Hiking with Kids - Mount Major, Alton NH
Mt. Major Alton NH
Mount Major is a great hike for all ages. In fact, our elementary school makes a trip there with 4th graders in the fall. It is beautiful.
The parking area is located on Rt 11 4.2 miles north of Alton Bay. Heading north, the parking area turn-off is located shortly after a scenic vista and is on the left hand side of the road.
There are 3 trails that you can use to reach the summit. You could take the Mount Major Trail(blue) which is about 1.65 miles to the top, Brook Trail (blue to yellow) which is about 2.4 miles, or Boulder Loop Trail (brown to Yellow) which is about 1.75 miles. Here is a trail map. The Blue trail is the Mount Major trail that is well traveled. The yellow is the Brook Trail, and the red is the Boulder Loop. We have used the Mount Major Trail and the Brook Trail. The Mount Major Trail is steeper than the Brook Trail and it is a fun one to go up. There are views on the way. Coming down, if you are looking for something a little easier on your knees, the Brook Trail would be a good pick. If you have little ones with you, this trail would probably make you feel a little better because there really aren't and steep rock drop offs.
When you are looking at the back of the parking lot, the Mount Major trail starts to your right, and the Boulder Loop will be off to your left. When doing the Mount Major Trail, there isn't a whole lot of flat trail to warm up on. I learned that the hard way the first time we went up and my throat hurt quite a bit. It didn't help that I was grossly out of shape! The second time, I walked around the parking lot a bit to warm up and that helped a lot! Even in the fall there can be areas that are a little wet so I wouldn't wear nice sneakers/footwear. After a long straight away there is a trail that continues the same grade going straight, that is Brook Trail, if you veer to the left you will stay on the Mount Major Trail.
When you get a ways up there is a place where you need to use your hands and hopefully your sneakers have good grip to climb up some of the flat rock. When you get to the top of this area, this is not the summit but it is a beautiful view. You aren't too far from the summit but there is still some hiking to do. When you get to the top the view is amazing. You can see Alton Bay and the little islands on the way to Winnepesauke. The summit is all rock and it can be a little windy. There is stone remnants of a buildng that once stood on the top. If it's too windy, it's a good place to have a seat and eat your lunch. If you do this hike expect it to take a good part of the morning. I think we started at 9:00 and finished around 12:30. Granted we did hang around up on the top for awhile!
It's perfect hike where you get a good work out, have an amazing view, and you can get your kids back to civilization to use a restroom if that's not their thing! Just so you have an idea, the elevation of Mount Major is 1786 feet. When hiking it, there is an elevation gain of about 1100 feet. If you have been away from hiking for awhile, this would be a great one to do!
If you are looking for other walks/hikes to do with your kids, check out my other blogs...
Unitl next time, have fun out there!
Mount Major State Forest
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