Take the 5 Hikes Challenge This Fall
Blaze a fistful of trails through NH's forests, mountains
For the second year in a row, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests has organized a hike-it-yourself Autumn adventure that’ll put participants right in the middle of the state’s most eye-popping season.
The 5 Hikes Challenge is a self-managed series of excursions located throughout New Hampshire, offering hikers a chance to explore new trails and get themselves a little swag while they’re at it. Finish five hikes and you’ll get a buff, a map and a hiking patch.
Here’s how it works:
- Visit the 5 Hikes Challenge page and register.
- Choose up to five of the 20-plus suggested hiking destinations.
- Receive a limited-edition Forest Society buff and your chosen paper map guides in the mail.
- Share your adventures online with the #5HikesChallenge hashtag. Then, send selfies to 5Hikes@forestsociety.org for an embroidered patch and stickers to mark your accomplishment.
The hikes range from easy to strenuous. For beginners, there are trails like the Dame Forest, in Durham – a 1.8 mile walk through wetlands and hemlock forests – and High Five, in Deering – a 0.7 mile climb on woods roadways that rewards with some fantastic panoramic views.
For those pursuing more of a challenge, Hedgehog Mountain in Deering provides a 1.2 mile round-trip climb up to Hedgehog Ridge with views of the Contocook Valley, and Andrew Brook Forest, which is a strenuous 3.8 mile climb along Andrew Brook to Lake Solitude on the eastern slope of Mount Sunapee.
Visit here for a complete description of each hike, complete with mileage, estimated effort required and region.
The challenge runs now through October 31, 2021.
Here’s a list of the suggested hikes, organized by region:
MERRIMACK VALLEY REGION
Merrimack River Outdoor Education and Conservation Area
Buxton Simons Forest
DARTMOUTH/LAKE SUNAPEE REGION
Ashuelot River Headwaters Forest
Andrew Brook Forest
Eagle Cliff Forest
Cooper Cedar Woods
WHITE MOUNTAINS/NORTH COUNTRY
David Dana Forest