50. Franconia Ridge Traverse, White Mountains, New Hampshire (8.2 miles)Learn More
“Probably the single best day-hike in the country,” says climber Jonathan Waterman of this classic northeast loop. Located in the Franconia Notch State Park, the route traverses the second-highest range in the White Mountains (after the Presidential Peaks). “You walk along a knife-edge ridge with huge commanding views of the valley,” Waterman says. You also bag three 5,000-foot peaks in the process: Little Haystack Mountain, Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Lafayette. The downside: it’s two-hours north of Boston, which means around 700 hikers a day during the high season. Aim for midweek in the fall when the crowds have thinned and the foliage is peaking.
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