LRCT Top 5 Fall Hikes

Fall is here and it’s time view the foliage of the Lakes Region!


1. Red Hill Conservation Area, Moultonborough

Red Hill (elevation 2,030 feet) has panoramic views of Winnipesaukee, Squam, and the White Mountains and is today one of the major conservation landmarks in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region.  The summit and slopes of Red Hill are protected as part of LRCT’s 2,565-acre Red Hill Conservation Area.

Hiking up to the fire tower, via the Red Hill Trail, is one of the most popular family hikes in the Lakes Region.  The trail is accessible from a parking area on Red Hill Road in Moultonborough, and climbs through the woods up the west side of the mountain.  This moderate hike is 1.7 miles from the trailhead parking area to the summit and fire tower where you will enjoy some of the best views of the foliage throughout the Lakes Region.

View from the Red Hill Fire Tower

Find the trail map to start planning your hike here!


2. Piper Mountain Conservation Area, Gilford

LRCT and the Gilford Conservation Commission worked together to conserve 273 acres on Piper Mountain in Gilford. This property encompasses Piper’s open summit (elevation 2,044 feet), the surrounding unfragmented forest and wild habitat, and parts of key hiking trails.

Explore the different trails to the summit of Piper Mountain and enjoy stunning views of the Belknap Mountains, Manning Lake, and Sunset Lake. From the Belknap Mountain Forest lower parking area on Carriage Road, take the Piper Mountain Trail to the Piper Mountain northern and southern summit approximately 2.6 miles round trip. Alternatively, park at the upper parking lot on Carriage Road to take the White Trail, to the orange Old Piper Trail to the summits of Piper Mountain, approximately 2 miles round trip.

View from Piper Mt. Summit

Find information about hiking in the Belknap Mountain Range and Piper Mountain here!


3. Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area, Moultonborough

The 5,381-acre Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area is the largest property conserved and stewarded by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust.  This property offers over 30 miles of hiking trails and the opportunity to earn LRCT’s Hiker Achievement Patch if you hike them all.

Fall hiking at the Castle in the Clouds offers beautiful views of foliage changing not only in the Ossipee Mountains, but throughout the region from the overlooks on the Oak Ridge Trail and summits of Mt. Roberts, Bald Knob, Turtleback Mt., Black Snout, and Mt. Shaw.

View of Bald Knob from the Castle in the Clouds

To purchase a waterproof map of the hiking trails, please visit LRCT’s online store here.


4. Sugarloaf Ridge – Goose Pond Conservation Area, Alexandria

The Sugarloaf – Goose Pond Conservation Area forms a key part of the viewscape on the western side of Newfound Lake, most prominently the Ledges that tower above West Shore Road.  This gem of land includes unspoiled rugged and diverse habitat, and encompasses about 80% (3,000 feet) of the shoreline of Goose Pond.  The remainder of the shoreline belongs to Wellington State Park.

The parking area is in Wellington State Park, off of West Shore Road. From the parking area take the Goose Pond Trail to the Around the Pond Trail (about 1.5 miles). Alternatively, hike to the summits of Big Sugarloaf and Little Sugarloaf on the Elwell Trail and enjoy the views of the foliage around Newfound Lake, about 4 miles round trip from the parking area.

View from Sugarloaf Ridge – Goose Pond Conservation Area

Find the trail map here to start planning your hike!


5. Knights Pond Conservation Area, Alton

Knights Pond is a pristine 31-acre body of water surrounded by 307 acres of conserved land, located close to the center of Wolfeboro. The main trail encircles the pond and provides opportunities for peaceful walking and nature observation.

The parking area is on Knights Pont Road, just off Rines Road near the Alton-Wolfeboro town line east of Route 28. You’ll enjoy the beautiful views of the foliage around the pond, and catch the reflection of the leaves changing in the water as you hike the 2.8 miles around the pond.

Knights Pond

Find the trail map here to start planning your hike!