View Full Version : Flat Hiking In/around Nh

10-08-2007, 17:42
I am interested in hiking to a shelter or tent spot in NH/ME/VT. to test out my Winter Hammock Ideas. I am kinda frail, so cannot do straight ups and downs.
Does anyone have any idea where I should try? Please advise.
Two to 5 miles, Such as I met in the Shendoah were fine.

10-08-2007, 17:53
Well, you're in Etna, right? :-?

If I recall properly, there was some nice meadow walking on the AT in your neighborhood (ie., between Hanover and Lyme.) In fact, your neighborhood is about as close as it gets to "flat" on the AT in NH, with a few minor exceptions.

If you have the ATC maps, just look at the profiles and go from there.

10-08-2007, 19:46
I am interested in hiking to a shelter or tent spot in NH/ME/VT. to test out my Winter Hammock Ideas. I am kinda frail, so cannot do straight ups and downs.
Does anyone have any idea where I should try? Please advise.
Two to 5 miles, Such as I met in the Shendoah were fine.

Well you might go to Vermont and hike the couple very easy miles to Little Rock Pond. That is a fee site but beautiful.

You cold also head to the Wilderness trail (go to NH and follow route 112 east from Lincoln to Lincoln Woods parking lot. From there you hike the very flat lincoln woods trail which becomes the wilderness trail inside the wilderness boundary..and follow to 12 falls camp site. Beautiful, easy, on the long side..5+ miles. Generally though, New Hampshire is not a good place for those that like it flat and easy.

Wait..one more idea..

go to Crawford Notch and go through Zealand Falls campground take road all way to end. Then Zealand Falls trail to near hut but cut off to Ethan Pond trail which is almost totally flat to Ethan Pond Campsite. There is some climbing to get to Ethan Pond trail but it isn't steep.

My vote is for the latter..easy, wild, gorgeous!


10-08-2007, 19:58
OK, a couple other reasonably flat/mellow walks on the AT in NH:

1. Crawford Notch up to Ethan Pond shelter
2. Rte. 2, east of Gorham, to Rattle River shelter

If you remove "AT" from the requirement, there are hundreds, or thousands of options. Get one of the "50 Best Hikes..." books, or one of the Falcon guides. Your local bookstore or library should have lots of books on local hikes.

Appalachian Tater
10-08-2007, 20:29
I hope this doesn't appear smart-alecky, but look at a topographic map to get a general idea of flat areas:


In NH, looks like they're near the coast or maybe around that big lake smack dab in the middle.

10-11-2007, 21:20
Thanks So Much Everyone!

Jack Tarlin
10-12-2007, 16:50

If you REALLY want to take it easy, come to Hanover, park your car, and start walking North on the Trail.

People were camping this year just yards from the Trailhead, including in hammocks, tho I'd suggest walking for a few minutes til you get away from traffic noise. You could also walk out to Velvet Rocks shelter where there's water. The terrain is pretty flat (a very gentle incline, actually) and the hammocking options are too numerous to count.

If you want a really pretty overnight option, drive to Glencliff, get directions from the folks at the hostel, and park your car right by Jeffers Brook Shelter. Tons of great pine-needle camping just minutes from your car and lots of places to hammock.

Tin Man
10-12-2007, 17:09
Velvet Rocks is close to town and is a nice spot with a new (1 year old) Shelter. Jeffers Brook is sweet with a strong stream running nearby for water or just hanging-out. The hike from the road is short, but does not appear to be a party destination, at least it wasn't the two times we stopped in - last fall and this fall.

10-12-2007, 17:15
Just one person's impression (and possibly bad memory) but Velvet Rocks was one of those shelters that felt a bit too close to town for comfort. I recall hearing traffic noise. But the hike heading north from there, as far as the Dartmouth SkiWay, was pretty mellow, by A.T. standards.

10-19-2007, 06:37
Theres Nauman Tentsite up by Mizpah Hut, take the crawford path to get there. A little steep at points but the for the most part its just a steady climb, nothing crazy. Plus it sets you up for the southern presidentials and once you get over Pierce which takes about 30 minutes, the crawford path stays pretty flat all the way to Washington. Although it is exposed for almost 6 miles, I would only do this if weather permits.

10-19-2007, 07:24
Crawford Notch up to Ethan Pond shelterWhich proves that in the White mountains, flat is a very relative term!

The first part of the N to S Trail in to Ethan Pond is hardly flat, but the steep part doesn't go on for all that long. YMMV. But if you were to follow David's advise and come in Via Zealand Falls car Campground then head for Ethan Pond by way of Zeland Pond Hut, you may have found one of the flatest hike in on the AT in NH, other than the very busy Wilderness Trail. Only problem is, you will have to hike a bit farther than 5 miles to reach Ethan Pond, I think. There is good camping an a cool waterfall between Zeland Pond HUT and Ethan Pond, however. You could have a nice walk in to the Hut, then push on a bit further to stealth camp if you wanted just a short day-- and go on to Ethan Pond if you are cruising.

In the Sandwich Wilderness section of the WMNF south of the Kankamagus Highway the flatest trail might be the Guinea Pond Trail. If you walk in and then turn left (North?) on the Black Mountain Pond Trail, you will have a fairly gentle hike up to Black Mountain Pond. Its a popular spot, but for good reason. Look on a map, but that would be a very fine choice, IMO. One of my favorite quick one-night trips used to be a loop over Black Mountain with a stay at the Pond going clockwise. You would probably want to skip the mountain (even thought its a small one) and go in the other direction. An added advantage of this location is that you can reach it by car from Boston a good deal quicker than you will reach points along the AT. Its a fine spot!!!

Sawyer Pond is also a very popular flat Hike. You can access it from a totally flat 5 miler +/- by heading north from the Kank, or from the other direction off Sawyer River Road. Busy, but real Pretty. If you come from Sawyer River Road, you would want check where the gate is. I am not sure any londer. Used to be an option that would drop you off within a mile of the pond and shelter.

Good luck. Part of the fun of your kind of trip is getting a map and pouring over the possities. Flat hiking can be had in the WHites!