Hiking in the Lakes Region



Trek to the top of one of the Lakes Region’s tallest peaks — Mount Shaw. From its 2,990-foot summit, gaze north to the White Mountains amid a landscape of shimmering waterways.

The peak is unique, part of a ring dike, a circular formation of volcanic origin nine miles in diameter with terrain that long discouraged roads and settlement.

Part of the Ossipee Range northeast of Lake Winnipesaukee, the mountain is under the auspices of the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and found in the Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area in Moultonborough.

It’s named after Boston businessman B.F. Shaw who in the late 1800s had a local private estate as well as a summer hotel for visitors.

From Ossipee Park Road’s end, the strenuous 9.2-mile round-trip hike begins at the Shannon Pond kiosk. Take the Lower Bridle Path, Faraway Mountain Trail, Upper Bridle Path, Oak Ridge Cutoff and High Ridge Trail.

Mount Shaw, one of the highest peaks in the Lakes Region, affords fine views.

Be sure to take a spur trail to Black Snout, a 2,803-foot peak on Shaw’s eastern shoulder, which affords a fine look over the Big Lake and surrounding hills and mountains on the western horizon.

Time to choose your adventure:

Climbing: Rumney’s wooded Rattlesnake Mountain is known for its vast array of scattered crags. There’s also a solid climbing community and stellar valley views.

Camping: Squam Lake is forever linked to “On Golden Pond.” Experience loons and the wild while tenting along the forested shore or on an island on a Squam Lakes Association campsite.

Exploring: Get to close to nature at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness. Live informative wildlife exhibits, educational programs and lake cruises unlock wonders of the outdoor world.

In the Water: Dive in Lake Winnipesaukee. Investigate the “The Lady of the Lake,” a paddlewheeler that sank in 1895. Other sunken craft include a steam barge and a flat-bottomed horseboat barge from the mid-1800s.

On the Water: Make your own waves. Get behind a boat and learn scintillating aquatic skills like water skiing, wakeboarding and kneeboarding on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Adrenaline: Gunstock in Gilford is for thrill-seekers with its ripping mountain coaster, aerial treetop adventure courses, zipline canopy tours with stunning Big Lake looks and more.

Where to next?

Surfing the New Hampshire Seacoast

For its small coastline, NH has a huge range of surfing options.

Swimming in the White Mountains

Spend the day paddling on the water or climbing to Cathedral Ledge

Adrenaline Rush in the Merrimack Valley

You don't have to travel outside of the Merrimack Valley to catch a wave, hike a mountain or visit an astronomical calendar site

AMC Huts Offer Welcome in the Wilderness

It might not be considered fine dining, but the delicious, hearty meals prepared by the dedicated AMC hut “croos” are unlike anything you’ll find in a restaurant.

Camping in the North Woods

Unplug, relax and unwind while you surround yourself with the beautiful forests and peaceful streams in NH's Great North Woods.

How to Buy a Bike

A beginner's guide to buying a bike.

Exploring the Dartmouth/Sunapee Region

It's time to hop in your car, motorcycle or bike and explore the western side of the state. You'll find great food, beautiful sites and a historic steamship wreck.
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