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The White Mountains: New England's Most Rugged Terrain

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

The White Mountains are part of the Northern Appalachians and spans 87 miles across New Hampshire. This mountain range is considered to be New England's most rugged terrain!

White Mountain National Forest is a great place to escape into nature. The mountains offer an array of outdoor activities such as horseback riding, camping and hiking.

On our trip we decided to stay at an Air Bnb in Littleton. It was about a 20-30 minute drive to get to any trail head within the Forest. I loved the town for its friendly people and the Farmers Market! It runs every Sunday from June- October 10AM-1PM. It features fresh local organic produce, meats, flowers, handcrafted soaps and so much more!

Luke and I are usually always budget traveling. To save some money we cooked breakfast for ourselves every morning, packed lunches for our hikes, and cooked dinner at home. I know lame, but we save where we can so that we can travel more often.

Make sure you are prepared! Bring plenty of water, snacks, and wear proper hiking shoes. You will not be able to get by wearing sneakers.

Some of my hiking snack staples:

Gummy Worms

Nuts & MnMs

Clif Bar

Day 1/ Hike 1: Arethusa Falls | Moderate 2.8 miles Out & Back |

This trail is heavily trafficked with people but don’t let that keep you away! It’s a popular hike for a reason. Out of all the hikes I experienced on this trip. This was the easiest for me. The elevation isn’t crazy in comparison to others. Bring the kids on this one.

This trail is doubly awesome! Enjoy two viewpoints in one hike! The elevation will get you working up a sweat, but the views from each point are worth it! Personally, I thought the views from Middle Sugarloaf were more impressive than the North. Since you're up there anyway you might as well see both!

North Sugarloaf- me sitting on ledge | Middle Sugarloaf - Luke loving the view


Day 2/ Hike 1: Lonesome Lake Trail | Moderate 3.1 miles Loop |

On the way up the trail is steep and rocky, but it flattens out once you reach the lake! There is a Lake Hut where you can reserve a room or just stop in for a meal. It was not open when we were there because of Covid-19.

On the road pulling up to the trail head there is a rock face that looks exactly like an Elephant Head! This is a super easy kid friendly hike that offers some pretty sweet views!

There was not a sole on this trail which made it all the more eerie and fun! This is an off the beaten path hike. Some areas are so steep and slippery there are ropes to assist you going up/down. It makes for a bit of a challenge and more excitement!


We drove to the stables to meet our horses and our guide. It was only Luke and I. We had an amazing time going through the gorgeous wilderness riding horseback. Horses are such majestic animals; you could tell they were just as excited as us to go for a ride! Our guide was awesome, ask for Adam if you go.

Franconia Ridge is featured in National Geographic so I really wanted to do this hike even knowing we would have a late start. Our mind set was if we make it up in a certain amount of time we should be able to finish before dark. We started at 3pm and literally climbed up rocks the whole way and made it to the top at 6 PM. It was too late to finish the hike. We witnessed the ridge, we made it to the top, but we did not cross the ridge and come down the other side. We went down the way we came up and by the time we reached our car it was scary dark. Safety first! I will be revisiting this ridge sometime soon to complete it properly. For anyone else daring enough to hike Franconia Ridge, definitely start bright and early to be able to finish.

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