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Snowshoeing through New Hampshire’s Mountains

Snowshoeing is such a great outdoor winter sport for the whole family. If you love to get out and hike then snowshoeing is right up your alley. Generally, the trails are less crowded in winter and the views and vistas are stunning especially with snow on the trees.

We got our daughters snowshoes for Christmas last year and have been enjoying them ever since. Although snowshoeing can be more work than just hiking the rewards are huge. I personally love being in nature during the winter. The woods are so quiet and still. We also love looking for animal tracks.

Here are some of the best places to snowshoe in New Hampshire. These hikes aren’t too long and they all have amazing views. Check them out.

Thank you to fellow hikers for the use of your pictures in this post.

Table of Contents

Snowshoe Equipment

Prior to hitting the trails, you do need to either purchase or rent equipment. In New Hampshire, you have many options which are great. I would suggest calling ahead at any location to reserve your equipment since stores are still under restrictions and working on limiting capacity inside. Here are some stores I recommend renting from. Don’t forget hiking poles.

Before You Go Snowshoeing

As with any hike make sure to bring plenty of water. It is also a great idea to make sure you are hydrated prior to heading out. This means you are NOT thirsty in any way. I like to make sure everyone has their own water bottle or camelback. This way we can drink as we need.

Make sure your cell phone is fully charged. If you use your phone for directions to the trailhead, plug the phone in while you are driving so you don’t deplete your battery at all. We also bring our MiFi just in case the cell coverage isn’t good where we will be hiking.

It’s of course always a good idea to have an emergency kit in your car and another one you bring with you on the trails. Having food in your car for you at the end of the hike is a good idea too.

Know your trail. In fact, download your trail map just in case you don’t have cell coverage. Use to get the latest info on the trail you will hike. I love this app because people are always leaving feedback on the trail condition and anything else they think is helpful. I personally love it when people leave photos of their hikes.

My theory is no matter how short a hike is, someone will always get hungry so bring snacks. High energy snacks like Kind bars or trail mix. These have great protein which helps keep you going plus some chocolate for quick energy. I love to hold back some of my kid’s Halloween candy and give it to the girls when we are hiking and skiing for some quick energy. Plus food like oranges and grapes are great for hiking as well.

Trail Etiquette

Trail etiquette is super important especially when snowshoeing. If you see cross-country ski tracks – Do Not Step In Them! As snowshoers, we must hike on the side of the trail to preserve the ski tracks.

Snowshoeing on the side of the trails
Snowshoeing along side cross-country ski tracks

What to Wear Snowshoeing

Dress in layers. No matter what the weather is you should dress in layers. Non-cotton next to your skin and layer up from there. We start with fast-wicking long johns then we have fleece layers. Lastly, we have snow pants and our jackets.

Good snow boots to keep your feet dry. I highly recommend using wool socks like Bombas ski socks. You are sure to be warm wearing these.

Don’t forget a good set of gloves and a hat. If it’s snowing when you start out a pair of ski goggles is helpful as well.

Easy New Hampshire Snowshoeing Trails

These hikes are categorized as easy which means they are good for all athletic levels. Therefore, if you are new to snowshoeing or if you have very young children, I’d suggest you start with hikes like these ones. You can get your feet wet with the sport without too much effort.

Bear Brook State Park

Bear Brook State Park is in Allentown, New Hampshire, and has 10,000 acres for you and your family to enjoy. There are many great hikes for beginners to snowshoeing in this state park.

The Little Bear, Bobcat, and Broken Boulder Loop Trail is 5.1 miles on a loop trail. I’d suggest downloading a map for this trail, not all intersections have the best signage but the trails are really nice and this is certainly a good warm-up hike if you are just getting into snowshoeing.

snowshoeing by the river
Can’t beat that river view while snowshoeing

Another great hike within Bear Brook State Park is Lynx and Beaver Pond Trail Loop. This loop trail is 4.8 miles long and has two nice ponds for you to take pictures around. This is a great trail for beginners.

Since this travel only has an elevation of 164 ft it is a great trail for beginners. The Bobcat Broken Boulder and Salt Lick Loop is 4.7 miles in a loop trail that meanders through woods and if you’d like to include a pond just add in Pitchpine Trail which will bring you to Spring Pond.

Beaver Brook snowshoeing trail
It’s great snowshoeing by the river

There are 35 miles of trails around Beaver Brook for you to explore from 10 different trailheads. All of these trails are great for snowshoeing since there isn’t much of an elevation gain. These trails feature rivers, ponds, streams, and even small waterfalls. I’d recommend Dam Road to Tupelo and Old City Trail for a good starting point. This is a 3.5-mile loop trail that is a bit steep in the beginning but levels out. If you don’t have a thick layer of snow you will see the tree roots. However, it’s a wonderful trail.

Gonic Trails

There are three trails in this area of Rochester that are good for families to explore. Isinglass Trail, Locke’s Loop, and Watson’s Way make up the circular trail that is 1.4 miles long. However, if you would like to extend your hike add in the full length of the Isinglass trail which will offer beautiful views of the Isinglass River. Adding this to the loop trail will bring the hike up to 4 miles long. Both trailheads can be accessed from Rochester Neck Road.

snowshoeing in the woods
Beautiful snowshoeing trail

Tower Hill Pond Loop Trail

This 4-mile loop trail goes around Tower Pond in Auburn with great views of the lake at every turn. This is a very wide trail so you will see some mountain biking and such as you hike. I’m hoping to see a dog sled one day but as of today, I’ve only seen bikers, hikers, and strollers. This is certainly an easy trail so expect to see others out when you go. Make sure your camera is fully charged you will take lots of photos on this trail.

half frozen pond
Half frozen pond

Chamberlain-Reynolds Memorial Forest Loop

This loop trail is 2.3 miles long and located near Moultonborough, New Hampshire right off Route 3 on College Rd by the Dog Cove portion of Squam Lake. This is a perfect place for a first-time snowshoe hike with little kids. It’s not long and you will have plenty of time to see the pond and romp around in the snow on these easy trails.

trail along the pond
The trail goes along the pond

Mine Falls Green Trail Loop

This trail is on the islands within the Nashua River. There are so many trails whether it’s staying along the outside of the island to see the river or cutting across the island to loop back, you can make this trail as long as you would like it to be. It’s truly beautiful when it’s covered in snow.

wide trails
Wide trails and right on the river

More Adventures in New Hampshire

Moderate New Hampshire Snowshoeing Trails

Once you’ve tried your hand at snowshoeing and you and your family enjoy it, it’s time to get out and do a moderate hike. This might mean a steeper trail but I can assure you the rewards are worth the effort. You will learn quickly how to dig your toes in to get a good grip as you step into the mountain.

snowshoeing trails
Snowshoeing at its best

Old Bridle Path

The Old Bridle Path 1.7 mile trail leads to a rock ledge on top of Rattlesnake Mountain with an amazing view of Squam Lake where On Golden Pond was filmed. This trail is written up as easy but with the incline, you have to hike and the stairs to navigate, for snowshoeing I rate it as moderate. It is very doable even with kids, you’ll just need to have some poles and extra energy.

great snowshoeing trails
You are really in the woods here

Mount Willard Trail

You will be rewarded by a beautiful vista when you reach the summit of this beloved 3.2-mile trail near Bretton Woods. Mount Willard over looks Rt 302 but with the way the mountain rises up on both sides of the road you feel far away and you can really admire the beauty. This is quite a popular trail that starts behind Crawford Station so start off early to beat any crowds.

scenery view
View from the top

Lonesome Lake Trail

The Lonesome Lake Trail is located within Franconia Notch State Park and has an AMC hut on the far side of the lake. If you’ve never stayed in an AMC hut this is your chance. Not only do you get a warm place to sleep but also a hot family-style meal. Meeting other hikers is also a priceless experience especially for kids just starting out. Since this trail is a bit steeper I highly recommend poles as well as your snowshoes and take it slow on the way down.

pond view of the lake
Beautiful view while snowshoeing

Champney Falls Trail

Now you know I’m a sucker for a waterfall and this trail doesn’t disappoint. This trail is a 3.1-mile loop to these falls in Conway, New Hampshire. However, if you add on the 1.2 miles to the summit of Mount Chocorua you will enjoy a commanding view of the whites. You do cross the river in a few places so be careful doing so. Also, cell coverage can be spotting so be sure to download a map.

The prize at the end of the trail

Arethusa Falls Trails

The Arethusa Falls Trails to Arethusa Falls is a well-trafficked trail in Bartlett. If you add Bemis Brook Trail you add 4/10th of a mile more but it’s also a really nice addition. The falls do freeze so be aware of this prior to setting out but either way they are spectacular. Make sure to have a set of poles along with your snowshoes.

frozen falls
Frozen over falls

Pin for Later on Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing in NH
Snowshoeing in New Hampshire
Family Snowshoeing trails in New Hampshire

Final Thoughts on Snowshoeing in New Hampshire

My family has really enjoyed snowshoeing these last couple of winters and exploring new trails is always fun and exciting. I look forward to finding even more trails to explore this winter.

Do you like to snowshoe?

This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. John

    I would surely start with one of the short ones for little kids. I didn’t realise there would be so many trails for this. I’m surprised. It looks a great winter activity. You covered it very conclusively too.

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks so much, John. Yes, we have found some really great snowshoeing trails to enjoy with kids.

  2. Tiffany Pence

    I’ve never been snowshoeing, but it looks like fun! These nature hikes you mentioned are so beautiful. I love all your recommendations BEFORE you go snowshoeing. Having snacks in the car, plenty of water and the trail downloaded to an app (or paper map) are always helpful, even if you think you’ll just be gone for an hour.

    1. Leeanne

      So true Tiffany. My husband and I went hiking, pre-kids, and ended up lost in the woods. We were so thankful we had plenty of water and food and yes, our paper map saved the day and got us righted.

  3. kmf

    We rented snowshoes yesterday and it was a workout! Your recommendation to wear layers is spot on. I’m thinking of purchasing my own snowshoes. What brand do you use?

    1. Leeanne

      We have Tubbs and we really like them. Ours came with their own storage bag which is great. Also, if you don’t already have a pair of hiking poles you might want to get a pair as well, they can be very useful especially if you hike up a mountain.

  4. Taquia

    This looks like so much fun! I’ve never been snowshoeing before, but it looks like a great activity to enjoy with the family. I wish we would get some snow here in NC.

    1. Leeanne

      I think you need to venture into the mountains for the snow. It seems we do more often than not as well. I’m sure your son would love to try snowshoeing too.

  5. Lisa

    I did not know about staying off ski tracks! Great tip, I will definitely make sure we stay off them if we come across any while out snowshoeing.

    1. Leeanne

      Yes, I wouldn’t want to upset any skiers out there.

  6. Barbara

    Yes! Winter outdoor activities are important, and snowshoeing is a wonderful way to get out in the woods.

    1. Leeanne

      Yes, we love snowshoeing too.

  7. Marianne

    Your photos are awesome! We tried snowshoeing for the first time last year! It would definitely be something I would like to do again! It was pretty awesome, and there are enough places around where I live to go.

    1. Leeanne

      So glad you enjoy snowshoeing too. I glad you already have lots of places to snowshoe near your house. We found another place by our house today.

  8. Chantelle

    Oh my gosh. I have been wanting to try this forever. But seeing your posts this week has made me so excited! I’m doing it very soon!

    1. Leeanne

      I hope you get out soon. We need more snow here in Boston. Fingers crossed we’ll get snow in the next few weeks.

  9. Carey

    Those mountain views are breathtaking. I need to try snowshoeing. I’d probably have better luck than skiing.

    1. Leeanne

      Snowshoeing is definitely easier than skiing.

  10. Smalltownplussize

    We’ve never been snowshoeing but have talked about trying it. What a fantastic way to get on the trails in winter! Had no clue about staying off the ski tracks so we’re glad we read this.

    1. Leeanne

      I hope you get to try snowshoeing this winter.

  11. Trisha

    I have never been snowshoeing, but after seeing these pictures, I think I need to give it a try! Especially if the trail has a reward at the end like a waterfall or incredible view. I’m with you as I love being in nature in the winter because I love how everything is so quiet and “asleep.”

    1. Leeanne

      Great, winter in the woods is great. I hope you get to try snowshoeing soon.

  12. Alexis Farmer

    I’ve never been snowshoeing but it looks so much fun! Definitely going to add it to the list of fun things to do in NH.

    1. Leeanne

      I’m sure you will love snowshoeing when you get to New Hampshire and try it.

  13. Pam

    Aside from downhill skiing, snowshoeing is my favorite winter activity and I’d LOVE to snowshoe through the New Hampshire mountains – I’m usually stuck on a golf course here in Indiana!

    1. Leeanne

      My kids love to get into the woods to snowshoe. They say it’s more interesting than just our bike path or such. lol

  14. Julie Gazdecki

    I’d definitely consider snowshoeing for views like these.

    1. Leeanne

      They are some really great trails for snowshoeing in New Hampshire.

  15. Kristen Allred

    I really wish I could snowshoe, but I live in North Carolina so it’s not going to happen anytime soon…lol. Snowshoeing in New Hampshire sounds like a lot of fun, though!

    1. Leeanne

      You’d definitely need to head to the mountains to get snow by you. If you do come to New Hampshire you should definitely go snowshoeing, you’d love it.

  16. Tricia Snow

    Snowshoeing looks right up my alley. Skiing is intimidating to me.

    1. Leeanne

      Snowshoeing can be enjoyed by everyone. It honestly can be at simple as a walk in the woods with packed down snow.

  17. Suz |

    I went snowshoeing a few times up in the mountains of New Mexico with the Girl Scouts – it’s hard! It was just through the forest. Your trails there in New Hampshire look very organized; I’d probably like that better.

    1. Leeanne

      Going on a property trail is definitely easily than forging your own path.

  18. KENDRA

    I seriously haven’t snowshoed since I was 12. Your post is inspiring me to jump on board! New Hampshire mountains are gorgeous in the winter!

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks, Kendra. Yes, I do love how wonderful New Hampshire mountains are with snow. They make the perfect place to go snowshoeing.

  19. SteveH

    Great blog about snowshoeing. We didn’t make it to CA last year and snowshoeing became our go-to outdoor activity. Thanks for posting.

    1. Leeanne

      I’m glad you enjoy snowshoeing as much as my family.

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