contact us online or over the phone for assistance: (603) 810-0642.