SLA's 5 Best Winter Hikes

The Squam Lakes Association works throughout the year to protect the careful use and shared enjoyment of the lakes, mountains, forests, open spaces and wildlife of the Squam Watershed. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and cure your cabin fever today! We provide many winter friendly trails for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. We highly recommend you use traction gear like Microspikes or Snowshoes during the winter for icy trail conditions. 

Stop by the Squam Lakes Assocaition before your adventure, 534 US Rt. 3 in Holderness. Trail guides are available in our gift shop for $6 and help pay for the cost of maintaining over 50 miles of Squam trails. We also have Kahtoola Microspikes traction for purchase in our gift shop. SLA is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm during the winter. Call us at (603) 968-7336 for more information.

SLA's 5 Best Winter Hikes: 

1. West Rattlesnake Mountain 

Short and Easy Hike. Follow yellow-blazed Old Bridle Path for 0.9 mile to its end at a rocky outcrop with spectacular views. Use caution with children. Steep cliffs at summit. Trailhead access and parking off Rt. 113 Holderness- approx. 5 miles from downtown Holderness on right, (after Rockywold Deephaven Camps sign). This winter hike is best with traction gear like microspikes or snowshoes. Cross-country skiing not recommended.  

2. Whitten Woods

Short and Easy Trails. Recently-conserved 453-acre Whitten Woods property. Trailhead access and parking off of Highland Street in Ashland. Trails offer views of the Squam watershed from two different peaks, each within about a mile from the parking area. Trail does get relatively steep the last 0.1 mile to South Peak and 0.1 mile to North Peak. This area is best for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

3. Chamberlin Reynolds Memorial Forest  

Short and Easy Trail Network. A 157-acre forest with over a mile of waterfront and was donated to New England Forestry Foundation in 1953. Its shorefront area and trails are managed for public use by the Squam Lakes Association. There are several beaches, a swamp board walk and over 4 miles of hiking trails. Trailhead access and parking off of College Road in Center Harbor, between Rte 25-B and Route 3. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash at all times and you must clean up after your pet. This area is best for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. 

4. Belknap Woods

Short and Easy Trail Network. A 90-acre forest in Center Harbor, which was donated to SLA in 1986. Trailhead access and parking is located at the mouth of Dog Cove and along Rte 25-B. Keep your eyes open for birds and wildlife! This network of trails is best for for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

5. Morgan & Percival Loop 

Moderate Hike. This 5.5 mile loop offers great lake and mountain views from each summit as well as the option to experience ladders and caves. Don't worry, there are by-pass trails. Trailhead access and parking off Rt. 113 Holderness- approx. 5 miles from downtown Holderness on left, (after Rockywold Deephaven Camps sign and across from West Rattlesnake trailhead).This loop is best with traction gear like microspikes or snowshoes. Cross country skiing not recommended. 


Would you like to help protect Squam hiking trails for future generations to enjoy?

Click Here to Learn More About our Trail Adopter Program!