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Summer chairlift rides/hiking in New England

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 


This September my wife and I will be spending a few days traveling through New England on our way Montreal.  We will be traveling from the Adirondacks to northern Vermont. Down highway 100 to Brattleboro. Across to Concord New Hampshire, up to Franconia, Around Mt Washington to Bethel Maine, up to Dixville Notch, and then over to Montreal. The trip from Lake Placid NY, to Montreal will take us 5 days. 
We plan on hiking Quechee Gorge, and a few other areas. I would like to find a few ski areas that run lifts during the summer that have interesting trails coming back down. Any suggestions? Thank you,
post #2 of 9
 Off the top of my head, Stowe, Sugarbush, Cannon and Jay. Probably other too.
post #3 of 9
The old chairlift at Snow Mountain in Waterville Valley runs in the summer, and you can take mountain bikes up. The most interesting thing to do is probably to hike down past the Cascades, which are very pretty. Walking down the old ski runs is pretty boring, biking down them would probably be fun.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I wish we had room for the bikes, but we will not be bringing them.  I am not looking for a scenario of walking back down a ski trail as I agree that would not be fun.  I was looking for more of a walking/hiking trail scenario from the top of a chair lift. 

post #5 of 9
 The Stowe Gondola pretty much puts you on the Long Trail. There are many other trails you can access from the Gondola too. Hazelton is probably easiest of the bunch.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have been reading about the Cannon tram and Franconia park.  Think we will spend some time there. 
post #7 of 9
Interesting this should come up.  I was reading some circa 1980s Appalachia journals of the AMC today and they commented on all the rescues that occur on Cannon.  It seems that all sorts of folk take the tram up in the summer in flipflops, sandals and worse.   Problem is, the journal describes, every route down has a sustained steep pitch.  Many broken ankles and broken bones requiring carry-downs.  Apparently it's been going on like that since the tram was first installed.
post #8 of 9
Check out Bretton Woods' offer of a Canopy Tour.  Bretton Woods is on 302 just after Franconia notch.  It has rope bridges, zip lines, etc. Very cool.  Pricey.  Half-day event.

Also, Wildcat (on 16, just after passing Mt. Washington as you are headed north) has rides to the summit on the gondola.  There are several trails down, two on the west side (steep sections) and one on the east side.  You can call Wildcat, or the Appalachian Mountain Club Pinkham Notch Lodge desk for info, or check out their maps and/or their trail guide to the White Mountains of NH.  They also have a zip line.  Nothing fancy at Wildcat; just the basics.  If you come down one of the backwoods trails, you'll need to spot a car.  If you don't have two cars, then there's an AMC shuttle that can pick you up at the end of your hike if the trailhead is on 16, then deposit you back at the base lodge parking lot, maybe.  The AMC runs this shuttle which loops around the Presidentials along 302-16-2.  I just don't know if they will pick you up at either of the trail heads and then let you off at the base lodge.  Again, you'll need to call and confirm.  

Also, If you are up for a big hike, ride the bus up the Mt. Washington Auto Road to the top of Mt. Washington (on 16, just past the AMC lodge in Pinkham Notch), then hike down.  There are numerous trails.  Again, you might need to catch the shuttle to get back to the parking lot at the base of the auto road, if you take a trail down that puts you at the AMC lodge.  But there are many trail options.  If you consider driving your car up, just for the thrill, well, it is a thrill.  Be sure your low gear is strong enough to slow your car down as it travels back down, because otherwise you'll need to ride those breaks.  Not a pretty smell.  Costly, too.  (Personal experience.)

Cannon, back in Franconia Notch, is another option.  There are trails that lead down after taking the tram up.  You don't have to go down by the slopes.  Just get a trail map (AMC trail guide has all the maps and all the detailed trail descriptions, with elevation gain, miles, hours, etc).  

You'll need to be prepared for real hiking, with backpack and boots and water and change of clothes, and so on, for any of these trails.  The Whites are full of vigorous hikes.  Enjoy.
post #9 of 9
There're more summer chair lift than you have days to use them!

In addition to already mentioned:


On Rt 100: 
- Killington
- Stratton
- Mount Snow

Don't know much about the hiking part though. I usually bike.

You can rent bikes.
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