Bringing our kids away from television and computers and getting outside is good for your family in many ways. I have had some insightful conversations with my kids while we have been wandering along a trail. I have seen their eyes light up with wonder at the animals, rocks, and bugs. But best of all is the climbing, running and exploring they are doing! The White Mountains have many great options for adventures. Here are my top suggestions for family hikes around Lincoln, New Hampshire.
Please consider your family when planning your hike. I would only attempt the easy hikes with littles. To most people, moderate hikes are pretty challenging, and I have included a few here. My kids are not toddlers and can handle any of these hikes with ease. The adults had a harder time than they did, for sure!
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Hikes off the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire
If you are in New Hampshire to see the foliage, the Kancamagus Highway is a perfect road for foliage viewing. Heck, it’s beautiful in any season. The Kancamagus connects Lincoln, NH, and Conway, NH traveling through the White Mountains. It has multiple vantage points with parking lots where you can pull over and see the views.
The Lower Falls of the Swift River are right off of the Kancamagus. There are restrooms and a paved walk along the river. Kids will love to scramble over the rocks in the river. There is a harder 1.8-mile moderate loop trail from here, but I am just recommending this as an effortless, enjoyable place to climb rocks for the kids.
This is one of New Hampshire’s most popular falls, so you can expect crowds.
You can find the well-marked parking lot for the falls on Route 112 (Kancamagus Highway) in Albany, NH.
An easy, short crushed gravel hike (.03 miles) to spectacular 45-foot falls.
- Picnic area
- Placards along the trail educate about how the falls were formed.
- Gorgeous Slot Falls that zigs and zags.
- Crystal Green Water.
Located on the Kacamagus Highway.
Moderate 3.8-mile one-way hike with a loop. There is a shorter (1.4 miles round trip) trail if you just want to go to the falls, but still not an easy hike.
- A gorge
- Great place for birding
- It ends at the summit of Mt. Chocorua, 2500 feet climb.
Easy NH Hike near Lincoln, NH
Georgiana and Harvard Falls
The parking lot for Georgiana Falls is at the end of Hanson Road in Lincoln, NH. Walk up the dirt trail at the end of the road. There will be a sign when you need to veer right to get to the falls. If you continue straight, you will find a scenic wooden bridge over the river.
This is an easy-to-moderate hike that travels along the cascades of the Harvard River. Red trail markers on the trees indicate the route, and the reward is two waterfalls!
Georgiana Falls is a 30-foot fall that is perfect even for families with small children. Most of the .07 mile trail is an old snowmobile road and quite flat.
The Hike to Harvard Falls:
The hike to Harvard Falls is much more difficult than Georgiana Falls. It is accessible for the family because it is only an additional .06 miles, but it is circuitous and will require climbing over boulders. My kids are older, and bouldering is a goal of any good hike with them.
- The lower falls is a very easy and short hike, great for young children.
- You can view two waterfalls in a 2 hour round trip hike.
- Most of the trail meanders along the cascades of the Harvard River.
Family Hikes in Franconia Notch State Park, NH
Parking is available on either side of Highway 93 around Franconia Notch State Park. They are well-marked with large signs.
An easy trail to the Basin (.01 miles) and (.06 miles) Kinsman Falls. A moderate 1.1-mile hike to Rocky Glen Falls.
- Your pooch is welcome to join you on this hike!
- The trail travels along Cascade Brook and visits three waterfalls.
Located at the parking lot of LaFayette Campground in Franconia Notch State Park.
Moderate 3.6=mile round trip up and back, zigzagging, uphill, rocky trail ending with a loop trail around the lake at the trails’ terminus. We took the wooden planked path all the way around the lake but appreciated the trail to the right as the most gorgeous. It has a great view of the mountain and meanders through marshes. Most of the rest of the trail is through the forest.
- The trail ends in an AT (Appalachian Trail) Hut. A welcome reward at the end of this strenuous hike and a great way to introduce kids to the trail. Bring cash to grab a bite to eat while taking in the sights among the hikers and support the trail’s upkeep.
- You can swim in the lake in the summer.
Have fun enjoying and learning in nature with your kids! It never disappoints! For more fun to have with them in the area, check out 48 Hours of Fall Family Fun in Lincoln, New Hampshire, and 19 of New England’s Best Fall Family Activities. If you plan to visit the area in winter, be sure to read Family Skiing in New Hampshire.
Where is your favorite place to get outside with your family? I would love to hear about it in the comments!