As the summer hiking season gets into full swing the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center is busy with hikers climbing Mount Washington. If you still want a hike that will get your blood pumping, but not the length of a trek up our favorite white mountain, you can try two of my favorite hikes in this area. Lila's Ledge and Low's Bald Spot are two excellent hikes that will give you a little bit of a challenge, but provide you with amazing views of the area. I discovered both of these hikes on one of my days off and was blown away by their views!
Lila's Ledge begins here at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center and meanders up Old Jackson Road about 0.3 miles. After crossing a small bridge keep an eye out for the Crew Cut trails that bring you up to Lila's Ledge. While it is a short trail, it is incredibly diverse with parts of the trail that are easy walks and parts that increase in elevation quite quickly. Along the trail you may spot various species of plants that are native to this area and every once and a while you can find beautiful bunches of Lady Slippers. Even though the hike may have some challenges, it's a beautiful view of the valley that you won't forget!
|Crew-cut trail to Lila's Ledge|
|The view of Pinkham Notch Visitors Center from Lila's Ledge|
As you hike please remember to stay on the trail! Even diverting from the trail a little to avoid mud or rocks can have a huge impact on the environment. The more hikers walk off the trail the larger the trail becomes, killing plant species and damaging the environment. If it looks like the trail is beginning to get larger, try to avoid walking in that area to prevent the growth of damage to the surrounding plants. Always try to walk on solid ground like rocks or bog bridges to avoid walking on mud or delicate mountain plants.
|View of Mount Washington from Lila's Ledge|
Low's Bald Spot is a longer hike than Lila's Ledge, about 2 miles from the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. While it is also on the Old Jackson Road the trail climbs at a moderately easy pace at a relatively low elevation, unlike Lila's Ledge. One part of the Old Jackson Road can be slightly confusing and it is important to pay close attention to the signs in this area. About 1.6 miles into Old Jackson Road trail the signs indicate to take a left that steadily continues up rock steps, but straight ahead is a ski trail marked by blue plastic tree markers. If you continue up the direction the sign indicates then you will continue on Old Jackson Road, while the ski trail straight ahead will take you away from Low's Bald Spot and is not marked on the map. Once you hike past this point you will reach the 2-mile point of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. From there it is an easy and enjoyable hike up to Low's Bald Spot! At the top of Low's Bald Spot you can have a beautiful view of the northern part of the valley, Mount Adams, and Mount Madison.
|2-mile point of the Auto Road|
While these two trails are my favorites in Pinkham Notch, they are definitely not the only places in the area to get a great view. Short and mellow Square Ledge and the challenging Boot Spur Trail or Wildcat Ridge would be other great choices for bit of a challenge with a rewarding view!
|The view of Mt. Adams and Mt. Madison from Low's Bald Spot|
For any general questions, trail conditions, or trail advice please don't hesitate to contact us here at the Trail Information Desk at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center! We are available by phone at (603) 466-2721 every day from 6:30 am to 10:00 pm or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Backcountry Information Specialist
AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
Labels: hike safe, Joe Dodge Lodge, New Hampshire, Pinkham Notch, Ski Trails