Top 5 Mountain Climbs in the Northeast, Mt. Lafayette, New Hampshire
The strenuous climb up Mt. Lafayette is worthy of all accolades hikers bestow upon it. With tumbling waterfalls, a steep ascent to three of the highest peaks in New England, and a 1.7-mile ridge walk where the spruce-studded White Mountains stand below you in a dizzying display of green, this very well could be the finest day hike in New England.
Turn into the woods from the parking lot and I-93’s traffic is quickly replaced by the sounds of rushing water, compliments of a stream that accompanies you for a good mile and a half. Three perfect falls swirl over smooth boulders to pools of water the color of gin, the ideal stop for a breather. You’ll need your energy to get to the top of Little Haystack Mountain and the start of the Franconia Ridge Trail. Part of the Appalachian Trail, this above-tree-line path offers a stunning panorama of New England’s highest summits, including Mount Washington. Bag 5,108-foot Mount Lincoln and 5,249-foot Mount Lafayette before taking the Greenleaf Trail down the boulder littered slopes to AMC’s Greenleaf Hut. This deep-woods convenience store is great for lemonade refills before the trek back down. Or, better yet, grab a bunk and spend the night.