“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir
Mt Major is more of a walk in the woods with the occasional boulder scramble than a true NH hike. The only major thing about this hill is the view of Lake Winnipesaukee from the top. You could do the hike barefoot or in flip flops (ok, maybe don’t actually try this) and no matter which trail you take, you’ll be up at the summit in 30min and down at the parking lot in 1hr max. Pups are welcome!
Mt Major was my first “serious” hike when I started exploring the NH mountains 2 years ago. So “serious” I attempted it back then in minimalist gym sneakers, cross body purse, and 1 small plastic bottle of water (don’t do this at home, you’ll look completely ridiculous even if you reach the summit :-)). But I did it, ALONE! It was my first elevation hike by myself. We all start somewhere and I was SO proud back then that I had started on my journey. I wanted to learn how to do everything alone: hiking, biking, snowboarding, snowshoeing, driving in winter storms, surfing, paddle boarding. And this was just the beginning!
You can take the blue or the orange trail up – both have a couple steep sections that can be conquered by anyone and their mother too. I recommend the yellow trail for descending the mountain. A little longer but flatter and you’ll be mostly undisturbed and on your own. Since most injuries in the great outdoors occur at the end of the day or on the way down, I tend to opt for the easy way out of a mountain. I’ll challenge myself going up and then take it easy coming down. I particularly enjoyed the rock scrambles going up on the orange trail. Only a couple but super fun! Be prepared to see a lot of weekend warriors and large families completely clueless of what they are doing. Be prepared to help if they fall as they will. Always offer, never insist when it comes to help.
Since the hike won’t take you more than 2 hrs (picnic at summit included), I recommend adding an afternoon paddle boarding session at the nearby lake after you are done with your morning hike. Maybe a swim too to refresh!
SupNH in Alton Bay right on the lake offers 2hr, half day, and full day paddle board and kayak rentals and you can launch right across the street at the ramp. Easy to access, easy to rent, great prices, good selection of gear!
And here is an outtake:
Demoing for my friend how to give water to the pooch from my hydration pack – pull the “bite and suck” valve, suck a little on the hose so water starts coming out, squirt in pooch’s muzzle – works like a charm every time to the complete disbelief of all passers-by.