November 04, 2022 3 min read

About two months ago I set the overall Fastest Known Time for climbing the 48 High Peaks (peaks above 4,000 feet) in New Hampshire. In a span of 3 days, 8 hours and 56 minutes I traveled a 167 mile route which included 67,500 feet of vertical gain in order to summit each peak, starting and ending at a trailhead. TheAlyssa Godesky 48 High Peaks FKT week was a whirlwind, and while I definitely had moments to stop and enjoy the view, it was a non-stop, go-go-go time period.

But in the year prior to my  attempt, I spent many hours in the White Mountain National Forest scouting out routes, taking some lunch on the summits, and enjoying a local beer at a brewery afterwards. I have written about many of the details of my FKT itself on my instagram, but wanted to share more of the fun stuff here. Whether you are passing through the White Mountains for a few hours or a couple days, if you can hit anything on this list you won’t be disappointed!

To hike

I bet you think I’m going to tell you Franconia Ridge! But I’m not!! Franconia Ridge is spectacular and definitely something to see, but here are three other options that make the top of my list! 

Short - Mt. Moosilauke - I have only done this as a 7 mile out and back on the Gorge Brook Trail, but there are many other options and I have heard that the South Peak is a fun way to make it a lollipop loop. Moosilauke was the last peak I hit in my FKT run, and that choice was a balance of logistics and choosing a peak with a view to end on. Moosilauke has some of the least challenging terrain, but you are rewarded with some of the best views! A nice taste of alpine territory, a steady (but fair!) climb, and reliable water, this makes this hike a must do!

Medium - Mt. Carrigain - a 10 mile out and back, this hike also has a little bit of everything. Our trail runners will find some stretches that are runnable. The folks who love vert will get a steady climb, and those who do it for the views, well, you can see 43 of the other peaks from the Carrigain!

Long - Presidential Traverse - I debated making an “extra long” category and putting this in there but, consider yourself warned: this is not just any 20 mile hike! Arranging a shuttle or coordinating with friends to do this hike as a point to point makes it an epic day. Water access is plentiful and the amazing views if you have a clear day make up for the fact that you’ll probably travel slower than you ever imagined! You will also get to hit Mt. Washington at 6,288 feet high which is a feat in itself. If you don’t want to do the whole shebang, there are many side trails and connectors to make shorter loops. Just beware - weather around Mt. Washington can be treacherous and it changes quickly so this is not a hike to skimp on what supplies you bring.

To eat & drink

One Love Brewery - Lincoln, NH - Great beer and food and a friendly vibe right in Lincoln, NH. 

Iron Furnace Brewing - If you don’t want to head into the more touristy and crowded town of Lincoln after a hike, this is one of my favorite spots to go!

White Mountain Bagel Co — Good bagels are hard to find in New Hampshire, but you can get them here! 

To shop

Burgeon Outdoor - This is an awesome little shop in Lincoln where the clothes are actually made there (you can see them made in the shop!!). I love their Highlander Hoodie and it comes with me on a lot of my hikes in the White Mountains!

AMC website - Being prepared with a good guidebook is key, and the AMC shop has those as well as other fun souvenirs, and every purchase helps to support the outdoors! 

If you have the opportunity to spend a weekend in the White Mountains, I’m here to tell you: do it! I hope this helps you plan a great time!

 Alyssa Godesky @alyssagodesky