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Mount Liberty

What to Bring

Hiking shoes   Sunscreen
Backpack   Sunglasses
Trekking poles   Swiss army knife
Fleece vest   Emergency blanket
Weatherproof
jacket
  Plastic bag for
trash
First aid kit   Insect repellent
Flashlight   Water
Watch   Food
Hat   Snacks
 Find this gear at a nearby Timberland store
 

Specs

  Directions
 
From Boston, take I-93 north
After Lincoln, the I-93 formally ends for the crossing of the Franconia Notch and signs announce the White Mountains National
Forest
Take the exit for the Flume and follow signs for the parking lot for the Whitehouse trail.
  Good to know in advance
 
Check the weather before leaving at
www.mountwashington.org

It is always safe to have the area map: you can buy AMC's #5 Franconia map in most bookstores in and around Boston (less than $5 for the paper version)

  Etiquette
 
Stay on trails to minimize erosion
Carry out your trash
 
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Mount Liberty
 
 

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 4/5
  Time from Boston: 3 hours
  Duration: Full day
  Cost:

Free

  Main activity:

Mountaineering

 
 
 
 
The White Mountains are definitely the best place for mountaineering in New England, but not everybody is ready for the most arduous climbs up to Mount Washington and the other Presidentials.

Fortunately, there are many other hikes, like this one up to Mount Liberty, which offer the best of both worlds: moderately difficult ascents, but the same rewards as higher peaks in terms of vistas and feeling of accomplishment. A worthwhile destination in itself, it is also a great introductory hike for those new to the White Mountains.

At 4,459 ft, Mount Liberty is just at timberline level, meaning that the final stretches of the ascent will take you through the Krummholz, the thick woods of dwarf and tormented fir and spruce that precede the barren landscapes of higher altitudes.

From the parking lot, take the Whitehouse trail north in the woods for about a mile. You will soon reach a bike path, which you follow on the left and over a small bridge on the Pemigewasset River. After the bridge, watch for signs on the right for the Liberty Spring Trail (white marks). You will stay on this trail until close to the summit. When you reach the Franconia Ridge close to the summit, take the Franconia Ridge Trail on the right for the final section to the summit. This stretch is a bit rocky, but you will be rewarded with great views on the Franconia Notch below, and on the other summits of the Whites, including the famous Mount Lincoln and Lafayette (see our hikes there).

Head back along the same route. Note that the trail can be slippery on rainy days – watch particularly for the many roots and rocks that dot the trail. Allow about 4:30 hours for the round trip.

(Picture courtesy of Patrick LaFreniere)