Red Hill Trail: A Scenic Hike Near Lake Winnepesaukee

Adventure Travel, New Hampshire, Travel, United States

There are few things in life as satisfying as a fall hike in New England. This September, I was lucky enough to hike up Red Hill Trail, an easy hike in New Hampshire near Lake Winnipesaukee.

There is something magical in the scent of the pines, dirt, and the unique smell of deciduous leaves bursting into color. It reminds me of childhood days spent jumping into leaf piles. Of the start of a new school year. Of going for walks in the woods with my high school boyfriend.

As a native New Englander, there is something in my soul which sings when September rolls around. There’s no denying I love a good fall hike in New England.

If you’re looking for easy hiking trails near Lake Winnipesaukee, I recommend visiting the Red Hill Trail. While it isn’t especially long, steep, or difficult, the view at the top is the real reward of this little jaunt. It’s a short 3.5 mile walk total, absolutely doable in a morning or an afternoon.

Red Hill Trail Information

All About the Red Hill Trail in New Hampshire

The best thing about this hiking trail near Lake Winnipesaukee is the view from the top. But the trail also has an interesting origin story worth mentioning.

Long ago, there were a group of families that struggled to maintain farms on this rocky slope. Red Hill Trail was first built to serve as a road leading up to these houses. Keep your eye out as you hike up the trail and you might find the remaining foundations from one of their root cellars.

Later, the trail was a converted into a jeep road providing access to the fire tower that sits atop of Red Hill. Today, the path is only a hiking trail. But because it was once a road, the trail isn’t particularly steep, though you’ll still feel your heart beating as you walk up the slope.

Red Hill Trail New Hampshire

The trail cuts through 2,000 acres of protected land. The land is protected by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and covers the towns of Moultonborough and Sandwich. Aside from being a nice place to go for an afternoon hike, this land is also home to a surprisingly wide array of wildlife, including moose, bear, deer, woodcock, songbirds, and ruffed goose.

Named Red Hill for its color in the fall, this trail is an exceptionally good hike in New Hampshire for taking in the fall foliage. Even when I hiked it in mid-September, the trees at the top were beginning to burst into color.

Just a word of warning: camping, overnight use, fishing, and wheeled vehicles are not allowed on Red Hill.

Best Hiking Trail Near Lake Winnipesaukee

Trail Report of Red Hill Trail

Red Hill Trail is only one of a few trails that crisscross Red Hill. It is also probably the most popular, with the somewhat more challenging Eagle Cliff Trail coming in second.

This short hike near Lake Winnipesaukee is only 1.7 miles in one direction, 3.5 miles total. The trail climbs a total of 1,370 feet. So while the trail isn’t steep, you’ll still gain a bit of elevation.

Beginning from the parking lot, the trail meanders through a new growth forest along the bottom of the hill. Cross the fire road and then the ascent begins. The slope is consistent and you’ll be walking uphill the entire way.

As you ascend, you’ll pass through beautiful deciduous forests. Eagle-eyed hikers may be able to spot some wildlife, especially in the early morning or late afternoon. The day that I hiked it, my friend and I heard some rustling in the underbrush but weren’t able to see anything for ourselves.

Near the top, you’ll see a sign for the Eagle Cliff Trail, the second most popular hiking trail on Red Hill. From there, you’re nearly to the top of the hill. Just a bit further on, you’ll pass a wooden shed and you’ve arrived.

View of Lake Winnisquam from Red Hill Trail

Climb up to the platform of the fire tower to take in the breathtaking views from the top of Red Hill. You’ll see Lake Winnipesaukee to the southeast, Lake Squam in the west, to the north is the Sandwich Range, and further afield the Ossipee Range and Franconia Notch are to the east.

I happily spent about 30 minutes up there snapping pictures and basking in the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.

When you’ve had your fill of the view, head back down the way you came to finish off your 3.5-mile hike near Lake Winnipesaukee. All told it took us about 2.5 to 3 hours.

Fall Colors from Red Hill Trail near Lake Winnipesaukee

How to Get to Red Hill Trail

To get to Red Hill Trail from Center Harbor head down Route 25. Just 0.1 miles east of the junction with 25B, turn north into Bean Road at the traffic light. Follow Bean Road for 1.4 miles then make a right only Sibley Road. Follow Sibley Road for 1.1 miles, until it meets Old Red Hill Road. Make a left, and continue down Old Red Hill Road for about 0.25 miles. The parking lot will be on your right and is marked with a small sign.

It took us a comically long time to find the trailhead but it really is very easy to find. I absolutely loved this trail, not too difficult, but not so easy as to feel like a walk in the park. The view from the top was one of the best views I’ve seen in awhile. If you’re in the Lake Region of New Hampshire and you’re looking for an easy hiking trail near Lake Winnipesaukee, I encourage you to check out the Red Hill Trail.


Like this post? Pin it!

Trail Report for Red Hill Trail: An easy and scenic hiking trail near Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire Trail Report for Red Hill Trail: An easy and scenic hiking trail near Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

Hiking Seoraksan National Park

Adventure Travel, Korea, Travel, Uncategorized

I had been hearing about hiking in Seoraksan National Park place since I got to Korea in July, 2013.  Of course, I wanted to make it out there before winter hit.

Seoraksan is the highest mountain in the Taebek mountain range, and the third highest mountain in all of South Korea. Located only 2 to 3 hours from Seoul without traffic, Seoraksan National Park is a really popular place to see autumn foliage in Korea, as I learned the hard way.

The most popular route through Seoraksan is to climb the tallest peak in the park, Daechongbong Peak, rising to 1,708m (5,603ft). However, this route takes 2 days, and since I hadn’t gotten organized to do this, I went with a big group of ex-pats and Koreans to hike the easier, one day route. We started hiking at about 10:30am and finishing around 5pm.

But we were not alone.

lots of koreans

I kid you not, I have never seen so many Koreans hiking at the same time. It was beyond ridiculous but made for a very amusing day.

Near the top we were all crammed onto a wooden platform. On a normal day this platform is probably a great place to take in the view. On this day, it was a great place to feel like livestock.

koreans on platform

Myself and a few other people from the group decided to take a “quick” (read: 30 minutes) detour to the top peak of this hike. The view from up there was truly incredible. But all the views all day were breathtaking.

koreans stopgo

Hiking down we encountered the most traffic. It was literally stop and go on these stairs on the way down. The traffic was caused by places in the trail that were slightly perilous and so only one person could walk through it at a time. Again, on a normal day this would not be a problem. But when most of the population of Korea is on the mountain, it caused some traffic.

foliage

But why, you may ask, was the entire population hiking Seoraksan National Park on this particular weekend?

This weekend was supposed to be the best for fall foliage in Seoraksan. And once we’d made it up and over the pass the foliage started to show itself and let me tell you, it was worth it.

foliage2

I was born and raised in New England and as such I am no stranger to Autumn. In fact, it is my favorite season. But I’ve spent the last 5 years living in Los Angeles in perpetual Summer. This weekend for me was almost like a rebirth experience. Being in among the fall leaves, smelling crisp autumn air and watching the colorful leaves blow in the wind was cathartic on so many levels. I spent a good hour walking by myself along the canyon taking pictures of leaves and feeling so spiritually connected with the Earth. It was beautiful.

view2

The end of the hike was an absolutely stunning walk along a stream at the bottom of a canyon. Gorgeous foliage. Gorgeous views. And thankfully no traffic.

food1

Afterwards we all went to a restaurant to drink beer and eat dinner.

Foods

A selection of “banchan” the traditional small plates that accompany every meal in Korea.

Then we piled back onto the bus to sit in traffic for 5 hours back to Seoul. I slept for 2 of them and spent the other 3 hours watching the Korean countryside go by. It was nighttime so the views weren’t that great but it was a nice chance to think.

So that is my update on my life here in Korea. Every weekend is different from the last. I am always excited, always experiencing new things. All in all, I think I’m overcoming the culture shock. I am less enamored with everything I see, but overall much happier. I feel like I am myself again, just myself living in Korea. This is going to be a great year, and at this point I’m starting to understand why people would stay for a second one…

me on mountain

Love you all!